Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

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As you will know if you read my Clinique Shopping Spree post, you will know I bought this product on a bit of a whim (an expensive whim). For a while I had been wanting a make-up product which would give me a little coverage at work but would be much lighter than foundation. For some reason, it popped into my head one day that I wanted to give a BB or CC cream a try, but I wasn’t really sure where to start looking or what product to buy.

I somehow found myself at the Clinique counter and asked the assistant for her recommendation. She explained that Clinique has designed their CC cream for drier skin and their BB cream for slightly oilier or combination skin. On that basis, I opted for the Clinique Age Defense BB Cream as I would class my skin as combination.

I asked the assistant to help me choose a colour. She thought shade 2 would be right and so tried a little on the side of my face. It looked invisible in the mirror so I agreed it was spot on. The website describes it as for “very fair to moderately fair complexions with golden undertones”. I have been really pleased with the colour because you really can’t tell it’s on my skin when I blend it in. I just look healthy, and a tiny bit tanned. I was really surprised that shade 2 was right for me, because I am honestly so pale when you look at me.

Clinique describes their BB cream as “a medium buildable coverage cream that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps conceal imperfections and enhances skin’s complexion”. The formula is supposed to calm the skin whilst also protecting against UV and environmental damage.

The product has a really light, creamy texture and is super easy to apply. I often use my fingers instead of a brush, although both give a nice natural look. Even though the coverage is very light (which is what I wanted) I still feel like I have all my redness and blemishes covered which means I need less concealer than I would normally use. The coverage lasts all day and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing makeup which is great.

The BB cream also has SPF 30 which is fantastic for a makeup product (a lot seem to be SPF 15 or 20). Wearing SPF every day helps to prevent red marks, according to the assistant at Clinique. It’s also really important in preventing ageing. I am reaching my mid twenties so this is something I am starting to think about.

I have really been enjoying this product so far and I’m glad I gave it a try. The only thing I am not sure about is the price. £26 seems a lot of money for makeup. It’s against my nature to spend that much. Perhaps someone can recommend me another high street BB cream for a more reasonable price?

 

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Benefit: The POREfessional

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I honestly never thought I’d be writing this review, because at £24.50 Benefit’s The POREfessional is way out of my usual makeup budget. For the longest time I also didn’t see any point to primers. I couldn’t imagine why I would need to put yet another product on my face.

However, all of that changed when I got my Benefit Happy Beauty Day box. I wasn’t fussed about most of the products but I totally fell in love with The Porefessional and decided I would splurge and buy a full size tube.

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First thing’s first, check out how cute the packaging of this product is. It’s quirky and unusual, and has the unique feel of something you should pay that little bit extra for.

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The primer itself is a light tan colour, but when it’s spread over the face it doesn’t add any colour. To apply it you take a tiny bit in your hands and start at the T-zone, patting lightly to spread the product outwards across your face. It is unbelievably light and just glides over your skin with no effort at all. It makes my skin feel really sort. I then apply my foundation over the top.

So the key selling point of this product is it’s promise to dramatically reduce the appearance of your pores, along with fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve got to be honest here and say I really don’t notice a difference, but perhaps this is because I really don’t have very visible pores in the first place. I keep threatening to make my fiancé try it to see if it really works. I don’t think he’d be impressed by this suggestion…

So why do I love this product if it doesn’t live up to the pore reducing hype? Well it may because I haven’t used a primer before so I didn’t know what a difference they make, or it may be because this one is particularly amazing, but I have been shocked and amazed by how long lasting this makes my makeup. Honestly it looks freshly applied all day, even in my troublesome chin and nose area where I get the most redness. No concealer touch ups needed at all, just a bit of powder on a super hot day.

I also put the primer through the ultimate test: swimming. I had a couple of red marks I was super self concious about, so I put on a little of The Porefessional, followed by a tiny bit of foundation, some concealer and powder to set, and went off swimming. I totally expected it all to be gone when I got out the pool, but to my amazement it was all still there, looking perfect, with no red marks in sight! I did this twice and it worked like a dream. I didn’t rub my face, but I still believe the makeup wouldn’t have stayed without the primer.

