Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm Primer

Up until recently, I had never even heard of Benefit... I think living in Greece (or, at least, not living in Athens) may have played a part in that, to be honest! Regardless of that, though, ever since I started getting more into beauty, it seemed to me that this company was just everywhere!

Anyway.... I'm not here to talk about my lack of beauty knowledge, so let's get to it!

I received a sample of The POREfessional Primer from Birchbox last month (I think it was the one thing that every single one of their subscribers got...), and, as I had been hearing all about if for the last couple of months, I gave it a go.

Now, let's keep in mind that I can't actually see my pores. I used to when I was a teenager, but ever since I went through with my acne treatment, my skin has become very, very sensitive and ridiculously dry (even though it was supposed to go back to being oily after...). So, I can't really comment on how good this product is for minimising pores. However, this primer is amazing for keeping my makeup in place! I've tried it with a couple of foundations that I know don't last me all day and it definitely extends the time they stay on my skin. As I've mentioned before, I am not really big on touching up makeup on the go or when I am at work, so this is a huge plus for me! Just being able to slather on the makeup in the morning and forget about it until you get back home at night! Aaah! Bliss!

The primer itself has a rather balm-y texture and is a light to medium beige colour. I actually thought it would make my skin look darker, but it does nothing of the sort. Just a few little dabs all over the face and a bit of massaging it in, and you are good to go! It makes everything look much more matte and, as I mentioned, I haven't even got oily skin.

I only downside I can find for this product is the price. At £24.50 for a 22ml tube, it feels a bit on the pricey side for me and my budget, while still falling within the price range that Benefit offer. It's one of those products that I wouldn't hesitate to buy, but I would also be on the lookout for something that works just as good as this but for a smaller price tag.

Have you tried The POREfessional Primer? What were your thoughts?

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Look #2: The (Slightly) Red Lip

I was getting ready for a night out last night and decided to go for something a little more bold this time! I am not one for bright lips, especially not red ones! I am usually seen with either just a plain old lip balm, with a nude lipstick or even - just sometimes - with a teeny bit of lipgloss on. But red lips are definitely not my forte!

Nonetheless, I decided it was time for something just a tad different, but not in too obvious a way. 

For this look, I used my Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in the shade "Shell". This is fast becoming one of my favourite foundations I have ever used, but this is a topic for a different blog post. Next, I used my Soap & Glory Trick and Treatment Concealer for under my eyes, blending it in with my fingers, as always. For contouring and on my cheeks, I used the Sleek Face Contour Kit in "Fair". As is probably obvious from the first photo, my contouring skills are abysmal, as - again - there is nothing to be seen in that area of my face. (At least, I can't see it). Regardless, I DID actually apply a bit of the bronzer from this palette just under my cheekbones, as well as a little bit of blush (my face was quite red at the time, as I had the central heating on!) and a tiny bit of highlighter. For my brows, I used a little bit of the Little Mix by Collection Full On Mascara in "Crystal Clear", just to tidy them up a little bit. To set all my makeup, I used the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in "Transparent", which I am also loving!

On to the eyes. 

I have to begin by saying that my makeup skills do not really extend to doing my eyes. Though I love seeing a good smoky eye on other people, a) I don't think I would be able to do it myself and b) even if I got someone else to do it for me, I would probably hate it... For this look, I used my little Maybelline Silk Glam by EyeStudio Palette in the shade "Coral Drama". It has 4 lovely, shimmery nude shades that are perfect for creating a very understated look. I also used the Avon ExtraLasting Liquid Eye Liner in "Brown" along my upper lashline, as well as the Seventeen Super Smooth Eye Liner Pencil in the shade "Illumination" on my lower waterline, to get rid of any redness. To finish it all of, I used the Clinique High Impact Mascara in "Black".

I left the lip for last... I own a few red (or reddish) lipsticks, but for my first foray out into the world actually wearing one, I decided to go with the Revlon Lip Butter in "Candy Apple", as I could make it as sheer as I possibly could! As you can see, my lips didn't turn out overtly red, but it did feel nice wearing a little splash of colour for a change!

