As the summer approaches, my thoughts turn to bullet-proofing my makeup to last the course of a hot, tiring day.  I don’t know about you but despite my dry skin, the first to make a dash for freedom is any and all makeup down the bridge of my nose.  Then my eyeliner melts into my tear ducts, developing into hugely attractive eye bogies before the last of my foundation gives up the ghost and literally puddles in the area where my nose meets my face (hello face).  If it’s really hot, my eyeliner will also strive for symmetry and create matching lines across my upper eyelid where the “hoods” rest gently on the lash-line.  It’s a beautiful sight to behold.

Bobbi Brown’s new Long-Wear Eye Collection promises to stay the distance without letting you down or showing you up.  The eye pencils from the new collection are richly-coloured and deeply-pigmented.  They’re creamy and have that soft, gel formula reminiscent of my beloved Avon Mega Impact/Supershock Gel Eyeliner (whatever they’re bleedin’ being called at the moment).

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils* are available in six shades: Jet, Mahogany, Black Navy, Black Plum, Hunter and Smoke, providing a colour option whatever your personal taste.  I really like an off-black range that carries the density of an inky black but without the harshness on maturing features.  Not that my features are maturing, shutup.

These pencils haven’t given me any trouble sharpening, the uber-softness of the Avon ones means that I do need to chill them in the fridge for half an hour prior to sharpening, total pain when you need a pencil stat.  I didn’t have to do this with the Bobbi Brown pencils.

Mahogany is swatched on the left, Smoke on the Right.  You can see the density of pigment is really quite impressive.  It’s a teeny bit less pigmented than the Avon offerings (which are insanely pigmented) but as I said earlier, they do provide a little more precision during application thanks to a firmer texture.

Here are the same swatches after scrubbing the back of my hand with soap and water for a good 30/40 seconds.  I was impressed that they didn’t smear or transfer as I swiped and rubbed.  You can see that the pigment has eroded in places but if you imagine that swatch as drawn across your lash-line, I think you’d be fairly happy to emerge from the swimming pool 3-hours later with that much still intact no?

Unfortunately, whilst I think these pencils are brilliant.  This is where the praise ends.

I’ve been comparing these all along to the Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliner pencils (which don’t come in as many shades admittedly) simply because the Avon ones are my benchmark and indeed, my daily staples.  As I swatched both alongside one another, I expected the Bobbi Brown ones to outlast the Avon.  They don’t.  They wear identically both on the back of my hand and on my waterline, around 5 hours.

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils are priced at £17 each.  The Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliner pencils are currently priced at £4 each.  And there’s the rub, I’m not going to recommend that you spend extra money needlessly… both are fabulous long-wearing, densely pigmented pencil liners.  The Avon ones are substantially cheaper.

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils are available to buy on counter and online from BobbiBrown.co.uk

* press samples


Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Shades are currently less than half price, reduced from £6.00 to just £2.50 a-piece. I’ve included some swatches below* so you can pick your next killer colour. Coral Reef is hawt for Summer, one of those beautiful guava shades that will suit both cool and warm skintones equally.

From Left to Right:

Coral Reef | Cosmic Blue | Decadence | Lemon Sugar | Licorice | Pastel Pink | Real Red | Romance | Sea Breeze | Star | Starry Sky | Viva Pink

Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Shades are available to purchase online from Avonshop.co.uk

* press samples

ADesign Skincare Brush Set (and my new favourite brush)

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 19 - 2012

I’ve been trying out the ADesign Skincare Brush Set for just over a month now, and I wanted to see if this one set could ever possibly replace the various skin brushes that I’ve grown to love over the years.  I have to say, the set did fare better than I thought it would… but the ultimate answer is that nothing can replace many years of replacing rubbish brushes with marginally better ones until you reach brush nirvana!

But let me talk you through the brushes contained in the ADesign Skincare Brush Set*, with particular reference to my. new. favourite. brush.

I’ll begin by giving you a quick overview of the set, which is available to buy online from Cocktail Cosmetics, priced at £44.95.  Broken down, that works out at around £8.99 per brush – which for face brushes, makes it a very good value set.  You’d easily pay that on the high street for brushes that don’t come close to even 10% of the quality that these represent.

For your money, you get five brushes housed in a patent mock-croc bag that is fully-lined to prevent damage from spills.  The brushes (from left to right) are: Pointed Foundation Kabuki Brush, Flat Top Foundation Brush, Foundation Brush, Medium Concealer Brush, and Pointed Concealer Brush.

You may be asking yourself, why on Earth would you need three different foundation brushes?  If you are, get off my blog.

