Friday, 28 June 2013

Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion

I love a natural tan, so I was a bit disappointed when I knew I wouldn't be going on holiday this year. I decided to give a holiday this year a miss due to buying a new car and that a massive blow out holiday next year after I graduate would be a much better option.

I'm not a fan of fake tan wipes or sprays as I can't get used to not getting streaks, so if anyone has any really good products that they would like to recommend, I'd love to know!

Lately, I've been trying Dove's Summer Glow Nourishing Lotion which is enriched with a subtle self-tanner. "NO.1 Gradual Self Tan Body Lotion in the UK"
Dove Summer Glow Body Nourishing Lotion - Fair to Medium Skin - 250ml
Dove advise that the lotion is applied daily in circular motions to help build a gradual tan. Dove also advise that you need to allow the lotion to absorb and dry fully before dressing and to wash hands well after use.

 I've used this specific gradual tan moisturiser before and my hands went orange, so I made sure I wouldn't make that mistake again! I purchased a cheap Fake Tan Mitt which can be found in local drugstores either cheap and cheerful or the more expensive ones which do just the same in my opinion.

 I use a little squidge of lotion at a time and use the mitt to apply it. I apply the lotion when I wake up and after I have showered in the morning. I then keep busy and make my bed and get my handbag ready whilst waiting for it to dry. The mitt does get very orange after a couple of days, but the majority of them are washable which is really handy and plus they keep your fingers and palms of your hands free form looking like a Wotsit!

Dove Summer Glow Body Nourishing Lotion Swatch Sample
Dove Summer Glow smells like Summer - it does have a hint of self tan smell, although it's not over powering. The lotion looks like a moisturiser/lotion due to the creamy look of it and the consistency of the colour - not too thick or orange/brown and it is quite easy to apply and rub in.

I've found that if it's humid outside and quite sunny, your skin can become quite sticky and feel heavy after applying the lotion, but I have been applying it all over. Also, you only need a small 'sweep' over elbows, knees and toes as they can go orange if you apply the lotion too thick and too often. Take a look at the pictures below showing the stages of my gradual tan;

Before Application - Day 1

After 4 Applications - Day 4
If you're looking for a hint of a summer glow a couple of applications should do it, but you can also temper your tan to the one you're looking for by building it up day by day. As you can see above, after 4 applications my skin was noticeably darker. You don't have to just use it for Summer, but to add a little glow in those Autumn and Winter months! Overall, the colour match of 'Fair to Medium Skin' lotion fits well with my skin colour. My face does not tan and therefore I need to apply some everyday to make it look natural at the least, but I am quite happy with the tone.

Price; 5 STARS Compared to other self-tan lotions, sprays etc. I found Dove's Summer Glow really good value for money. I purchased mine when it was on promotion and there's always a good deal going on if you look in the right places.

Promises; 5 STARS The images do not do the product justice. There was a gradual tan and it did moisturise and nourish my skin.

Ease of Use/Application; 4 STARS If you treat the lotion like a moisturiser you'll be fine BUT beware of orange hands! That's the only downfall, but if you're careful and use a fake tan mitt, you can avoid it :)

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; YES Dove's Summer Glow is great for adding a little glow to your skin in Summer and through the year! It not only enhances your natural tan but nourishes your skin and is great for a beauty routine in the morning.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Garnier Moisture Match - Wake Me Up -

After using Garnier's Moisture Match Shine Be Gone, I was pleasantly surprised and when the  products were on promotion again I decided to try Garnier's Moisture Match Wake Me Up. All Garnier Moisture Match moisturisers are designed with specific textures and ingredients that are tailored especially to match your skins needs - so there will be one that appeals to you!
"With a fresh-faced look your skin is ready for the day ahead. You can feel the difference"
Original Price - £5.99 Promo Purchase Price - £2.99 - 50ml

My skin will be dry one minute and look oily an hour or two later - combination skin. Garnier's Wake Me Up moisturiser is a Revitalising Hydrating Gel to help Dull Skin and is "Fast absorbing - Oil free and is suitable for sensitive skin." so it ticks all the right boxes appropriate for my skin!
Yellow Orange Packaging
The box is a yellow orange colour, symbolising the sun and a summer glow - just what the moisturiser promises - to wake you up like the sunshine. Also, as I pointed out on my Garnier Moisture Match Shine Be Gone post, the different colours for each variation makes it really easy to identify your preferred one. Plus they look really neat and prominent on the shelves. So a big thumbs up for the design and colour coordination of the packaging.  
Garnier Moisture Match Wake Me Up Swatch Sample

The moisturiser is enriched with citrus extracts so I can't describe it any other than smelling of orange and fruits! Garnier enrich this moisturiser with citrus extracts because they're "well known for their stimulating properties... boosts your skin radiance and leaves it looking revitalised". It does look like a gel and the consistency reminds me of a face mask but without the stickyness.