How do you feel about red lipsticks? Do you find them easy to wear?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Sleek Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette

Sleek Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette - £9.99

Sleek was one of those brands I had never heard about before I started watching videos on YouTube and following beauty blogs, probably because its reach hasn't expanded to Greece yet. But over the last summer, when I moved to the UK, I was excited to finally try a product from this company!

The first (and only, so far) product I've tried from them is the Face Form Contouring and Blush Palette. I thought it was a very good idea having three different things in one small, very compact palette. I actually took this back to Greece with me over the Christmas holiday season, as it had everything I needed and, I must say, it served me very well indeed!

The palette actually comes in a few different shades, but I opted for the "Fair" one, as it suited my colouring more. This version comes with a rather dark bronzer for contouring, a pearly-pink highlighter and a lovely rose/coral blush. Let's look at each one separately...

The Bronzer: Rather dark in the pan, but doesn't seem to show up too dark on my face. Especially since my contouring skills are awful, this is probably a good thing! What I love about it is that it is completely matte. No shimmery particles in sight!

The Highlighter: This has a pearly-pink look in the pan, with a rather pronounced silver shimmer to it, but it doesn't look too shimmery when applied. I tend to use it just above where I usually apply my blusher, just to give my face a more glowy, healthy look

The Blusher: I am not very good at describing colours, but this one seems to me like a mix between rose pink and coral pink. This, just like the highlighter, has shimmer in it, though it seems to be more of a rose gold colour, as opposed to silver. Once applied, it doesn't look too shimmery, which is a definite bonus!

This is definitely a product I would recommend to anyone looking for something handy to travel with, or even just because they like the colours! The palette also comes with a substantially sized mirror, which is always a plus!

Have you ever tried any makeup products from Sleek? Anything you would recommend?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My Haircare Routine

When it comes to hair, I really am not that fussy. I just want products that will clean my hair well and won't leave too strong a scent. That being said, I have recently upped the ante on my haircare routine, as I have found that my hair tends to go a little flat, especially as it's getting longer.

I tend to wash my hair once every two or three days, as I am a firm believer that too much washing does not do it any good. It strips it of all the natural oils and it tends to get greasy much, much faster, as the scalp produces excess oils just to make up for the ones that were lost during washing. My hair usually lasts very well for a full two days and whenever I decide to leave it for a third day, I always use dry shampoo.

The reason there are two shampoo bottles in the photo is because I have a slight problem... I don't know how, but my scalp ALWAYS seems to know when I use the same shampoo two times in a row and gets oily much faster. So, I always switch between shampoos, to prevent that from happening! (You have to see how many bottles I have on the go right now... It's embarrassing...) The ones that I have been reaching for the most recently are the Aussie Mega Shampoo for Everyday Use and the Trevor Sorbie Volume Shampoo. The Aussie one is very lightweight, smells faintly of strawberry jelly and I love using it. On the other hand, the Trevor Sorbie one has a really thick consistency and is really difficult to get out of the tube, but does the job of adding volume to my hair very well!

For conditioner, I have been using the Avon Advance Techniques 360 Nourishment Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner. I like this conditioner, but it is definitely not my favourite one. It does the job though, so until it's finished, I'm not going to rush out and get a new one.

The two recent additions to my haircare routine are the TRESemmé Salon Smooth Serum with Argan Oil and the Schwarzkopf got2b Volumising Spray Mousse. The TRESemmé serum I also mentioned in my January favourites and I am still loving it. I apply it just to the ends of my hair and it has really helped keep my hair nice and soft. I seem to be using it up at an alarming rate, though... As for the volumising spray, while I've only used it a handful of times, I am really loving it! I apply it to the roots of my hair in various (not very well defined) sections and massage it in. It definitely does just what it says on the can! I'll have more to say about it when I've used it for longer, though..

What does your haircare routine include?

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Bookish Edit #1: A Mini-Haul

A couple of weeks ago, I had this nagging feeling that I just had to go into a bookshop. Reading books is one of my favourite things to do, regardless of the fact that I don't read as much as I used to. So, into Waterstones I went and I believe I must have spent at least an hour going through all the shelves to decide the books I wanted to buy.

The ones I came away with were:

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?
(from Goodreads)

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer? 

