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Monday, 25 July 2016

Balance Me Skin Bright Toning Mist Review


You might remember that a few posts ago I wanted your opinions on which was the best setting spray to get. I had decided to pick up the Mac Fix+ when I got an email asking if I wanted to try a new setting spray; the Balance Me Skin Bright Toning Mist*. Of course I wanted to try this, because as well as acting as a toner and setting spray, it also has added skincare benefits that hydrate and plump the skin.


Balance Me describe the facial mist as a 'non-drying, natural facial spritz with a sophisticated blend of super hydrating hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, balancing Chamomille Floral Water, revitalising Neroli and sophisticated Spikenard to offer skin an instant hit of moisture'. It also has added 'brightening Bergamot to leave complexions primed, plumped, replenished and dewy'.

The Skin Bright Toning mist can be used in the various ways; as a toner over cleansed skin, to set makeup, to hydrate during the day and to refresh tired skin. It takes the concept of a standard skin mist and revitalises it! Not to mention the space and money saved from such a multi purpose product.

The mist is also suitable to be used all year round, it helps to protect against dryness caused by hot climates, air conditioning, cold weather and central heating. I can imagine it's going to be really useful in Winter as I have the heaters on a lot and they can draw all the moisture out of your skin.


So first of all, let me talk you though my experience of it. I was mainly interested in using this as a setting spray both underneath and on top of my base to give it that flawless look. So I would apply two sprays before I applied foundation to act as a primer, and then another two after I had applied foundation and any cream/liquid products. The nozzle is really easy to use and gives a good coverage used about half an armful away, the main thing is to try to position it towards the centre of your face. I found that foundation went really well over it (I used the Vichy 3D Correction see here), and it looked just as smooth as if I had applied my favourite L'Oreal primer. I then powdered the Vichy foundation to get rid of any excess shine and I then sprayed another two pumps which helped get rid of the powdered look and to give my skin more of a healthy glow.

I must admit, I did think it was going to be quite dewy as that seems to be the trend lately. However, I think it gives more of a natural, radiant and subtle glow, than anything more on the shiny side. Although, my face is currently more shinier than natural but that's due to our late Summer.

I'm not normally one for toners as I don't think they're absolutely necessary, but again I would prefer this over other toners as it doesn't have Alcohol in it (which is super drying for dry skin). This also has no parabens, sulphates, petroleum, mineral oils, silicones, dea, pegs, propylene glycol, artificial fragrances and colours (what a mouthful!).


I was using this over Eid as well. Eid, for me, is basically two things; lot's of makeup and lot's of food haha! Sometimes my base can start looking a bit tired if it's a long day so this really helped with breathing some life back into my foundation and skin. The skin mist is perfect for long occasions too as you can just pop it into your bag and go. The compact packaging makes it perfect for on the go, and it includes a decently sized 30ml. I wasn't really focusing on the longevity of my makeup as any of the products could have been affecting it, but it fared well throughout the day.

The main reason I had initially wanted to purchase the Mac Fix+ was that you can use it with eyeshadows for a better colour pay off and finish. I decided to try this out with the Balance Me Skin Bright Toning Mist. I sprayed some of it onto an eyeshadow brush and then picked up a shimmery gold shade. It did infact work; the colour pay off was amazing and the shimmery shadow looked great! The only downside is that you might run out of the mist pretty quickly if you do this often.


The formula of the Skin Bright Toning Mist is quite light, it looks like water but it's slightly bubbly. The droplets also feel quite fine when you dispense it. The packaging consists of a clear outer glass bottle, with a white coated container on the inside. Due to the inner container being painted white it will probably be hard to tell how much product you have left in the long term.

For comparison, I also have the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist (RRP £18) and the Love Your Skin London Floral Hydrating Spritzer (RRP £19.99). Whilst there is a lot of hype around the Jurlique mist especially, I didn't get on with these two. I thought they were over perfumed and didn't really make much of a difference. The Balance Me Mist has a much subtler scent, which disappears after application, and the results are also more long lasting.