Moving on…

Yes.  It’s magnificent isn’t it?  Like a silver bullet sent to banish bad makeup application werewolves (or something *shrugs*).  I haven’t quite got the hang of how best to use the Adesign Pointed Foundation Kabuki Brush and I’m not keen on the stubby kabuki-handle – the pointed tip is obviously engineered to provide precision and having a longer-handle would complement this more effectively.  Of course, if you love the design, you could always opt for something like the Bdellium Tools Bambu Pointed Foundation Brush as an alternative.

The heavily tapered bristles on this brush allows for dual-motion blending… you can swipe both back and forward like a traditional painting motion or apply circular buffing strokes.  For me, I’ve found its forte when it comes to applying concealer over a larger area, particularly around the nose as the point gets right into the creases whilst the taper blends the edges seamlessly.  I’m not completely sold on it, but I do think I’ve not quite mastered the best technique for it yet.  If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears!

The Adesign Flat Top Foundation Brush, a.k.a. my new favourite brush.  It’s a masterpiece, so beautifully dense with tickle-me soft fibres.  It is not very pliable which allows for a really good buffing motion (rather than flopping about ineffectively on the face) and comes with a small head which I much prefer when compared to a larger size flat-top such as the ELF Powder Brush.  I’m going to photograph comparable brushes shortly and reiterate why I prefer this brush to the others.  For quick reference, comparable brushes would be: MAC 130 and Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush (though this one isn’t cut at an angle).

I’ve been using this for applying foundation (all textures), applying cream blush and blending out any edges.  When my skin has been particularly dry and all my products have been cream or liquid-based, I haven’t even bothered to use a different brush.  This is the stand-out offering from the set.  The smaller head also means that it complements my stick products really well (things like NARS Multiples and my Shu Uemura Stick Foundation).  Perhaps the ultimate compliment I can pay it though is that it has enabled me to wear my MUFE HD Cream Blushes… those things played me up something chronic, I just couldn’t find the right tool to get the just-flushed blush from them.  Until now.

I wish that I could point to a single technical aspect of this brush that suits my needs so well, but all I can tell you is that I’m in brush love.  For reals.

After the gushing over the previous brush, the Adesign Foundation Brush doesn’t get me nearly as excited.  Again, this is small-headed… comparable in size to the Giorgio Armani Designer Foundation Expert Shaping Brush but mega-bucks cheaper.  While the GA brush tapers away quickly, the ADesign brush provides greater density from the base up, which allows this brush to both paint and buff.  The fibres have a good amount of spring to them and are densely packed from root to tip.

The Adesign Medium Concealer Brush is another that didn’t give me an awful lot to flap about.  Again, it’s a good-looking brush without any flaws and applies under-eye concealer very gently but one the whole, I prefer my No7 Concealer brush when it comes to painting on the product with a flat edge like this offers.  But talking of flat edges…

…the Adesign Pointed Concealer Brush is without them!  This is a really good brush for concealing over blemishes.  It delivers the product with pin-point precision and blends without dislodging or removing any of the product you’ve just placed!  How many times have you applied concealer to a spot, blended and then realised that you’ve blended at least 50% of the product off?!  This has worked wonders for my concealer application skillz… now I has some!  Again, this is so densely packed, you would think you’d need something with a ‘lighter’ touch, but no… despite my initial scepticism, this really does the job magnificently well.  It’s a little too stiff-feeling to use in the delicate eye area, where something like a MAC 224 works well to both apply and blend concealer.

 

Without exception, each of these synthetic-fibre brushes are high-quality.  The ferrules are solid, the fibres are well-cut and dense.  Each is perfectly soft, washes well and keeps its shape as it dries.  Talking of drying, these do dry more slowly than natural hair fibres…. such is the downside to synthetic brushes but I haven’t experienced any shedding during washing or application at all.  Which is more than can be said for most brushes.  Whilst I haven’t fallen head-over-heels for every brush in the set, the two that have made an impression on me (Flat Top Foundation & Pointed Concealer) … have made an impression that I want to shout about.

As an aside, you may be wondering why this is called the ‘skincare’ set… well, if you watch the video below, you’ll see that this set was designed for both makeup application AND skincare application.  Call me old-school but I’m all about the fingers when it comes to skincare!

