All posts filed under: Beauty Reviews

Pacifica Devocean Lipstick

Since giving up eating meat a few months ago, I’ve been making an effort to ensure the cosmetics  I use are also cruelty free. One of the safest ways to do this is to choose vegan products. If I’m honest, I was a bit concerned that these products wouldn’t be as good as what I was used to using, but I needn’t have worried. There are loads of amazing vegan makeup products about, and I’m especially impressed with Pacifica’s lipstick offering. Pacifica Devocean Natural Lipstick, £12.99, is beautiful, richly pigmented, and non-drying.  It doesn’t feather or settle into lines, and it has a slight sheen that gives the lips a youthful appearance. As it’s vegan, it doesn’t contain any animal products, nor does it contain petrochemicals, parabens, or drying alcohols. It does contain a light coconut fragrance, but it isn’t overpowering and I find it quite pleasant. Devocean lipstick comes in six shades, my favourite being Firebird – a pretty, neutral red. I ordered mine online as I’ve not been able to find it in …

Cruelty Free Surprise

I was sad to discover my favourite day serum – the one I’ve been repurchasing for years – is not cruelty free. I made a bad assumption that because the brand is French and there are strict laws against animal testing in the EU, my serum would comply. What I didn’t realise is that this brand is sold in China which does require animal testing on any product that makes a claim about its functionality. So I’m in the market for a new daily hydrating serum. I know I’ll need to avoid brands sold in China (but not necessarily made in China – go figure), so I’ll be looking at smaller, niche brands many of the bigger brands are either sold in China or have a parent company who sells there. I had a look through all of the products I use and was relieved to discover no others are tested on animals, so I’m glad it’s just one product I need to replace. Sadly, it’s one I really love.

Vapour Beauty

Vapour Beauty products tick a multitude of boxes for me. They’re organic and ethical, which means I can use them without guilt. They can be used to achieve a natural look, which is pretty much my signature these days. Because they’re mostly cream/stick formulations, they work well on mature skin, so I don’t have to worry about the products settling into lines and wrinkles, or making my crepey eyelids look worse.  They contain a wealth of skincare ingredients, such as antioxidants, which give my skin an added boost of health with every use. And many of the products are multi-use, so my makeup bag is satisfyingly lightweight. Here are three of my favourites. Multi-use Classic Blush. This ultra-smooth and sparkle-free formula can be used on lips, cheeks, and eyelids, or to give a sun-kissed look to other parts of the face. It’s dead easy to apply and it blends well without dragging on the skin. I went for the shade Spark – a fresh, light peachy-pink, but there are loads of other shades if you …

Glossier Lash Slick

When Glossier website went live in the UK, one look at the models told me it probably wasn’t the brand for me. Everyone looked so young and fresh-faced, so what could this company possibly offer a middle-aged woman? Well, a lot, actually! I’ve written about Glossier products in the past, and I’m still using their lipstick and concealer almost daily. Their newest offering, Lash Slick, is an instant favourite. It gives me exactly the look I want – long, lush, and healthy lashes without a hint of clumping or that weird spider-leg look. The flexible brush is brilliant, and the formula doesn’t smudge. Best of all, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes. And at £14, it doesn’t break the bank.  

Daytime Skincare, 3 Easy Steps

Since simplifying my nighttime skincare routine, my skin is much healthier and happier. I  embraced a more refined approach my day time regime a year ago, simply to cut down on time spent in the morning.  My skin has benefitted from using just three products, and whether I’m wearing makeup or not, my skin looks and feels good. Step one: Hydrator. My favourite is Hada Labo Guko-Jyun Premium Emulsion. It contains five kinds of hyaluronic acid and is quickly absorbed by the skin. You can also add this as a first step to your nighttime skincare if you feel your skin is extra sensitive or dehydrated. Step two: Serum. I’ve been using Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Serum for years and I’ve never found one I like better. It hydrates and soothes skin while plumping fine lines and giving the skin a youthful glow. If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you’ll love this serum. Step three: Moisturiser. Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre is another product I repurchase again and again. It’s a great moisturiser and makeup primer, and …