I was also sent some samples of the Moisture Rich Face Cream* and the Radiance Face Oil* to try. The Moisture Rich Face Cream is suitable for normal to dry and sensitive skin. It claims to treat and prevent dry patches and improve the skin's elasticity. The formula of the cream is on the rich side, as stated, however it sinks in well and you don't need much either. It really delivers for dry to very dry skin, as soon as I apply it I can feel the difference. My skin feels moisturised, soothed and hydrated, and it stays this way for the rest of the day. It is a bit tacky initially but it dies down to give a semi-matte finish. The cream does have a bit of a scent but it's not too strong, and it disappears once you've applied it. I will definitely look at purchasing a full size of this in Winter, it really does live up to it's claims and it's impressed me!


The Radiance Face Oil is suitable for all skin types, and claims to deeply hydrate skin and reduce scarring and discolouration. The oil feels quite thin in consistency, however I didn't feel like it absorbed fully into the skin when applied. I initially used it during the night but I didn't wake up to deeply nourished skin like I was expecting, my skin wasn't drinking it up like I thought it would. I then decided to try it out in the morning before my base and I think it can give a lovely glow under makeup. However, for me the scent is too powerful to try out the full size product. I'm not sure if this applies to face oils in general, because I tried one out in Boots to compare and that was quite strong too.


Overall, I have really enjoyed trying out the Balance Me Skin Bright Toning Mist. It's a great multi-purpose product. You can find it here online, or instore at John Lewis. It's more affordable at £12.50 compared to a lot of high end, and even some drugstore, setting sprays. It's multiple uses also makes it a lot more budget friendly, and I would repurchase this if it runs out. I also really like the Moisture Rich Face Cream, and I would really recommend it if you have dry skin and haven't found the right cream for you yet.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What do you think of these Balance Me products?

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction Foundation Review


I was recently lucky enough to try the Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction Foundation*, which is the newest addition to the Dermablend foundation range. I've previously tried the Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation (click here for the review). The foundations are marketed as full coverage but I've found them really versatile, so if you prefer a light to medium coverage you can simply change the amount of product you would normally use.


The Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction Foundation* claims to smooth the skin's surface to minimise the appearance of 3D imperfections. It intends to do this with its new technology that uses pigments and soft focus agents to blur any imperfections. It also includes salicylic acid which has benefits for all skin types.


So far the foundation is available in 5 shades; 15 Opal, 25 Nude, 35 Sand, 45 Gold and 55 Bronze. My shade match falls between 25 Nude and 35 Sand so I use 3/4 of 25 followed by 1/4 of 35. For reference, I have a medium skin tone, somewhere around NC30. I have Asian skin, without much of a tan at the moment, and neutral undertones. To see my foundation matches click here.

The packaging follows on from the Dermablend Monochrome theme. However, the 3D correction has a matte finish to the tube, whereas the Fluid Corrective has a plastic look. I do prefer the matte finish with the silver tube as I think it looks a bit sleeker. The tube dispenser is really easy to use, you don't get too much flowing out as you can with pumps. It's also more hygenic. You get 30ml of product in the tube.


The foundation does seem to be quick thick when you first dispense it, it's not as liquid as your average foundation, but it's easily blended. I find it really easy to mix the shades 25 and 35 together, and then I go in with a buffing brush to apply it. It might look a bit pale initially but it oxidises slightly and then the match is perfect for me! The undertones also work well for me, 25 is very slightly on the cool side whereas 35 is warmer, but together they match my neutral undertones.

I did notice that 25 and 35 do seem to be more closer together in shade range in the 3D correction (you can't see a big difference in them in the swatch), but in the fluid corrective it was easier to tell them apart.


The foundations are targeted towards oily and acne-prone skin, so technically they wouldn't be suitable for my dry skin, but I really haven't had an issue with them at all. I apply serum and moisturiser before applying these and I haven't noticed the foundation sticking to any dry patches. Although since using the Pixi Glow Tonic with a decent skincare routine my skin has come on heaps! I then set the foundation with the Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder*, bearing in mind I'm looking quite shiny with 2-3 layers on skincare on, and it gives me a lovely natural finish. It's not overly matte or dewy either, it's that inbetween where it looks just like skin. The powder is still one of my favourite products, it's high end quality at a not so high end price (you can read the review for it here).


