I blame YouTube. I've recently been getting right into beauty channels and can easily spend a spare hour or two clicking my way through tutorials and reviews. I've always been utterly clueless about skincare and makeup in particular, so I'm loving being educated by the super-friendly
So, that said, here's what I've been spending my hard-earned cash on recently...
WARNING long and wordy.
Liz Earle Superskin spring kit
This should really come as no surprise. I've harped on and on about how much I love the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and recently bought a full size Radiant Boost skin tonic too which I've also been loving (totally non-drying toner which smells gorge). So when I discovered Liz Earle were selling the whole three-step programme including a full-size body lotion for only £41 I couldn't resist. I've been really enjoying the moisturiser the past few days - I got the one for combination to oily skin and I find it absorbs easily and doesn't leave any greasy residue. It has quite a strong "botanical" smell though which does tend to linger. Not sure how much I love that aspect, but overall a really nice, light moisturiser. If you love Liz Earle then you NEED this kit. The saving is something like £20 on the RRP of the products individually.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar purifying gel cleanser
I always use a face wash in the morning since I find the Liz Earle a bit of a faff first-thing and I always have a shower anyway so prefer to use something quick and easy. I badly needed a new one that had spot-fighting properties and I swithered for ages about the new Vichy Normaderm foaming cleaner but settled on this instead sine I've already been using the Effaclar A.I cream so figured I'd stay within the LRP family.
At first I found this really drying and a little stingy. I ended up with a wee dry patch on my chin as well so I stopped using it for a while. Then, around that time of the month my skin broke out like a MUTHA so I reached for this again. While I can't say it worked a miracle, the drying aspect really help to sort out the particularly juicy blemishes (nice) but it's still a bit strong for everyday use. I do like that it ACTUALLY has an effect though, and that I can feel and see results. Hmm... I guess I'm a bit on the fence with this...
Bioderma White Objective active day cream
This was a TOTAL random purchase. I was looking around for a good moisturiser because that Aveeno brightening serum I mentioned last time was totally awful! It felt so siliconey on the skin and didn't sink in or moisturise at all. STAY AWAY! Anyway, although I do get oily through the day, it's only on my t-zone - everywhere else stays pretty normal, so I knew I wanted a proper moisturiser this time and not a serum.
I stumbled upon this on the Bioderma website and it promised to lighten skin-tone and fade scarring while moisturising effectively at the same time. BISH BASH BOSH.
About two years ago just after I split up with my boyfriend, I experienced the worst acne I've ever had which left me with some dark hyperpigmentation and pretty bad scarring on my cheek. Thankfully I rarely get breakouts there now, but the scarring is something I had never been able to shift so I took the plunge and bought this. I have to say, I don't particularly like the feel of it since it does leave a bit of an oily residue on the surface, but I DO like the results! I've been using it solidly for around 3 weeks (and I'm now alternating it with my Liz Earle moisturiser) and I can absolutely say the scarring on my cheek has significantly reduced. I'm sceptical to credit just one product for this since it's more than likely down to my night-time serum too (more on that in a min) but there has to be no doubt that this has really helped. It's really quite noticeable, so for that reason I'm more than happy to put up with the slightly greasy residue. If you have dry to normal skin with scarring/pigmentation issues then YOU HAVE TO GET THIS.
Avene Triacneal treatment cream
Although I've been using the Effaclar A.I cream on individual breakouts, it's really only meant to be used as a topical treatment and not an all-over cream. I plumped for this after perusing the web for AGES for the most affective spot-fighting night creams and this kept cropping up. I've only been using it for around a week or so, so I can't really comment on miraculous results yet but it's definitely another one of those products you can actually FEEL working.
It comes out the tube a weird pearlescent-yellow colour but as soon as you start to rub it in it turns into a SUPER ATTRACTIVE bright neon yellow cream. I'm serious, this stuff will stain your pillowcase if you don't let it dry properly. It also kind of tingles when it goes on and I can still feel the tingling a few minutes after it's all been absorbed which I quite like - makes me believe it's working its magic. Reviews online promise good results after a few months of use so I'm going to persevere whenever my skin is particularly bad and let you know how I get on.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum
Bit of a cheat this, since it's actually a recent RE-purchase but I could not live without this stuff. I was recently in Boots with a friend when we passed the Estee Lauder counter and I started yapping away about how amazing ANR is, and she looked at me totally agog like, "Wait, isn't that for old wrinkly ladies?" Guys, seriously, NO! It's absolutely amazing! Yes it claims to result in younger-looking skin which is why lots of older ladies love it, but there are so many other benefits too. Namely the amazing effect it has on uneven skintone.
I mentioned earlier that my scarring had seriously reduced, which it has, and it's GOT to be at least partly down to this. I've been using it for about 4 or 5 months now and it leaves my skin plump, moisturised, soft, smooth and generally feeling like it's in amazing condition. The results are there in the morning when my skin looks at its most even and glowing. It is quite pricey but the results can be seen from the first use and I will never not use this stuff now that I know about it, I only wish I'd realised how amazing it was sooner.
Lioele Beyond the Solution BB cream
My beloved Skin 79 Intense Classic BB cream is quickly running out so I've been looking for a new one to fill its place. Although I love the coverage and natural finish, I'm not convinced it's the best out there for me since the consistency is pretty thick and it can sometimes end up quite dewy without powder, and powdering it looks cakey. However, I get the most compliments on my skin whenever I wear it as opposed to a regular foundation so I'm definitely going to be sticking to BB creams for a while.
