Monday, 29 April 2013

Soap and Glory Glow All Out

I've long been a fan of Soap and Glory, of their skin care, bath treats and make up line. They're one of the only brands where I feel fully confident parting with my money, knowing that I'll love whatever product I'm buying. I don't think I've been let down by a single S&G product and Glow All Out is, happily, no exception.

I'd had my eye on this for the longest time; it was on my birthday wishlist, then my Christmas wishlist, then my January sales wishlist. The only thing putting me off was the price, which doesn't break the bank but at £11 I kept passing it up to spend my cash on other things. A few weeks ago I spotted this reduced to £8 in my local Boots and decided enough was enough, I had to stop dilly dallying and finally buy it.

Man, am I glad I did.

I'll start with the packaging. It's the standard Soap and Glory fun, vibrant design and the name (Glow All Out) contains a good enough play on words to keep me happy. I was a little surprised to find the packaging made of a cardboardy type material and this the only real criticism I have about the product. I should point out that my worries might be completely unjustified, as I haven't taken this out and about with me to see how the packaging stands up. It does feel sturdy and shows no wear and tear after being chucked about in my make up drawers but I have hideous fears of it coming open in my make up bag and covering everything in a layer (albeit a pretty, shimmery layer) of wasted product.

The product itself is described by Soap and Glory as follows:

'Use it to lift up your cheekbones or dust lightly all over for a 'moonlit' look. Featuring LIGHTSCRAMBLE™ lumisphere pigment pearls, an ultra-fine creamy powder shimmer finish and extended wear silicone technology.'

It looks gorgeous in the pan; a soft light gold shimmer that I was genuinely excited to try out as soon as I saw it. It was a little cooler than the pictures I've seen online but that suits me perfectly, as I wanted to use it on my whole face to give my skin a glow, rather than to warm up my complexion.

This could be used alone on the cheeks or over a blusher to give it a little bit of oomph but I dust it across my face, focusing it mostly on my cheekbones and down my nose. It gives a really lovely glow that catches the light and is noticeable but is subtle enough that you don't need to worry about going out looking like Ke$ha. Which, by the way, I never actually think is a bad thing (go go glitter wenches).

Glow All Out has really helped brighten up my face (and my mood!) on these dreary April days and I know I'll carry on using this one as the weather warms up (if the weather warms up...) to help me pretend like I actually have something other than a pasty, pasty face.

Soap and Glory, congratulations, it's another winner.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Topshop Nail Varnish in Pluto

I think the Topshop beauty line is one of the best reviewed out there, when it comes to both quality and value for money. I've read so many comparisons to MAC lipsticks and higher end products that I decided to bite the bullet and see what all the fuss was about.

Playing it safe, I decided to pick up a nail varnish first, partly because I'm a nail varnish hoarder and partly because I don't have particularly high standards for varnishes anyway. I only wear them for a couple of days at a time so staying power isn't hugely important for me. Plus, they all look so amazing I couldn't resist! In the end I opted for Pluto, which is a chunky purple glitter I couldn't say no to.

I'm pleased to say this varnish 100% lives up to the hype about Topshop products - it's easy to apply, great quality and has excellent staying power; I know I said this isn't particularly important to me but this one lasted so well I ended up leaving it on for almost a week and there wasn't a single chip at the end of it.

I've used this colour over light and dark polishes and it looks great over both, though my favourite is over a lighter colour.

Since buying Pluto I've been lusting after so many other colours that I know I'm going to develop an awful addiction. Oh well, might as well embrace it.

What are your favourite colours from the Topshop nail varnish range?

Pluto retails at £6 and can be picked up in store or online.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Guerlain Météorites Perles in Teint Rose

Ever since I first spotted the Guerlain Météorites Perles on a jaunt through Feel Unique I've lusted after them. I popped them onto my Florida wishlist, deciding to splurge on them with some holiday cash. However, I was lucky enough to receive them as an Easter gift (who needs chocolate when you can have cosmetics, right? Completely forgetting about the spirit of Easter, I know, but who am I to fight it?) and promptly spent the rest of the bank holiday with a dopey grin on my face.

It's not often that I go for high end products, simply because I can't afford them, so this is a real luxury for me that I absolutely adore. Everything from the packaging to the scent (hello Parma Violets) and the product itself is rich and extravagant and luxe. I'm in love.

So, what do Guerlain have to say?

'A revolutionary concept: a constellation of multi coloured powders that recreates pure natural radiance. Meteorites pearls are harmonies of 6 coloured pearls to correct and unify the complexion: 2 pastel shades to correct skin tone, 2 unifying shades to even out complexion. 2 translucent light enhancing shades to capture and reflect light to sculpt the face. Your skin glows with new found softness and radiance.'

I have shade 01, Teint Rose, which is perfect for my paler skin tone. These little gems of awesomeness are also available in two darker shades, Teint Beige and Teint Dore.