In terms on longevity Vichy claim it lasts about 16 hours, and whilst I haven't worn it for 16 hours, I've still been impressed by the wear time. It looks just as good at the end of the day as when I applied it, I don't get too oily so I rarely need to re-powder during the day. The foundation also has an SPF of 25 (yay that Summer has finally decided to make an appearance .... although now I'll probably moan about it being too hot!). It's also suitable for sensitive skin, with no parabens or comedogenics.

Overall, I do really like the 3D Correction Foundation as it does offer a lot of pros. For a daily basis, I like how the foundation can be sheered out, but if I had a function then I could go for a more buildable coverage too. I love the finish of the foundation too as it doesn't really have the tell tales signs of wearing foundation. The shades blend in well with my skin, it doesn't feel heavy or cakey on and it gives a really natural look. It's currently on offer for £16.12 (here). It's RRP of £21.50 does put it above drugstore prices but you can get it on offer quite a lot so I wouldn't say it was pricey. The only downside is that there are only 5 shades available so far, although more could be added down the line (as with the Fluid Corrective).

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you tried any Vichy products?

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Benefit Gimme Brow, Free with July's Glamour!

Free Benefit Gimme Brow with July's Glamour
When I was in my teens big brows were definitely not all the rage they are today. Back when pencil thin eyebrows were in fashion, I couldn't have possibly stood out more with my big, unruly brows. If I had a penny for everytime I was told to 'get my eyebrows threaded', I would have more than enough for a dozen or so brow shapings. Nevertheless, whilst I am glad that big brows are in right now, it's hard not to laugh at the irony.

As the old saying goes 'the grass is always greener on the other side'! Anyway, due to having quite full eyebrows, I've never really felt the need to try out eyebrow products. I've tested eyebrow pencils before to help my Sister pick one, but never any of the mascaras/powders/gels on offer. However, I always thought a brow mascara might work to settle and set my brows in place. Not only do my eyebrows grow fast but they can also grow upwards. So when I saw Benefit were giving away some of their coveted Gimme Brow in Glamour, I was of course in deep anticipation!

I think the release date for the magazine was the 11th July, but on my grocery shop at the weekend I decided to have a quick look anyway. It was lucky I did as they already had some in stock! Although I did go into a bit of a panic 'Oh no what shade do I get', but a quick google told me that 5 is the darkest shade.

Free Benefit Gimme Brow with July's Glamour

The Gimme Brow has been repackaged, just like most of their other brow products, to now feature a shiny, silver casing. I do like the new packaging, I think it looks a lot sleeker and glamorous. Whilst there are three shades available on the website; 01 - light, 03 - Medium and 05 - Deep, only 1 and 5 are available with Glamour.

The sample size is 1g, a third of the usual 3g. As you can see in the image above, it's barely half the size of the mascara tube. I know it's only a sample, but I still have the Benefit High Beam and Benetint samples going strong, and those were from many moons ago. It also feels like there isn't much product in the tube, I don't think it will last more than a handful of trials.

Benefit Gimme Brow Wand with July's Glamour

The Gimme Brow features a tiny brush to help you sweep through your eyebrows and set them in place. I actually really like the brush as it's size allows you to evenly spread the product through your eyebrows, as well as shaping them as you go along. The tail of my eyebrows does look a bit neater than usual. I picked up the shade 5 deep as my hair is almost jet black. It's a pretty good match for my hair, but I could tell it was a bit lighter because my eyebrows looked slightly more ashy, especially from the start of my eyebrows. Saying that, it didn't look too bad, it just gave it a slightly ombre look at the front.

The main difference I noticed when using the Gimme Brow was that my eyebrows looked slightly more groomed, and they stayed in place all day. I couldn't really tell I had a brow product on either, some hairs felt slightly rigid, but other than that they didn't look or feel like they had product on them. However, I don't think it filled in any spaces or added any more volume.

