Thursday, 18 October 2018

Are the Cover FX drops worth it? | Rose Gold & Moonlight

I'm really annoyed because I had this post written up for months, with tonnes of detail, and somehow yesterday I managed to save another post I was working on over this. I don't even know how I did it! So I'm going to try to replicate this as best as I can.

Also, I was considering changing my comments to Disqus as Google ended up closing open ID which made it harder for people to comment (although I've opened the anonymous bit for people who want to comment using their name and email without having to log in). However, when I was looking at Disqus there were quite a few articles about people having trouble signing in and using it, and on an instagram poll I did it was literally split 50/50 for Disqus and Blogger. So I'm going to leave it for now but do let me know if you really prefer one over the other.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight
I was longing after the Cover FX enhancer drops for ages because I'm very much one of those who prefers a nice liquid/cream highlighter sheen. I'm afraid that blinding highlights aren't my thing, plus I think cream or liquid formulas just go so much better on my dry skin. I had heard that these gave a really nice, almost wet look sheen, but at £34 a bottle they don't come cheap! I did see that they had a set of 4 minis in the Christmas shop for £20, however I was busy with work and by the time I checked they were all sold out. In comes Depop! I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I've been addicted to it (you have Charlotte from Charlotte's Picks to blame for this!). I managed to pick them up from there. Rose Gold was the first one I purchased but I felt like trying a more universal shade too, so I got Moonlight later on.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight
Rose Gold (the larger bottle at the front in the above picture) is a coppery bronzey pink (which makes no sense, I know). Basically, think of your classic rose gold jewellery and imagine something slightly deeper and with more of a copper undertone. I was afraid that this shade wouldn't suit me as it is targeted towards deeper skintones due to the copper undertone, but I think I can just about get away with it and infact it actually looks much more natural on me compared to Moonlight. I think if you have a medium (with peachy tones) to deep skintone it would work best for you. However, I don't think this would work for fair skin as a highlighter.

Fun story: I didn't want to trek to Selfridges to try out the rose gold shade before I brought it, and I had heard MUR Bronze Gold was a dupe so I went to Superdrug to swatch that instead. I think in terms of a dupe it does work pretty well and I was quite impressed. As per formula, yes it might be slightly shimmery but as I'll explain below so are these to be honest.

Moonlight on the other hand looks like your classic champagne shade in the tube and when swatched, however it is a slightly different story when I apply it as I'll explain. I don't think this is as universally flattering as I expected, so I would say it would work best for light to medium (at a push) skintones. I also find this shade to actually be a bit more shimmery than Rose Gold.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight swatches
My first impressions of the Cover FX enhancer drops weren't actually positive. I honestly thought, and going by the swatches I had seen online, that they would leave a natural looking sheen. In actual fact however, I do find them very shimmery and I think the glitter particles can look quite noticeable if you don't try to tone it down. Again, this is from my viewpoint as I prefer a natural looking highlight, so that's not to say someone else wouldn't enjoy them.

I also don't wear foundation on a daily basis so that's not really an everyday option for me in order to tone them down. I did try them out in various ways though to let you know what I thought.

On their own: Rose Gold I can just about get away with on it's own if I apply a light layer and blend the edges with a beauty blender, it can look flattering this way. However, Moonlight comes up as too shimmery and it actually translates with quite a silver tone on my skin which can look a bit jarring.

With moisturiser mixed in: This definitely helps tone them down, and kind of prevents you from going over the top. However, the perils of having dry skin is that my skin will soak up the moisturiser and leave the glitter particles on the top looking noticeable, so this didn't work for me.

With foundation over the top/mixed in: This again helped tone them down to an extent but the foundation almost covered the 'sheen', and again like the moisturiser, made the glitter particles look noticeable.

With concealer on the top: I use a full coverage concealer most days so I sort of patted it over the top of the highlighters. This did give the most natural looking sheen, but it then kind of defeats the whole point of wearing highlighter, strobe cream would basically do that.

Cover FX enhancer drops - Rose Gold & Moonlight
Overall, I haven't been hugely impressed by them, infact I find that it takes too much time to get them to look like how I want them to appear on the skin that I actually haven't used them since I was trying them out for this (atleast they'll look pretty in my Muji-esque storage haha). Especially since I've been a bit spoilt since I got some Becca minis. Infact, Becca Opal gives more of that wet sheen look than these highlighters even though I have the pressed powder versions.