Ameliorate Body Lotion

I have dry, itchy, uncomfortable skin which is exacerbated by cold weather. By the end of January, I’m miserable and desperately searching relief. I am not a fan of body lotion – it’s cold, sticky, and delays my getting dressed in the morning, but I’ve always treated it as a necessary-and-somewhat-effective evil. I’ve tried a lot of body lotions, but none have ever kept my skin hydrated and comfortable for more than 12 hours. Until now. Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion does exactly what it says on the tin. It transforms dry, flaky, tight skin into soft, smooth, comfortable skin. I noticed a difference after one application, and though the instructions say to use it twice a day to start, I found once a day to be perfectly adequate. It contains lactic acid which encourages dead, dry skin to quickly exfoliate, revealing the smooth healthy skin underneath. It also helps with KP (Keratosis Pilaris) and ingrown hairs by basically resurfacing the skin. With this accelerated cell turnover, I would recommend using a physical scrub or dry …

3:3:1 – Simplified Skin Care

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been on a mission to simplify. I began by examining parts of my life that I felt were overcomplicated, and skincare was one of these areas. I was spending too much money, effort, and time on my regime – and I was constantly buying things I didn’t finish – always on the lookout for the next miracle product that would be ‘the one’. After a final clear out, I’ve settled on a system which uses a few carefully curated products. I’m not longer layering loads of products on my face and am instead using one product at a time to achieve smooth, clear skin that doesn’t need much makeup (another money/effort/time saver). My system works like this: I alternate three nights of retinol treatment with three nights of alpha hydroxy treatment and then follow up with one night of skin nutrition, hence the 3:3:1. It’s simple, easy, and I don’t need to spend a lot of money to get great results. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, I …

Skincare Favorites 2017

A bit late, but as promised, I’ve compiled a list of my most-loved skincare from 2017. It wasn’t a year of discovery for me, as I tend not to vary my skincare too much. There were a few standout products, though, and I’m happy to report, all of these are quite reasonably priced. I recently began using The Face Shop’s Rice Water Cleansing Rich Oil, and I absolutely love it. Its thin, and rather watery consistency makes it easy to spread over the face, and the blend of oils and emulsifiers means it removes makeup – even waterproof mascara – with minimal effort. I use it with a hot cloth and it always removes every speck of makeup in just a few seconds. It doesn’t strip the skin and leaves it soft, supple, and ready to receive additional skincare. Another stellar Korean skincare find was the It’s Skin Fresh Mask Sheet Blueberry. I received one of these as a free sample with an order and decided to try it while I was ill just before …

Suqqu Foundation

I was rummaging around in my desk drawer last weekend and came across an unopened box containing a jar of Suqqu Foundation. I’ve no idea how long it had been in there, but I would reckon at least a year as that’s when I drifted away from wearing it nearly every day. At £62, it isn’t cheap, so I assume this must have been why I decided to try something new. Silly of me, really. I’ve trialled at least a dozen foundations since, and none compare to the brilliant Suqqu. It’s quite a thick, rich foundation, so it works very well on dry or mature skin. The amount of coverage depends on the amount you use. I like to apply it with a brush and then sheer it out, but it’s very buildable, so you can add more to get medium to full coverage. Aside from being a perfect colour match for my skin, there are two things that make Suqqu Foundation special. The first is that it looks like good skin. This takes a little …

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

For the last few months, everyone’s been trying to get their hands on The Ordinary’s new foundation. After weeks of waiting, I finally got to try it, and I was quite disappointed after all of the hype. On my mature face, it looked cakey and dry, and every fine line, wrinkle and pore was magnified. I don’t think it’s a bad foundation, but it wasn’t right for my skin, which is a pity – I know a lot of people love it and the price is insanely good. Also fairly priced is NYX Total Control Drop Foundation, £14, and it’s good. Very good. And it’s also versatile. Used lightly and buffed into skin with a foundation brush, it mimics the more expensive Perricone No Foundation Foundation – light, natural, and barely detectable on the skin. Add a bit more and you can easily build up to a flawless full coverage look that reminds me of the gorgeous Armani Power Fabric Foundation, again, at a much lower cost. NYX comes in 24 colours, so it’s easy to find a …