 Like all of Garnier's Moisture Match moisturisers, the tubes are 50ml. I don't find it enough to be honest as I moisturise every day, like you should and it's gone within a couple of weeks so it's not very economical if you're a student, like me trying to save money! 

Price; 3 STARS For me, £5.99 is a little expensive for the amount you get (50 ml) as it's gone in a few weeks although when on promotion I wouldn't mind indulging!

Promises; 4 STARS Their 'Proven Efficiency' on the back of the product box is not strong enough in my opinion. The Instrumental test included 24 'subjects' and the Consumer test included 50 women over 4 weeks. For valid and strong results, products need to be tests on a larger sample compared to that, but the again a lot of companies and adverts are guilty of this.

The gel did feel revitalising and refreshing on my skin and my skin didn't react negatively in any way, so I would agree that it's suitable for sensitive skin.

Ease of Use; 5 STARS The gel is really easy to apply and is absorbed perfectly compared to some moisturisers where they are absorbed too quickly or not enough. The consistency of the gel is perfect as it glides across the skin and isn't too gloopy or sticky.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; YES Regarding what skin type they are and what products best matches their skin I would recommend any of Garnier's Moisture Match products/moisturisers. If you're unsure though I would suggest looking out for the promotions to try your preferred one and if you don't like it, not a lot lost!


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

NIVEA In-Shower Body Moisturiser

I'm a big fan of Nivea products and when they released their new In-Shower Body Moisturiser, I couldn't wait to try it.
"The first Skin Conditioner from Nivea... A convenient new way to moisturise"
Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser - Normal Skin - 250 ml -  £3.55 £2.36
The packaging fits in well with the general look of shower gels and shower moisturisers. The In-Shower Body Moisturiser comes in two versions, the White with Blue text product - as shown - for Normal Skin, and the Blue with White text product for Dry Skin which is rich in moisture. Both are available in 250ml and 400ml bottles so you can purchase one most suited to the amount you need.
Nivea state that the In-Shower Body Moisturiser is "quickly absorbed by wet skin... leaves your skin with a silky soft skin feeling". You should use your normal shower product as normal and rinse off. Then, apply the In-Shower Body Moisturiser whilst still in the shower and rinse off. Finally, dry yourself, get dressed and go!
Enriched with Sea Minerals, it smells like the sea and very refreshing. The lotion is white and looks just like a moisturiser, although when you apply it onto your wet skin, it feels like it's falling off and it doesn't feel like it's going far enough. Therefore I tend to use more than what I need and the bottle gets used up so quickly.
After rinsing, drying and getting dressed, it's supposed to leave a silky, soft skin feeling,  but I didn't find much difference and neither did my boyfriend. I felt a little let down as I had high hopes for this product. Don't get me wrong it looks and smells great, but didn't WOW me with a difference on my skin. I will carry on using my regular, basic shower gel and moisturise after a shower instead. 
Price; 3 STARS I purchased the product when it was on promotion at £2.36 from £3.55. Even then promotional price was more than what I would pay for a basic shower gel, but I thought I would give it a go.

Promises; 3 STARS I didn't see any difference or improvement in the feeling of my skin. It moisturised, but it didn't wow me with the results - I felt a bit disappointed.

Ease of Use; 2 STARS The lotion is really hard to apply onto wet skin. It may absorb easy, but it's hard to apply and therefore I don't feel it's working. This tends to lead me to use more than I need compared to basic regular lotions, gels and moisturisers.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; NO I wanted to like this product, but to me it wasn't worth the money. It was very hard to use and I didn't see any of the promises of silky soft skin. I will most probably stick to my regular shower gel and moisturisers.

Friday, 14 June 2013

MUA HAUL; Cheeks & Lips

I love MUA products, so this post is all about the shades of blusher and lipstick that I own and currently love. 
Blusher - £1.00
MUA Blusher - £1 - 2.4g
MUA Blusher Shades and Open Pallets
For me, I find it hard to find the right shade of blush. Swatching it on skin never shows the true colour in my opinion as I don't think you can find the right one unless it's ontop of your base and foundation. MUA's blushers are great value as they're only £1 - so you can definitely afford to try a few each week and find the perfect shade for you.