I personally wouldn't recommend them, infact I still use the Topshop Glow highlighter (reviewed here) quite often when I'm not using the Becca ones, so for the price point it's not something I would say you have to go out and get. Also, if you prefer a natural highlighter look like me, then you might actually like MAC Strobe Cream. I have loved this since I got it, and honestly it's like HG status. If you did want to try these, I would suggest the minis as a little goes a long way (a word of warning as well, I have found that the formula can congeal a bit at the top of the tube - but it doesn't really affect the usage). I also think the MUR dupes are actually a pretty good alternative, especially at the price, so that is always an option.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have you tried the Cover FX Enhancer Drops or any of the dupes?

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Monday, 28 May 2018

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50 | Review

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

Many of you will now that I'm a big believer in wearing SPF everyday. Yep, even in this mostly dull, wet and grey English weather. My go to for the last year has been the Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25, which I reviewed here. However, I am well aware that at £26 many people will find it too expensive for an SPF, especially if say you were purchasing one for each member of your family (I do end up purchasing my Mum and Sister's for them because they cannot be trusted left to their own devices!). This is exactly where the Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50* comes in. The founders actually created this SPF because they believe that a good sunscreen should be accessible to everyone, and not everyone has a lot of spare cash to spend on skincare and beauty products (I know I didn't as a student, and I know that there are a lot of people who have much less disposable income).

Before this turns into a speech about poverty and injustice in our society (I could go on!), I wanted to point out that Altruist was created by skin cancer specialist Dr Birnie. For every bottle purchased, Altruist also donates to charities supporting children with albinism. What a nice person, right?! I also feel like these small, ethical companies are exactly the type that we should be supporting. I mean it is nice to be acknowledged by the big brands every now and again, but sometimes you gotta think about the greater good.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

These SPFs retail at £4 for the SPF 30 (200ml), and £3.75 for SPF 50 (100ml). The spray version costs £5 for both the SPF 30 and 50 (200ml). You can find them here on Amazon, although they only seem to be selling them in packs of two at the moment. I know that I said I preferred physical SPFs (for the debate on natural vs chemical sunscreens - see the Balance Me post here), however this one is a mixed one so I can live with that. It also has a 5 star ultra UVA protection, it's water resistant, and it's hypoallergenic and fragrance free; making is suitable for sensitive skin.

I think it's time I moved on to my thoughts on the product now. In terms of formula and consistency, I think it is one of the more lightweight SPFs I've used, it's definitely nowhere near the thickness of say Nivea/Garnier SPFs, and it's much more lightweight then the Balance Me SPF too. Although the Balance Me SPF is a moisturiser too so that one feels more like a base, whereas the Altruist isn't a combination product, however it can still be used as a moisturiser over a serum as it is quite hydrating and it creates a nice barrier between makeup/primers and the skincare underneath so to speak.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

It absorbs well and quite quickly, it also isn't as greasy as many other SPFs I've used. On my body it doesn't leave any shine at all, not does it feel sticky upon the skin, once you've massaged it in you won't really be able to tell you have it on. On my face, there is a bit of a a visible shine on areas where my skin is a bit congested (cheeks, chin), but again it's not that bad that I wouldn't go out with it on alone. It doesn't feel hot or sticky on my face either, and it seems to go well with my beauty products.

During the day it fares well, it doesn't cause my makeup to go haywire, well that's more the sun melting it off. Although, at the end of the day I definitely do feel like I need to cleanse my face properly to remove it and it can start feeling a bit hot, but again that's probably a combination of the heat. I actually don't get along with the heat that well. I think I sometimes do get some symptoms of heat exhaustion, although it's not something I've been to the doctors about, but I do have an adversity to strong heat because of this. It also makes my skin go all hot and irritated, and I get those annoying under the surface breakouts. I have been testing out this Altruist SPF for the last 5-6 weeks, and around that time or even before I think my skin had been breaking out a lot more, and going from dry to congested, and back and forth. Therefore, I have stopped using this for brief periods so that I could isolate whether it's a single product that was causing the breakouts. Although, now my skin has calmed down a lot and I'm still using this without any breakouts. Therefore, I would say it was just my skin adapting to the rollercoaster weather, and not the Altruist.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50

Overall, I would say the Altruist Sunscreen SPF 50* is incredible value for money. It definitely beats a lot of the drugstore SPF brands that leave your skin feeling like a hot mess. I think the formula would be suitable for a lot of people, especially those that struggle with sensitive skin like me. Again, the price point and the ethical stance behind the brand is just amazing, it's definitely an SPF I will be recommending to people. It's worth bearing in mind most SPFs no longer retain their power after they have been opened for 12 months, and because we have such a short summer here anyway, sometimes it does feel like a waste buying SPFs for your body and not using them much, but atleast with Altruist it's not like you're throwing away a lot of money.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
What is your favourite SPF at the moment?