Obviously I am not advocating wearing a full face of makeup swimming, but this may be the answer if you are super self concious about a particular spot or blemish and you want to be able to relax and enjoy yourself knowing it’s covered.

So, if you want really long lasting makeup, I highly recommend giving The Porefessional a try!

 

Empties March-May 2014

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First up, apologies for the rubbish quality of the picture, I took it on my phone with bad lighting. As you can see, I have collected a pretty big stack of empties over the last couple of months, so I thought it was about time I talk you through it!

Makeup

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder – This is my go to powder because it’s reasonably priced and keeps me matte for long periods of time, without making my makeup look caked on.

No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation – My absolute favourite foundation. I had repurchased before I ran out because I can’t bear to be without it!

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau so Fresh – I adore the scent of the this perfume; it’s so sweet and light and floral. I just wish it lasted a little better. Perhaps using it in conjunction with the body cream is the answer.

Skin care

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – Yes there are in fact two empty tubes of this. I use it every day and sometimes twice a day. That might make it look like it doesn’t last well, but one tube will last me a good two months on average.

Body Shop Soothing Peppermint Foot Scrub – A really nice peppermint foot scrub to make your feet feel smooth and soft for summer. It was noticeable when I stopped using this over the winter how much more dead skin I seemed to have. Warning that this does dry up after a few months.

Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream – I really like the scent of this and it doesn’t break me out at all, but it is quite thick and I generally prefer a lighter moisturiser.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar AI – This is a life saver if you suffer from breakouts. It helps clear up spots more quickly and can sometimes prevent a spot developing if you catch it early. I can’t imagine life without this now.

Hair care

V05 Smoothly Does It Frizz Free Creme – I swear by frizz ease creams for when I blow dry my hair because it gives some heat protection and definitely makes my hair less poofy. I quite liked this one and would consider re-purchasing

Candles

Yankee Candle Christmas Eve – This smelt so unbelievably good and to be honest I just can’t wait till Christmas to buy it again, assuming they bring it back!

Yankee Candle Black Coconut – This smelt incredible in the shop when I sniffed it, but when it was actually burning I was disappointed. It didn’t have a very strong or lasting scent so it wasn’t really a worthwhile purchase.

And another red berry candle which I can’t remember the name of. I liked it though.

No 7 Match Made Concealer

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When I was in Boots buying the new No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation the other day, I spotted this: the No 7 Match Made Concealer. As there was a promotion on, I decided to try it. I asked the assistant which shade I should buy, and he suggested the one which matches my foundation. If you aren’t a regular user of No 7 products, the assistants at the No 7 counter can read your skin with their special gadget to tell you the correct shade for you, just like they do with the foundations.

No 7 Match Made Concealer is a stick concealer, but it’s not like any I have tried before. I am used to stick concealers being thick and hard, however this one glides on as easily as a liquid concealer and blends into a very smooth, powdery consistency. It’s incredibly easily to blend. I usually dislike liquid concealers because they aren’t great at covering spots and blemishes, but this does the job just fine. In fact, it gives you the best of both worlds: you can use it on your blemishes like a stick concealer, but you can use it to cover dark circles under your eyes like a liquid concealer.

I would really highly recommend this concealer if you use one of the No 7 foundations, or are looking at trying one, because it blends with the foundation of the same shade absolutely perfectly! I can’t imagine using a different combination now!

January 2014 Favourites

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I can’t believe January has been and gone already. That means there are only 11 months till Christmas! Haha, sorry, I’ll shut up now. Here are the products I’ve been loving so far in 2014!

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks: No 7 Lingerie Pink and No 17 Red Muse – Ever since I got these at Christmas time I have been obsessed with them. I look forward to the weekend so I can put on lipstick! I get compliments on the red one all the time, with people telling me it’s a lovely colour. It’s such a classic red, it makes me feel like a film star!

Body Shop Almond Hand and Nail Cream – In this product I think I’ve finally found a hand cream that ticks all the buttons – it smells great, it absorbs into the skin quickly, and it leaves my hands lovely and soft!