MUA Blusher Swatches
Shade 2
I love using MUA Shade 2 from their previous collection before the NEW blushers came onto the scene. The large perspex lid shows the colour of the blush quite clearly and it shuts securely too, although after I've thrown mine about in my makeup and handbag, the hinges of the blush have broken so I have to secure it with a hairband now :(
Shade 2 is a mix between pink and a tinge of orange and it seems to blend quite well with my tone and look natural. It's easy to build up a dramatic look with a heavier application, although you have to be careful to not be too heavy otherwise you look like a clown and too blushed up!
When brushing the pallet with my F6 Blusher and Contouring Brush the powder blush doesn't clump or stick - when you tap off any excess it comes off easily and doesn't leave uneven levels of blush on the brush. 
Bon Bon
When MUA released the NEW blusher shades I immediately bought two I thought would look okay; Bon Bon and Cupcake. The new design is smaller in height although MUA have kept the large perspex window!  It's secured with hinges and a little clip-button where is pops into when shut down. Hopefully my lids will be more secure if they break in the future..
Bon Bon is darker than my usual Shade 2. It's described as "Apricot" although in the compact it looks quite dark, but when swatched it's quite a pigmented pink. It would therefore suit a darker skin tone or someone with a darker tan to my skin as it's quite pigmented, plus I haven't got the confidence to try it and step out of my comfort zone. This shade isn't my favourite out of the three I us regularly.
The compact looks slightly orange compared to Shade 2 and Bon Bon and is described as "Soft Peach". I'd agree. Although it looks slightly orange, when swatched it has a tinge of peach - not too orange and not too pink. I like using this shade when I have sunkissed skin as it looks really natural and not too 'dolled up' as it leaves you with a sunkissed look rather than using bronzer. As it's quite light you can also build up a heavier look, although as it's pigmented with orange you need to be careful not to apply too much or you could end up looking too orange.

Lipstick - £1.00

MUA Lipsticks - 3.8g - £1

I don't wear lipstick a lot, only certain occasions such as parties, family get togethers and meals out. I have always wanted a  nude colour lipstick since I was in my teens, and I was so excited when I discovered Bare and Juicy by MUA! They're only a £1 so you can buy the whole collection for the price of a couple of high end lipsticks!
The lipstick design is simple. Black with the MUA logo imprinted in silver on the lid. A cute little addition to the lipsticks is the little gloss that you can unscrew and use at the bottom. Even though it's little, I use it to identify what colour it is and it looks super cute and stylish in my opinion!

MUA Lipstick Swatches
Shade 14 BARE
Bare was my first MUA lipstick. I've wanted a nude lipstick for AGES and I finally found one! As you can tell from the picture - it's falling apart because I use it all the time as it's my favourite! The swatch doesn't look nude although the shade and tone will all depend on your natural lip colour and the way it takes to it. However, whatever shade your lips are, I think Shade 14 BARE would look great on any shade of lips as the tone of the lipstick would differ between nude or nude peach.
Shade 14 BARE glides on smoothly and I only need one application to get the best of the colour. The lipstick doesn't dry my lips out, although I do apply a moisturising lip balm on allday everyday so this might contribute to it. It isn't a Superstay lipstick so I didn't and don't expect it to stay on whilst eating and drinking, but it does stay on for an acceptable amount of time. 
Shade 15 JUICY
Juicy is very similar to Bare although it's slightly more peach/dusty pink. When I can't get hold of Bare I turn to Juicy as it's similar but adds a little of a summer look. The swatch looks rather pink/peach although the shade would differ depending on your skin tone and lips etc. But again I think it would look great on anyone to help create a natural look.
Like Bare, it doesn't leave my lips feeling dry and as it's a natural colour, it makes my eyes pop out an draws the attention away from bad skin or that awkward spot.. It's easy to apply and I only need to apply it once to get the best out of the colour. Like mentioned previously, it doesn't stay on whilst drinking or eating, but then again if you're looking for a lipstick that does that you'll need to look for a more durable lipstick/stain.
Shade 16 NECTAR
Nectar is a completely different shade compared to Bare and Juicy. The colour is a pink/pale coral shade which is great for Summer! I've never been keen on using vibrant colours, but I love using Nectar when the sun is shining and to get in the Summer mood!
Nectar doesn't feel as moisturising as other shades although I've only started using it so it might be because it's new! I need to apply it a couple of times to get the best of the colour on my lips but when I want a more subtle shade of Nectar, I just gently sweep it on and blend it with a little moisturising lip balm. As the shade is quite vibrant - it's more noticeable and therefore it seems to stay on longer.
Shade 5
I love the colour pink, but pink does not look good on my lips because of my pale skin. I thought I'd give shade 5 a go because it's only a £1! The colour looks very pigmented when opened, but from the swatch it looks rather light - a nice surprise considering the differences and how it suits my skin.