Anyhoo, I searched about and considered all different kinds, especially the new European ones like No 7, Clinique, Garnier etc. but in the end I went with another Asian staple - Lioele.
Reviews online say it's best for oilier skins since it has a matte finish but again I do find it to be a little sticky and dewy. However it doesn't have as much of a grey cast as the Skin 79 one and it also applies smoother and blends easier without the need for a primer. The coverage is medium to full, but I apply a thin layer all over and then conceal when I have to. I'm really liking it so far but I'm still not convinced it's the best one out there. The search continues!
Yves Saint Laurent Teint Resist foundation
Le sigh... I really REALLY wanted to love this! A few weeks ago I ran out of my Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation and had a list as long as my arm for new ones to try (Clinique even better, Clarins ever matte, Estee Lauder double wear light, Avon ideal flawless...) but I spotted an "unused" bottle of this on Ebay for half the RRP and bought it without really knowing too much about it. Number one, it did not come UNUSED thanks very much Ebay liar - the lid was totally smudged and grubby and there was excess product all smeared round the inside of the pump and cap! Kinda gross. At least it had a pump so it was still technically hygienic to use, but still, why lie? I'd probably have bought it as a tester even knowing it had been used, as long as it was still cheap? Pointless. Secondly, it's just not that good.
The consistency of the product is very runny - surprising for a foundation that claims to control oil and shine. It glides on extremely easily but I found that when I used it with my Sigma F80 kabuki it soaked up a lot of the product - something which has NEVER happened before. Because of that it's best used with fingers, but even at that, it's so runny and thin and slippy that it's hard to build any real level of coverage. My (vastly reduced) scarring was still visible afterwards, as were freckles and veins. It also smells very strongly of that classic YSL fruity scent which I normally like, but not so much for slathering on my face. Also, it dries VERY powdery. Great if that's a finish you're looking for but not brilliant when you're trying to add a liquid (Collection 2000) or waxy (MAC Studio Finish) concealer over the top. The lasting power wasn't great either - only about 6 hours without getting shiny. The one plus point was that shade 01 was perfect for my skintone. But even at that, all in all it's a very disappointing foundation - I'm just so relieved I didn't spend £31 on this!
MAC Mineralized Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle
I'd been hearing loads about this on blogs and in YouTube videos and after someone FINALLY bought my Marc Jacobs coat on Ebay I felt in the mood for a wee MAC splurge so I opted for this (among other items, eek!). As the picture shows it's a really gorgeous marbled pinky/peachy powder highlighter with flecks of gold shimmer. Some of those flecks are actually a little larger than I would have liked so it's definitely something for the cheekbones only - don't go sweeping it all over your face unless you want to look like a disco ball. But really, it's just so beautiful to look at sitting on my dresser or in my makeup bag that I don't really care if it's not as finely-milled as I'd like. I'm sure there are much cheaper alternatives out there so I wouldn't necessarily urge you to run out and buy this immediately, but if, like me, you love to have pretty MAC things to look at and covet then this is certainly one of those products. Plus it'll probably last a bajillion years.
MAC lipstick in Costa Chic
MAC's lack of decent TRUE CORAL lipsticks really bums me out. Apart from the ones they release in nearly every limited edition collection (Liberty's Ever Hip and Iris Apfel's Flamingo, I'm looking at you) Costa Chic seems to be their only permanent, true bright coral shade. I've been having a bit of a love affair with coral recently and I've had this lippy in the back of my mind for a while and it doesn't disappoint in reality!
Because it is a Frost, there's a noticeable white/creamy pearlescent finish to the lips when applied, and I have found it to be ever so slightly drying so a good balm underneath is a must. I'd probably prefer it to be a Lustre or Creamsheen if I'm honest, but that's just down to my preference on the finish and I still really love it. At the moment it's quite bright for my pale skintone but on holiday with a tan and my Minkpink Zulu green maxi dress it'll look fantastic!
MAC Woodwinked eyeshadow
Just an absolutely gorgeous golden bronze shade. I find this really makes the blue in my eyes stand out and recently I've been wearing it all over the lid with just mascara for a more subtle effect than with my usual winged liquid liner. Speaking of which, did anyone get the free sampe of liner with this month's Company magazine? It's AMAZING!
Anyway, I can see this looking absolutely gorge layered with something like Sable in the crease, but I'm not normally one for a brown smoky eye so I'll need to ease myself into that gently. But yeah, I'm literally wearing this every day at the moment. Love it!
Sleek Blush by 3 in Lace
I took it as a good sign that this was the only palette out of five which was consistently sold out at every Superdrug I went into on my mission to pick this up. After over a week of no luck, I ended up purchasing it online and I'm so glad I did. All three shades are extremely pigmented, finely-milled and soft and creamy to apply, with the shade on the left being my totes fave. I normally always stick to pink blushers but recently I've been loving the effect of a more peachy, orangey coral blush - especially with Soft and Gentle MSF dusted over it. I can't wait to take this to Portugal with me - all three shades will look amazing with a tan! Plus at £9.99 this was such a bargain as you literally need the tiniest amount of product. Score.
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. I don't know about you but I'm exhausted after that, and appalled at the amount of dolla I've spent in the pursuit of beauty! Jings! I'm away to lie in a darkened room for a while and have a serious think about my life.
Congrats if you made it to the end of this, and if you didn't who could blame you man.
Who could blame you?!