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
(from Goodreads)

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
(from Goodreads)

I am really excited to start reading these books. I am currently reading The Luxe by Anna Godbersen and I am going to start Eleanor & Park as soon as I finish it! What books are you reading at the moment?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Lush Helping Hands Hand Cream

Back in September, while I had been walking up and down the main streets of Glasgow, I happened to notice this shop called Lush and I realised that this was the shop so many beauty bloggers and vloggers talk about! I hadn't seen one of their stores before, despite regular visits to the UK (which I thought was rather weird when I realised how big a company they are). So, in I went, intrigued by the look of the shop, as well as the smells coming out of it!

On that first foray into the world of Lush, I did buy a couple of bath bombs to try out (and proceeded to have my fist actual bath after years and years of showers), but my most important purchase was the Helping Hands Hand Cream.

I actually have eczema on my hands and it usually flares up in very cold or humid weather, or if I neglect moisturising my hands for too long. As I was running out of my regular hand cream, I decided to try this offering from Lush. According to the label, it was actually invented to help people who have really dry and over-washed hands. Since I work in a lab, I have to wear gloves most of the time. And when I'm not wearing gloves, I have to keep my hands clean and sterile with ethanol. So, I thought this sounded perfect for me!

And indeed it was! I apply it (rather liberally) on to my hands every night and, when I wake up in the morning, I have the softest hands ever! The smell of it is pleasant, without being too lingering or overpowering, which is a definite plus!

The guy who was helping me in store actually told me that this was the lightest hand cream they offer and that it doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy. I have found that it does feel rather greasy, which is why I have got into the habit of using it only at night.

At £7.50 for 100g, it might not be the cheapest hand cream around, but it also isn't the most expensive. Keep in mind that a little goes a really long way!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Look #1 : Eveyday Makeup

I thought I'd start a little series to do every now and then on this blog, showing a look I have worn, either on a day-to-day basis, or even, on an evening out! I haven't thought about it much... So maybe it will be makeup, maybe it will be an outfit, or maybe both! Let's just see how it goes, shall we? 

I decided to start it off with something that I wear on a regular basis. This kind-of neutral look is very much up my alley, as I don't really like to feel as if I am wearing a lot of makeup (or look like it, either). Especially for work days. I work at a research lab at the University, so I pretty much wear a lab coat all day long and I am just running up and down doing experiments and other science-y stuff. Meaning I don't want to be wearing a lot of stuff on my face that could potentially smudge left, right and centre.

For this look, I have washed and moisturised my face, before coming in with any makeup products. So, first of all, I applied the Bourjois Happy Light Base Serum Matte (I have the Normal to Combination Skin version) using my fingers and then, came in with the No7 Essentially Natural Foundation in "Calico" using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I have never been one for using too many products on my face, but I have found that the No7 foundation feels much better on my skin when I have applied a primer beforehand.

To conceal the dark circles beneath my eyes (damn you internet for keeping me up late!), I used the Soap & Glory Trick and Treatment Dark Circle Concealer. I have found that this blends in much better using my fingers than it does with any brush I've tried it with!

Next, I applied just a teensy weensy bit of bronzer just underneath my cheekbones (at which I feel as if I've failed spectacularly, as I can't see it at all in the photo!). The one I have used is the Rimmer SunShimmer Bronzing Compact Powder in "Light Matte". I got this in a very light shade on purpose, as I still don't think I've grasped the concept of contouring and thought that this would be a good way to start (as it's so light coloured). On my cheeks, I have used the Collection Blush in the shade "Bashful", which is my favourite blush at the moment! It gives me just the right amount of colour to work with and it looks very natural!

To seal everything in, I used the Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder in "Transparent". This one is a relatively new purchase for me and I have to say, I am loving it!

To finish off the look, I decided to use a little bit of mascara and some lipstick. For mascara, the one I've used here is the Body Shop Big and Curvy Mascara in "Black", which is quickly turning into a favourite! I have naturally long eyelashes and this mascara does an amazing job of lengthening them just the right amount, as well as separating them! On my lips, I have used another Body Shop product: their Colourglide Lip Colour in "Pink Ginger".

So, that's it for my first "look" post! Whew!

Do let me know if you've tried any of the products I used for this look...!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Night-time Skincare Routine

Hi there!