As it's new, I need to apply the lipstick a few times to get a good application although because of the colour of my own lips, the pink pigment isn't too 'in your face'. Shade 5 is tinted with a shimmer, so when applied the subtle pink colour shimmers which is great for the Spring and Summer seasons. Because of the subtle shade, it isn't too noticeable when it comes off when eating and drinking as it acts more of a slight shimmer than a lipstick because I apply a little Vaseline/Lip Balm before applying my lipstick. This helps it to not dry my lips out which is a bonus throughout the sunny, hot and humid days.
Shade 9
Shade 9 couldn't be more further from my usual shades and preferences. The lipstick is a Brown/Burgundy shade with a slight shimmer. It doesn't suit my tone at all and I would suggest it would look better on those with a darker skin tone rather than pale light skin.
Due to the dark pigmentation, Shade 9 stays on quite well, although when eating and drinking it is noticeable when it comes off. In my opinion, the shimmer aspect of the lipstick would be more appropriate for a night time look, although that's just me as I don't have the confidence! You have to apply it a few times to get the application on the lips right, although it comes out quite dark and 'in your face'. This shade is my least favourite of my collection although I haven't wasted money due to the great price so I can afford to experiment and try new shades.

Price; 5 STARS The majority of Make Up Academy's products are £1 which is great is you're on a budget but great news so that you can buy all their shades of each product and experiment at home!

Promises; 5 STARS The blushers and lipsticks do their job. The lipsticks aren't going to stay on through meals or big nights out, but they're great for adding a pop of colour every now and then. The blushers are cute and great to define cheekbones and create a dramatic or natural look.

Ease of Use; 5 STARS The makeup brushes and tools glide over the blusher pallets making them easy to store and use. The lipsticks are also easy to apply with most only needing one application and the design makes it easy to hold whilst applying.

Would I Recommend to a Friend? YES For £1 you can't make a mistake. If you wanted, you could buy all the lipstick and blusher shades to match each outfit and mood you're in or even just experiment to find a dupe for another brand. Even if you purchase the totally wrong colour, like I did with Shade 9, you haven't wasted money, it's worth a try!

Monday, 10 June 2013

MUA Professional Brushes

I've never been majorly bothered about using makeup brushes or cosmetic tools, but since discovering MUA, they've opened me up to a whole new world. MUA cosmetic products are available online and in Superdrug stores, although MUA Professional brushes are only available online which is a bit of an inconvenience but considering the price, quality of the brushes and the dispatch and delivery times, I wouldn't mind only purchasing these online.

MUA Professional Brushes

MUA Professional Brushes
I had a good look at the variety of brushes available and chose to purchase 3 that I would get the most use out of; F1 Foundation Brush, F4 Powder Brush and the F6 Blusher and Contouring Brush. The brushes are sleek and black. They are light to hold so that they're easy to use and are really easy to store. MUA clearly state that the brushes are cruelty free and are suitable for all skin types.

F1 Foundation Brush - £3.00
MUA Professional - F1 Foundation Brush - £3.00
This foundation brush can be used to apply liquid or cream foundation. MUA advise to pick the foundation from the back of the hand with the brush and apply it from the centre of the face and blend outwards. This technique avoids tide lines and any noticeable streaks. This brush is really easy to use and helps move my liquid foundation around quite well, although nothing beats using your best natural tool, your fingers!

F4 Powder Brush - £3.75

MUA Professional - F4 Powder Brush - £3.75
This brush is suitable for bronzer, blusher and face powder, so it's very versatile. It's rounded and very full so it sweeps over the face really well and very easily covers the areas wanted. I use it for my face powder and a tad on my neck and the brush is very soft on my skin, whereas other brushes I've used have been too stiff and rough. It glides over my skin and the density of the brush holds a good amount of powder that isn't too clumped or too thick.

F6 Blusher and Contouring Brush - £3.00

MUA Professional - F6 Blusher and Contouring Brush - £3.00
This brush is suitable for use with powder and cream blushes. The angle of the brush makes it easy to fit to the facial contours and cheekbones - helping create a natural and effortless look and MUA advise that the "brush works best when applied on the apples of the cheeks in an upward sweeping motion". I love this brush! The shaped brush is great for creating a natural structured look as it fits in nice with my cheekbones. The soft synthetic fibres are gentle on my skin and doesn't flare my cheeks up whilst or after using it.
Price; 5 STARS These brushes are such great prices for such good quality. They're not MAC or high end, but they do the job and of the price you cannot be picky! The brushes range from £1.50 to £5.00 which is great compared to some brushes that are available at extortionate prices.