The ADesign Skincare Brush Set is available to buy online from Cocktail Cosmetics, priced at £44.95

* press sample

I had a little shop-my-stash session and pulled out some things that haven’t seen as much love recently as they should, namely my Face Atelier foundation which is a touch too silicone-heavy for my skin when it’s at its driest in the Winter.  My skin is back in a good place at the moment and I couldn’t wait to see if I still loved it as much as I did last Summer when I bought it.  The answer is a resounding YES!  I’ll do a proper review with before/after shots later in the week, kick me if I don’t ‘cos it makes a great spring/summer foundation for those who aren’t ready to give up ‘propah’ coverage just yet.

My NARS Lhasa got some extra love with a sparkly pairing courtesy of Avon’s Glimmerstick Diamonds Eye Liner in Sugar Plum – it’s a nice way to supercharge a much-loved taupe with a bit of additional colour.  My beautiful Maison Lancome blush* is still pleasing me muchly, especially if I give the brush a good swirl in the darker shades first before building up a little more luminosity courtesy of the pale pink.

Hmm, what else…

Ahh, a Fyrinnae Lip Lustre in Ryo Pinko!  I wasn’t sure if this would still be usable… it’s been a while!  However, it smells and tastes perfectly fine, it’s not quite ready for the cosmetics graveyard just yet!  I love the colour and the metallic finish is a little bit retro (in a good way!).  It inspired me to give today’s FOTD a silly little name though, so it’s all good.

Finally, I layered up two mascaras that I’ve recently been sent and got some epic lashes as a result, I’ll blog them as part of my mascara series shortly.  The Clinique Lash Power Mascara* has a small brush that works well at getting product right into the roots of the lashes before a coat of Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara* ontop sends them skyward.

What’s on your fizzog today and when was the last time you shopped your stash for some forgotten treasures?

* press sample

Teal, teal, teal!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 13 - 2012

From pale to dark, teal is the perfect blue/green combination and it’s everywhere this season.  I thought I’d swatch the cream teal nail polishes in my collection to give you some alternatives to Estee Lauder’s Teal Topaz spring sell-out polish.

From left to right: Estee Lauder – Teal Topaz  |  Misa – Dirty, Sexy, Money|  Barielle Shades – A Bouquet For Ava  |  American Apparel – Peacock  |  Ciate – Superficial

If shimmers are more your cup of tea, don’t forget that March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Lena White are donating £1 to Ovacome – the ovarian cancer support network – for every sale of OPI’s Teal the Cows Come Home.

Are any of these shades catching your eye?  What’s your favourite teal?

Picture Perfect? Fujifilm to launch skincare range in the UK!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 16 - 2012

This may sound like something you’d expect to read in your newspaper on the morning of April 1st, but there’s no fooling about it.  Fujifilm, the photographic pioneers from Japan, have turned their hands to the beauty market and developed a line of skincare products that are landing in the UK next month.

Astalift, which has been available in Japan and other parts of Asia since 2007 offers a comprehensive skincare lineup including: make-up removers, cleansers, serums, eye creams and priming lotions but it’s the Jelly Aquarysta Rejuvenating Concentrate that’s set to be the most anticipated release from the unlikely beauty brand.

FujiFilm have taken inspiration from their years of research into how to succesfully harness the power of antioxidants to prevent photographs from fading and applied it to skin.  Collagen is as essential to the photographic industry as it has become to the beauty industry, and the brand are hoping to bring proprietary technology in the form of Pico-Collagen (essentially collagen that they claim is small enough to penetrate the skin) to a new European audience.

In addition to this innovative nano-technology, the Astalift range contains a naturally occuring antioxidant found in marine algae called Astaxanthin, an ingredient which has been recognised for its ability to protect the skin from ultraviolet light.  The most interesting thing to note about this Astaxanthin – aside from its unusual coral-red colour – is that it’s claimed to be approximately 1000x more effective than both vitamin E and CO Q10, the ingredients more commonly used in anti-aging skincare.

The range promises to target the visible signs of premature ageing that include dark spots, lines and dull skin whilst stimulating the production of elastin fibres, helping to produce more luminous, plumped-up skin.  The brand have just appointed actress Naomi Watts as European brand ambassador, so expect to see the 43yr old actress featured in Astalift’s new ad campaigns soon.

The range will be priced toward the luxury end of the market and is set to launch in March.  You can follow the brand on Twitter @Astalift_UK or register for updates at http://www.astalift.com

New Year Honours List 2012

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 26 - 2012

In a list devoid of MPs, philanthropists, and celebrities – I bring you 12 products that have impressed me beyond my expectations over the past 12 months. This wasn’t easy to compile. Infact, it was so hard that it’s now nearly February and I’ve only just published it.

Some were a given from the moment I used them (Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner), some were growers (Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil), but all of them have left a real impression for achieving what their claims suggest and let’s face it, that’s what out beauty-loving hearts desire most.