I thought I'd share with you the steps I go through every night to remove my makeup and get my face clean and ready for bed! I'm not really a big fan of spending loads of time in the bathroom cleaning my face, however I do realise that it is a very necessary step, because a) I wear makeup and b) well, I'm not getting any younger, am I?

First, I always take up my eye makeup (if I am wearing any). Right now I am using the Rimmel "Just Let It Go" Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. I can't say I love it, but it does the job and gets most of my eye makeup off.

Then, I use the L'Oréal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution, to get rid of the majority of my face makeup, and I have to say, it does a really good job!

Next, I go in with my cleanser. Most nights I use the Liz Earle "Cleanse and Polish" Hot Cloth Cleanser (which I mentioned in my January Favourites), as it leaves my skin squeaky clean and hydrated and removes any last trace of eye makeup.

After that, it is time for toner. This is a step I never miss, because it just makes my skin feel super soft and adds an extra layer of hydration. I am currently using the No7 "Soft and Soothed" Gentle Toner (also another favourite!).

And last, but certainly not least, I use my Boots Botanicals Hydrating Night Cream All Bright all over my face and neck and the Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack just under my eyes for some extra hydration (and prevention of under eye bags!).

And here are a couple of photos showing the "before" and "after" stages. Not the best (as with all the photos I have posted here, they look a little bit grainy), but I am in the market for a new camera, so until then, my iPhone it is!

What is your night-time routine? What kinds of products do you love using?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

January Favourites

Hi there!

It is the first day of February and that means that it's time for a January favourites post! I've never done anything like this before so I hope it goes down well! I've never had to look back to the month that went past and think about the stuff that I loved using the most!

So here is what made the cut:

Lush Helping Hands Hand Cream: This is my absolute favourite this month! I tend to get very dry hands all year round, but they seem to become much worse during the winter months. Seeing as I lived in Greece before moving to Scotland (and it didn't really get very cold where I lived), I have attributed it to a tendency to have eczema, with it becoming worse when it is humid outside. This hand cream I find to be very oily and leave a layer of greasiness on my hands (even though the guy at Lush told me it's not supposed to be oily), but it has saved me from having seriously cracked hands this past month! I only use it at night and I always wake up with my hands feeling soft and nourished.

Liz Earle "Cleanse and Polish" Hot Cloth Cleanser: I bought this in December and it has been my go-to cleanser since day one! I try to mix it in with some other cleansers, just so that they get some use, but it's the one I always go back to. It leaves my face wonderfully clean, with absolutely NO makeup residue and it's very hydrating, too!

No7 "Soft and Soothed" Gentle Toner: I love, love this product! It is very gentle, just as the name suggests and adds an extra layer of hydration to my skin just before I go in with my moisturiser.

Clinique High Impact Mascara: My Grandma has been giving me samples of this for years and years (she is a religious user of Clinique products and gets loads of freebies). However, it's not until recently that I finally appreciated what an amazing product it is. It adds length to my lashes without making them too long (I have naturally long eyelashes and making them very much longer creeps me out a little!), while also keeping them seperated! Definitely something I would purchase full size!

Nivea Lip Butter in Raspberry Rosé: I apply this every night before I go to bed and it has made a huge difference! No more chapped lips!

Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait: As I mentioned in my Revlon Lip Butter post, this is my favourite of the three colours I own and is such an easy to wear everyday colour! And so, so soft on the lips!

The Body Shop Moringa Body Mist: As you might be able to see from the picture, I am nearly at the end of the bottle and I shall be sad to see it go! I've had it for about a year now and actually went through a stage when I forgot about it and started using other perfumes/body mists. But now, I'm back to loving it! It has such a lovely light and fresh scent of jasmine and it reminds me of summer nights back in Greece...!

TRESemmé Salon Smooth Serum with Argan Oil: This one was a bit of an impulse buy. They had it on offer at Boots and I was looking for a hair oil to try out, which is how I ended up with it. Turned out to be a wonderful purchase! It leaves my hair feeling silky smooth and in the best condition it has EVER been!

That's all for my first favourites post!

What are your thoughts on any of these products? Anything similar I should try out?

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