Boots Salon Nail Shine Solution – I have to eat humble pie with this. I got it in my advent calendar at Christmas and I remember saying I wasn’t impressed to be given a Boots own product. However, I’ve come to realise it’s excellent! Sorry Boots. I will do a full review shortly, but essentially, this top coat leaves your nails incredibly shiny. It dries quickly and protects the polish underneath from chipping even better than a Sally Hansen top coat I have.

No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation – This is one of the more recent additions to my make-up bag, but as you will have read the other day, it’s quickly cemented itself as a product I can’t live without!

Juice Cube – Now for a non-beauty favourite. For some reason, my phone battery has just died a permanent death over the last few weeks. The charge lasts a mere couple of hours, even if I don’t use it. The other day, I used it for an hour on the train and it died. That’s a bit useless at 9am in the morning when you’re out all day and can’t recharge it. This has made my Juice Cube invaluable! Juice Cube is a little portable charger for electronic devices. It comes with a number of different attachments so you can choose the right one for the appliance you want to charge. When fully charged (via your PC), the Juice Cube will give you at least one full charge for your phone. Genius!

New No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation

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For months my go-to foundation has been the No 7 Stay Perfect Liquid Foundation. I find it lasts incredibly well, it’s easy to apply, and there is the perfect shade for my skin. However, I do feel bad sometimes putting a medium coverage foundation on when my skin is quite clear, so when a secret insider told me that a new lighter weight foundation was being released shortly, I was really excited.  True to form, I bought it the day after the official release, and have been using it regularly since.

The No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation is designed to have the long lasting finish of the Stay Perfect foundation, while giving the barely-there feel of a light coverage foundation.

Unlike traditional Stay Perfect, the Superlight foundation comes in a small black plastic squeezy bottle instead of the posh glass pump style bottle.  This doesn’t look so stylish, but it does make it easier and lighter to transport in a make-up bag.

I was really surprised at the consistency of the foundation. I have used light weight foundations before but they’ve never been particularly wet, however this one definitely is. Be careful when you first use it, or it might go everywhere. It’s even wetter than some tinted moisturisers. It’s super easy to apply, which might be a consequence of that consistency. It just glides on really easily. It is also really easy to get a nice consistent, even finish. You’ll look a bit shiny at first, but a dusting of powder soon sorts that out and I haven’t found it to make me look shiny as the day progresses.

So what can you expect from this foundation? Well, the coverage is obviously lighter than the traditional Stay Perfect, so it will be perfect for you if you don’t want high coverage. I find the finished look is incredibly natural; you can’t really tell I’m wearing foundation at all, but it gives me that little bit of extra confidence in my skin. It will no doubt be very popular in the summer as you can’t tell you are wearing foundation.

It also does what it says on the tin. It lasts really well and I don’t even feel the need to top up concealer.

I’m super impressed by this foundation and, apart from particularly bad skin days, I doubt I’ll go back to the traditional Stay Perfect because I prefer the light feeling of this and knowing my skin can breathe a little better.

Have you tried No 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation yet? Let me know what you think!

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

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Since the Real Techniques brushes were released, there has always been one brush I wanted above all others: the Expert Face Brush. I’ve heard so many people rave about it and I was desperate to try it. I finally treated myself to it this January and I have to say it has revolutionised my foundation application. That sounds quite over dramatic, but it isn’t really. The brush is that good!

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The Real Techniques Expert Face brush is totally different to a traditional flat foundation brush. It is wider, with lots of firm bristles. I dip the tip of the brush into a small amount of foundation on the back of my hand. It’s then super easy to buff the foundation into your face, using circular movements, to leave a perfectly smooth, even finish. I always struggle with streaks when using a flat foundation brush, but it’s so easy to avoid them with this brush. It’s the perfect brush for people who often have to apply foundation in a rush.

The bristles are firm enough for buffing in the foundation, but they are still beautifully soft against the skin. Let’s face it, the brush looks pretty swish too! I’d really encourage you to try this brush as an alternative to a flat foundation brush. Like me, you might never go back!