The six different colours blend together to help even out my skin tone, neutralise my rosy cheeks and give my skin a lift with the light enhancing shades. When I first tried these out I couldn't really notice too much of a difference but after snapping some photos and comparing my face with and without this product I can really see that it gives a lovely, subtle glow that completely boosts my complexion. Lovely, lovely stuff.

As you can see from the photo above, the effect isn't too brash and I love how natural it looks, perfect for days when you don't want something too heavy on your face. A quick sweep of these across my cheekbones is just what I need when I want a little pick me up without applying a whole face full of make up. I've also focused my brush on the illuminising colours and used them as a highlighter on my cheekbones and nose, which works quite nicely.

This is my first Guerlain product and I'm very impressed that the buzz surrounding their make up isn't just hype. The price tag is a hefty £35.50 (from House of Fraser) so this is a treat rather than an everyday purchase (for me, at least!) but I'll absolutely be looking to add the other shades to my make up bag in the future.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Naked Face: April

So, make up is a wonderful thing. It can hide blemishes and imperfections and really help to boost your confidence. However, a solid base to work with is important, which is why I've been really paying attention to my skin this year and doing what I can to make sure it's in the best shape possible.

I turned twenty five at the end of last year and, while I know I'm in no way over the hill, I think it's at this point I really need to start taking care of my skin and trying to prevent dreaded wrinkles etc. Prevention is better than cure, after all.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to improve my skin and get into a proper skin care routine, which I've done really well at sticking to. I've noticed a huge different in my skin since the beginning of the year but there are still a few problem areas I'm working on. I thought it might be helpful for me to take pictures of my bare skin once a month to see how these issues improve as I search for the perfect lifestyle changes and products to help me.

I used to suffer quite badly with dry skin on my forehead and I found it difficult to keep that in check and not make the rest of my face too oily. Luckily, though, that's managed to sort itself out and my skin is now fairly even across my whole face/neck.

I don't have a pretty complex skin care routine but it's working well for me at the moment. I've noticed spots are few and far between and my overall skin tone is much more even, which is nice! As well as looking after my skin with pampering products I've also completely changed my diet and started drinking a lot more water - which has made an unparalleled difference. Keeping hydrated is the one thing that's made the most difference to me.

So, after a shower yesterday I snapped a few pictures of me as stripped back as I could be. No make up, no moisturiser, unplucked and unfilled eyebrows, wet hair - the works! I thought this would be the best way to see my skin how it really is without any attention at all, so it's easiest to pick out which issues in my complexion I want to try and work on.

Side shot in natural light.

Here I think the biggest thing is my dark circles! I've always suffered from them, they're the bane of my life and I use a daily eye gel but I'd love to find a skin care product specifically for reducing dark circles - any suggestions?

I also want to make my skin tone more even across my cheeks, as I do have some redness. Oh, and the pores - oh LORD, the pores! My pores have definitely reduced since the beginning of the year but they're still waving hello from my nose - I've got a couple of primers, which are great when I'm applying make up, and the Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser but if anybody else knows of a product it might be worth me trying please let me know!

Opposite side shot in artificial light

So this is how my face looks in artificial light. My lights are quite harsh and they really show up the pores on my nose and across my cheeks, as well as the dreaded dark circles. No, I know they're not too bad all things considered and I am pretty pleased with the results of my skin care regime so far but I'd really like to brighten up my eye area - suggestions are more than welcome!

Whole face in natural light
 And, finally, my whole face in natural light. Again, the main things I notice are the redness across my cheeks and just underneath my nose. Overall, though, I am happy that the effort I've put in has been rewarded and it's really spurred me on to keep up with the whole cleansing/moisturising/face masking malarky!

So there we go - my naked face. I'm going to take a set of pictures in the same poses/location at the beginning of next month and post the results on a monthly basis so I can keep a check on how things are going.

Now, I really need suggestions for products that will minimise pores, even out skin tone and decrease dark circles - I can't really shell out for anything particularly high end but please do leave any recommendations you have and I'll try a few out for next month!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Business As Usual

Hi hi hi! You might have noticed I've pretty much been MIA for most of March. I haven't realllly been tweeting much and blog posts have been *ahem* thin on the ground. And don't even get me started on my email inbox. But it's a new month and I'm officially back to blogging as normal.

March was an...interesting month. I'm going to be honest and say I didn't get a whole lot of anything done, which is why blog posts have been pretty much non-existent but I have a bunch of plans for April and I can't wait to tell you all about them.

If March could be summed up in a singular photo.

Thanks everybody for putting up with my sort of absence last month - I really appreciate that people are still reading and commenting even though I pretty much failed at blogging in March! Still, real life always takes precedence and I've had a few bits and bobs to sort out in my personal life that have meant blogging needs to take a back seat. And too many nights out. Too. Much. Rum.

April shall be a quiet month of blogging and detoxing. You can count on it.

If March could really be summed up in a singular photo.