Promises; 5 STARS As long as you use the brushes for their specified use then you'll be fine. The shapes of the brushes are great and do their job. The F4 brush is really dense so it covers the face and the F6 brush is shaped really well so that it fits to your cheekbones.

Ease of Use; 5 STARS The brushes are sleek and light, making them easy to grip and clean. The synthetic fibres glide well over the skin and are great with bronzer, powder, blusher, cream blusher, liquid and cream foundation etc.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; YES The price, quality and availability of the brushes is great. For those who can't afford high end brushes and tools MUA is amazing. They're great quality, do the job and look more expensive than you'd think. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Freederm Routine

I've mentioned before that I have quite bad skin. This is due to my age, the fact I'm not a lucky pretty girl and plus I suffer a lot with anxiety and stress - a major contributor. Therefore I am very image aware of what I look like to others. I've blogged before about Freederm and so I decided to mention all the products I use regularly that help reduce redness, spot size and help prevent spots in general.
Freederm Products - Sensitive Facial Wash, Overnight Clearing Serum, Fast Track Gel, Gel
Sensitive Facial Wash - 150ml
 "..Gentle deep pore cleansing action to combat excess oil.."
The Facial Wash is available as an exfoliating facial wash and a sensitive facial wash which is what I use due to my skin being sensitive to pretty much anything!
Freederm states that if you have dry skin this product should be used in conjunction with a good moisturiser to help prevent your skin becoming dry.
I use this every morning at the start of my make-up routine. I apply it to a wet face and massage it into my skin with small circular movements, rinse off with warm water and pat my face dry. I don't start to apply my makeup straight away as I personally like my skin to settle a bit. It doesn't have a distinct smell even though the liquid is pink. It's quite easy to apply and massages well into a light foam. I wouldn't recommend using the facial wash morning and night as it may be too intense for your skin and could cause too much irritation and distress for the skin.
Overnight Clearing Serum - 50ml
"..Helps to reduce spot size and restore healthy skin texture while visibly reducing redness.. works while you sleep"
The Overnight Clearing Serum is a pretty new product from Freederm and I blogged about it when it first came onto the beauty scene CLICK HERE. I use it when I go to bed as it works while you sleep so all you need to do is get your beauty sleep, literally. The pump is pretty cool, different to the tubes of gel. The serum is white and pretty thick which is good so you can spread it onto the affected areas but doesn't particularly smell of anything. Freederm advise that the gel is spread over the face and throat with light upward strokes which is okay with my right hand, but with my left it's a bit tricky because of the angle..
After the application I can feel a thin layer on my face, as if my skin has had a new layer of skin applied! The serum isn't heavy meaning that it doesn't make my skin feel groggy and thick- icky when you get up in the morning! It doesn't rub off onto the pillow either as I'm always worrying if my bed sheets get ruined with my spot treatments.
 Gel - 10g / Fast Track Gel -  25g
 "..for the treatment of mild to moderate inflamed acne spots and pimples.. rapid action formula to visibly reduce redness and spot size"
These gels are very similar in what they claim to do. I use the simple gel after cleansing my face and before applying my moisturiser to help aid little spots and if I'm going out anywhere important I will use the Fast Track Gel. The gel's are a thick creamy colour and as a thin layer is only needed, it lasts quite well! It smells a bit clinical, but then again if it helps my spots I don't really care. Freederm claim that the Fast Track Gel works within 3 hours which I would agree with on smaller spots. Angry spots need more time and a lot more care.

Because they're both small tubes, I find they can be used quite quickly, although I find cutting the tube open means you can get loads more from the bottom!
Price; 4 STARS Freederm is an affordable spot treatment range. Every now and then there are promotions and offers that you can benefit from as well as use with a student card in particular drugstores. The products last a while too so no bulk buying every other week!

Promises; 4 STARS My spots reduce in size and redness, so it does work! It also gives you a comfort that something will help and you're not just waiting for flared spots to die away. More angry spots will need a harsher treatment though and longer to clear up, obviously. Try a bit of Sudacrem.

Ease of Use; 5 STARS Each treatment requires a different technique of application, but the various products shown are clear and really easy to follow.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?;YES I think everyone should try Freederm. It's worth a try and one product of the Freederm range is bound to suit you, whether it's the fast track gel or sensitive facial wash!

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