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Trying to tame my hair with Lush?! | Hair R&B

I'm going to admit something today. My hair isn't straight. I wear it practically straight most days, but in reality I have a lil' poodle thing going on. It wasn't always like this; when I was a kid I had half straight hair from the top and then from the ears downwards it fell in really cute ringlets. I naturally had quite wavy hair for the years after that, but for the last 4-5 years it just comes out somewhere weird between wavy and curly. It's not defined enough to wear curly, and even if it was, you wouldn't be able to see my face beneath it. Even sprays for wavy hair will leave me looking like Hagrid (I know, I make that reference all the time but hey it's one of the few jokes I have!). Honestly though, my hair is too thick for it to fall in one layer if that make sense, so naturally it looks like it's piled together.

The sample sizes (L to R: Lush R&B, Hair Custard)

And this is where the youtube videos sucker me in! A youtuber with a very similar hairtype as me (read: jet black, somewhat thick, and between wavy and curly), used a bit of Lush R&B Hair Moisturiser and her waves look amazing! People keep telling me I need to stop straightening my hair everyday, and so I'm like I'll give that a go! I walked into Lush (am I the only one who dislikes going in there because it's just so packed! I want to be in and out in 5 mins, but that is clearly not going to happen). Anyway, the Lush assistant talks me though their hair products, and suggests that the hair custard might actually work better in my hair. Then she offers me sample tubs for both of them so I can try them at home, and let me tell you, those sample tubs are actually an incredibly generous size. Forget a few uses, I have had the Lush Hair R&B sample since February, it is now May and there's still just under half left! I must have used it atleast a few times each week.

The R&B hair moisturiser has the main ingrediants of organic avocado butter, extra virgin coconut oil, oat milk, pressed jojoba oil and candelilla wax.

Anyway, getting to my story.  So getting ready for work the next day, I washed my hair, conditioned it with a masque, used my fancy oils and my kerastase mask, and then put a small amount of Lush R&B into my hair whilst it was drying. It still looked a bit dishevelled whilst it was almost dry, so I added some more. Anyway, I get up the next morning expecting to have beach waves. Do I? Nope, I still have the poodle thing going on. I apply a few more applications of the R&B, no that doesn't help, 10 hairgrips it is.

The hair custard was also not for me as the consistency is just too thick. It reminds me of those hair jells that would just stick in your hair and make it feel like straw. So I haven't given this a go since the initial application.

However, where the R&B is involved there is more to the story. I was feeling quite disappointed with it not working. I remember it was snowing a few weeks after I had tried it out, and ofcourse I knew my hair would turn crazy as soon as I went out into it. I decided to use the Lush R&B as a kind of hair creme/finishing product, and it actually helped my hair stay straight all day, even with the snow hitting me in the face (the way the wind was blowing made it feel like a blizzard, it was actually painful)!

I also found that it makes your hair look glossy when applied to the ends and mid lengths sparingly. Honestly, you literally need a teeny tiny amount rubbed into your palms and then worked through your hair. Too much will make it look lank, and will make it go greasy much quicker, but when applied in little bits it's amazing at controlling frizz too and making it look more healthy. You also don't want to apply too much because it can make your hair feel scrunchy, however it brushes out fine and most of the time you won't even be able to tell you applied it, it just sort of melts into the hair.

Overall, the Lush Hair R&B moisturiser could not tame my waves, but if you have problems with your hair not staying straight, being prone to humidity/being frizzy etc, then it's worth a try! I think it's really generous that they do decent samples too because they understand one product might not work on everyone's hair the same, so it's definitely worth going in store and asking rather than ordering online first. I have since brought a big tub of the R&B moisturiser, it retails at £12.25 here, and honestly I wonder if I'll ever finish the tub!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried any hair products from Lush, or what would you recommend for out of control hair?

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What have I been Up to | Part 2

I promised to talk a bit more about my exams and job on here, so here it is (there's also part 1 here which was almost a year ago, yikes)! At the time of writing this, I was trying out quite a few products aswell and so I didn't want to write a bunch of reviews until I was sure I've tried the product enough times (or in the case of the Cover FX drops - enough ways) to make sure I've covered all the bases. I'm almost there now, so expect some more reviews coming your way!

Working Life

First of all, can I just say time does seem to fly past so quickly sometimes. I started my new job at the end of last summer, fresh out on University and very soon I'll be coming onto a year now. Although, this wasn't actually my first 'related to my degree' job, I did a year in industry whilst I was in University. I actually do think it was beneficial for me to have that experience because it teaches you what to expect when you start a new job, and by that I don't mean the technical knowledge or computer skills. I mean the actual adapting to the workplace environment, interacting with people in the kitchen and most of all, getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there (this is still a hard one for me because I'm not an extrovert, but by it I mean thinking about what is going to help you develop in your role and speaking to your manager/supervisor about it).