Results from Benefit Gimme Brow

So would I purchase the full size? Probably not, I feel like I could get a cheaper brow mascara or even a clear gel that would do the same thing. It is a nice product for when you want your brows to look more groomed, but I wouldn't fork out nearly £19 for 3g of product, not when there are high street alternatives too.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What are your thoughts on the Gimme Brow?

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Sleek Eyeshadow Palette Review | Vintage Romance


It was when I started my Sleek Eyeshadow series (Oh So Special here, Ultra Mattes V2 here) that I came across the Vintage Romance palette that was being sold for £4.50 on Amazon here. I loved the look of the cranberry and deep purple shades so it was a bit of a no brainer for me, in my basket it went.


The Sleek Vintage Romance palette contains 12 shades, most of which have a shimmer finish, there's only one that I would say is completely matte. Whilst some of the shades are very bright and eye popping, it's still a very wearable and versatile palette. It's also a palette I think a lot of people would enjoy, due to the cranberry eyeshadow trend and some of the brilliant eye catching shades. The pigmentation of most of the shades is what I have come to expect from Sleek; high quality at an affordable shade, however there are around three shades that don't quite match the status quo.

 I have to say that I think Sleek went all out when picking the name for these shades, I mean how cute is; Court in Cannes or Marry in Monte Carlo. It's not quite so often that shade names do catch my attention but I love how these almost read like a love story as you go across. Go ahead, give it a try!






The first three shades are:
  • Pretty In Paris is a pearlescent light silver. It has a decent amount of pigmentation for a highlighter shade, and it actually shows up!
  • Meet in Madrid is a lovely slightly rustic, gold. It's a more toned down version of a pure gold, however the pigmentation is great! You only need one swipe of this for a fully metallic effect. It's also a great alternative to a highlighter shade for those who prefer warmer tones.
  • Court in Cannes is a coppery bronze with a deep golden sheen. The pigmentation is outstanding, it makes a beautiful lid shade.
(Just a quick note: these three shades are far more pigmented than my images show, plus with them you're getting the perfect silver, gold and bronze shades without having to buy separate eyeshadows. These three shades are everything you need for a metallic eyeshadow look, or affordable highlight shades.)


Then we have:
  • A Vow in Venice is a muted deep aubergine shade. The shimmer isn't so apparent in this shade, it comes across as more of a sheen. This would be a good shade for the outer corner. As soon as I swatched this, I was thinking it looks like a MAC Cranberry dupe!
  • Marry in Monte Carlo is a shimmery rose pink. It's a bit lighter than I was expecting but it works well as a lid shade.
  • Honeymoon in Hollywood is a deep burgundy shade with a few silver flecks. The formula feels a bit drier than the other shades but the pigmentation certainly packs a punch, it's a very bold shade and my favourite out of the palette.
(I'm so glad I brought this palette for these three shades alone, I would imagine similar shades would cost quite a bit to buy separately from other brands).



Next we have:
  • Lust in LA is a pale olive green with a metallic sheen.
  • Romance in Rome is a navy blue with a metallic finish, however the pigmentation isn't as good as the other shades so it comes across as slightly subdued.
  • Propose in Prague is a matte brown, the colour just reminds me of sand. The pigmentation of this shade is quite poor too, but it could work as a transitional shade.


Finally we have:
  • Bliss in Barcelona is a deep purple, with a hint of blue. The pigmentation is quite good, and the finish has a slight metallic sheen.
  • Forever in Florence is a very glittery, dark purple. I love the depth of this shade, it's great for adding that smokey look without disappearing into other shades.
  • Love in London is the alternative to the normal jet black found in Sleek palettes. This is again a very, very deep and glittery midnight blue, but I think it works very well. It's super pigmented as well.
Overall, would I recommend it? Of course! I think this palette was a steal at £4.50, and even at its normal RRP of £7.99. Again, Sleek have surprised with the value for money offered, and I love the mix of shades in this palette. It's definitely one to buy if you love the cranberry/burgundy hues that make a comeback every Winter.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What's your favourite eyeshadow?


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