2017 Makeup Discoveries

2017 was the year I changed almost every makeup product I use. It was also the year I moved to a less ‘made up’ look, especially for daytime. I tried a lot of products, and I’m sorry to say that quite a few were duds. But there were some amazing standouts. These are the ones I discovered. New to the UK in 2017 is Glossier. They offer a great range of skincare and natural-looking makeup. Three of their products really stood out for me. I love their Cloud Paint – a cute little tube of creamy colour that works amazingly well as a blusher or eyeshadow. I also use it as a lip colour and, very occasionally, as a contour. I’ve tried all of the colours, and my favourite by a long shot is Dusk – a peachy, pinky, versatile shade. Another favourite product from Glossier is their Stretch Concealer. It is, by far, the most natural-looking under-eye concealer I’ve ever tried, but the best bit is that it does not crease! Set with a …

Rescue and Recovery

I’m just getting over the first cold I’ve had in years, and I have to say that my skin didn’t handle it well. Three days of decongestants, nose blowing and feeling tearful left my skin in a bad state. It was dehydrated, dry and chapped in a few places. Time for a bit of TLC. The skin around my nose was raw and peeling, despite my use of ‘luxury’ tissues, so needed something to soothe and repair. For this, I used Mama Mio Keep Calm nipple balm, £12. Patted onto irritated skin, it immediately soothes, moisturises, and prevents further peeling. It also acts as barrier to protect skin from additional irritation and damage. It’s all-natural, unscented, and works extremely well on chapped skin and lips. I’m never without a tube in the medicine cabinet. As expected, the skin on my eyelids flared up and became quite scaly and uncomfortable. To get it back under control, I slathered both lids in DHC Concentrated Eye Cream, £27.90. This lovely, light-but-effective cream contains olive oil and squalane to combat dryness. It …

Surratt Relevee Lash Curler

Since I’ve been using Revitalash growth serum, my lashes have grown quite long. Sadly, they’re also very straight, so without curling them it appears I have no lashes at all. I’ve been using the Shu Umura lash curler for years and been quite happy with it, but recently I heard about a new lash curler from Surratt Beauty. The Relevee Lash Curler, £28, doesn’t look like anything special, but don’t let that fool you. It is an amazing lash curler that fans lashes out into the most beautiful, uplifted shape without crimping. Instead of appearing bent, lashes look naturally upturned and feathery. Apply a bit of waterproof mascara and your lashes will stay curled all day. One of the most pleasing features I’ve discovered is that it’s nearly impossible to pinch the skin around your eye with this lash curler. It also has a soft ‘bite’, so I doubt it would ever break the lashes like some of the other curlers I’ve tried. I had a difficult time getting hold of one of these because they’re constantly sold …

Three Ordinary Favourites

Skincare doesn’t have to be expensive. Superdrug proved this years ago with their wonderful hydrating facial serum. But what about skincare with effective active ingredients? Can these also be affordable? If you’ve tried any products from The Ordinary, you’ll know the answer is a resounding yes. If your skin lacks hydration, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, is a great first step to add to your skincare routine. It sinks into the skin instantly and leaves no residue. If my skin is feeling exceptionally parched, I apply it two or three times in a row, pausing only to allow each layer to absorb into the skin. The hyaluronic acid immediately plumps and hydrates the skin, while the vitamin B5 offers longer-term benefits to the skin. At £12.90, Buffet is one of the more expensive products by The Ordinary, but you do get a tremendous amount of skincare for your money. This potent cocktail is full of peptides, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and a probiotic complex. It can be used morning and night. I like it as a …

DIY Cushion Compact Foundation

I’ve been on the hunt for a holy grail foundation for awhile. A couple have come close – It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream and Perricone No Foundation Serum Foundation, but neither are perfect. I like them both because they look like skin once applied, but the colours on offer are limited, and I can’t quite get a perfect match. I did find a perfect colour match in Armani’s Power Fabric foundation, but the coverage is much heavier than I like for everyday wear, so I decided to try to modify it to suit my skin. If you haven’t tried Armani Power Fabric foundation, £36, I do recommend it. While it’s very full coverage, it doesn’t look cakey or unnatural on mature skin. It is slightly matte, so I like to use it with a glowy primer. It’s the perfect foundation for a special occasion or a night out because it looks amazing and does not budge. I do find it too heavy for daily wear, though, so I decided to thin it out …