Moving on to my graduate job. Graduate roles are more different in my opinion, because one they are so competitive nowadays, and secondly, this is it! For most people it will be the start of your career, so naturally you'll want to make the most of it, push yourself and leave a good impression. However, at first my thinking was that I'd start work, and everything would be sorted for me. This often isn't the case. Sometimes you'll still need to push for work, or you'll want to try something a bit different to what you have. In my case, my work is project led (professional services), so if there is a project I'm suitable for I'm put onto it, and if there isn't, then I'm not. And that's where the above comes into play. I felt like I wasn't experiencing much of a variety compared to my friends, so I actually volunteered to help out in another department more. The type of work in that department is more fast paced and deadline driven than my usual (leaving me exhausted most days), however, it's still all experience, and sometimes you have to be open to these things.


This brings me onto my exams. People did tell me these exams were going to be hard, but when you've balanced 7 modules in one term at University (and the numerous pieces of coursework and exams that they entail) you do start to think that come on, these ones can't be that bad compared to that. Well, they were! The main thing that separated my Professional exams from my University ones was that the professional exams actually cover a whole lot more content per module, and you get a whole lot less time to cover it all. I believe it worked out around two weeks to cover three HUGE modules, and the two week college time before that was just exhausting because of the sheer amounts you get through in a day. The good news (as I previously mentioned) was that I passed them, and that means I'm one third of the way there. I have the rest to get through now, but they will be after the Summer.


Me trying to be all artsy haha

I'm not sure many of you will remember, but going a few years back now, we often used to go on city trips for the day. Here's some of the posts if you wanted to have a nosey; Warwick Castle, the Manchester Trafford Centre. The thing about work is that you often feel like you're working your life away, so I'm really keen to get back into it this year, especially with it being all Summery. With the extended bank holiday we did have a walk around in Edgbaston Resovoir, some lovely views, however I wouldn't recommend it as whilst it started off really enjoyable, unfortunately there were a few dodgy people that just ruined it.

I also turned another year older (I know, I haven't updated my side bar for ages!). I went to an adult trampolining centre with my best friend and it was amazing! I'm not the most sporty person but I had SO much fun! We finished it off with dinner at Mowgli (the restaurant with the swings for anyone in the know!). It was great service, and the angry bird dish is delicious! I also took advantage of the extended bank holiday and went shopping, and found the satin dress I've always wanted (it is very similar to what I envisioned!) Oh, and I picked up a backup of the Topshop Lip Liner in Beestung (it's perfect if the usual nude shades aren't for you).

Also, a quick tip! I always find Warehouse to be amazing for work dresses (and dresses in general), although I don't think the store is as well known or popular as others. Their dresses are about £40-£60, but you can get them for a fraction of that amount as they always seem to have them on sale online after a few weeks of having them instore. I managed to bag three lovely dresses for just under £60, and they fit perfectly (I normally struggle with small sizes not fitting properly or say the top being too big, but these were almost perfect). They can be worn quite casually too, so it's a good way to build up an inexpensive, versatile wardrobe.

Skincare and Makeup

I thought the warmer weather would relieve some of my dry skin atleast, but unfortunately it seems to be having the opposite effect! My skin is drier than ever, but at the same time I keep getting horrible under the surface breakouts (which aren't that common for me). This is where all the beauty blenders come in! They are literally the one thing stopping me from looking like a cakey mess. I use them for my entire makeup now; concealer, highlighter and powder (and using my fingers to press some shimmer on my eyelids).

Products I'm using up: 
  • Lola Makeup by Perse Lash Extension Mascara: This basically adds nothing but some length and added darkness to my eyelashes. I would have binned this but I'm trying to use up products so I don't feel like I'm wasting them.
  • By Nature Rejuvenating eye creme: This is the coconut version of the one I reviewed here. It's decent, quite hydrating and I already have a backup.
  • Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Ginger: At first I was having a love hate relationship with this because it looked a bit dry on, but the beauty blender and a good amount of serum and eye creme really help. This is actually around the same colour as my skintone (well a bit darker), but I find that it actually helps to cover the darkness around the eyes and chin better than concealers that are too light. I don't use foundation on a daily basis, so this has been my go-to and I'm already half way through this (I have been using it daily for 4-5 months now).
New finds:
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in Opal: My search for natural looking highlighters has led me to this, and I love it! A detailed review to come!
  • Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick in Rebellious Rose: I've been looking for a good everyday natural lipstick for ages, and I've found the one! You'll know by now that I can't pull nudes off, my natural lip colour is quite rosey, and this is just the most perfect muted rose. On my medium skin it's one of those shades that just makes you look a bit glowy, without being too much.

Phew, well done if you didn't switch off with all that text haha! I hope you enjoyed this post! What has been new in your life, new likes/new dislikes?

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