Optrex Itchy/Allergy Eye Drops  |  Lanolips 101 Ointment  |  St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray  |  Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors

Optrex make eye drops for seemingly every occassion and their Optrex Itchy Eye Drops have saved my poor peepers numerous times throughout the year.  I actually prefer their Optrex Allergy Eyes formula for the Summer months when my eyes are really suffering but I find them quite hard to get hold of (it’s over the counter stuff) and so pharmacists always offer me the Optrex Itchy Eye Drops instead.  To be fair, they both work but nothing soothes the feeling of wanting to wash your eyeballs under a running tap (and swill your eye sockets out while you’re at it) faster or more effectively than the Optrex Allergy Eyes formula.

Another product that goes beyond the pretty to simply make my life more comfortable is Lanolips 101 Ointment.  This nourishing, thick balm is as much a part of my nightly routine as washing my face or repeatedly checking Twitter on my phone after turning off my computer.  It’s simple existence means that my lips never peel or crack, as used to be the case throughout the winter months and if I like a new lipstick, I buy it based on how much I like the shade without caring about how drying the formula may prove to be.

My milk-bottle legs are anticipating the return of the warmer weather with a renewed vigour thanks to St. Tropez Perfect Legs Spray.  I’m surprising myself by including a tanning product in my honours list – I really don’t care much about being tanned… but, this product surpassed all expectations of turning my blue-tinged pins into something that I wouldn’t mind showing off when the sun finally peeks out from behind the UK’s perpetual blanket of cloud cover.

As much as the U.S. brand have released some stonking palettes this year, it’s these Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Colors that have been ticking all the right boxes for me this year.  They pack a supreme punch of colour, offer maximum convenience and last well throughout the day.  The shades I own are all searingly bright and obnoxious, just the way I’ve been liking my lip shades this year.  These are real beauties and I can’t wait to see if Urban Decay add to the lineup in 2012.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara  |  Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil  |  Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Oil  |  Avon Mega Impact Eye Liner

An everyday staple achieves its status by being dependable, consistent, and easy to use.  Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara has been my go-to mascara since its release last August.  It extends and volumises my lashes with an inky formula and doesn’t let me down by smudging or flaking throughout the day.  Once it’s time for bed – it doesn’t give my cleansing oil any arguments and I’m still enjoying the same, usable formula from the original tube that I was given all those months ago.  It’s a solid but impressive addition to my makeup bag.

2011 has been a year of weight loss (and gain, and loss again) for me.  I knew from the start that I’d be putting my skin through the mill on my quest for a less flabby existence and I’ve been using various body oils with my cellulite massager in an attempt to keep my skin elastic, supple and unblemished.  While they all did a good job at moisturising, I wasn’t sure that they were achieving much more than this until I began to use Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil toward the end of last year.  Aside from it smelling as delicious as you’d expect from the British brand, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in skin-tone, texture and dare I say it… cellulite.

Another major concern over the past year has been the constant flare-ups that have turned my scalp into an itching, flaking mess.  I would start a new shampoo, only to be forced into discontinuing its use a month later.  I tried SLS-free which seemed to improve things for a while, though still didn’t eradicate the problem completely.  I’ve been using Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil (non-stinky) for a few months now and have so far, touch wood, not had a flare-up that’s been severe enough to cause any real misery.  I also find the oil effective at soothing any persistent itches alongside a welcome side-effect of improving the condition of my dry hair.

If I could only choose one, my product of the year would go to Avon’s Mega Impact Eye Liner for being outrageously awesome at such a reasonable price.  The blacker-than-black formula applies as smoothly as a gel with no tugging along the delicate waterline.  Give it a few moments to set and you’ll be treated to a full day of hard-wearing, sultry lashlines that resist smudging and transfer like real troopers.  They have a new metallic shade coming out for Spring, look out for it!

Suti Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil  |  Lumos High Speed Top Coat (try eBay if you’re not a pro)  |  Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream  |  NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

I’ve always loved facial oils but have only recently discovered the true extent of their capabilities.  Suti’s Rejuvenate Organic Facial Oil is a wondrous concoction that seamlessly melts into my skin to give an instant glow on those days when my complexion is feeling particularly dull and drained by the cold weather.  Perhaps even more enlightening is the oil’s ability to turn a dud foundation into a keeper.  I’ve been adding a few drops (during application) to foundations that I consider dry-skin unfriendly and have been amazed at Suti’s ability to make the formula more compatible to my winter skin.  Lots of money saved thanks to this one!

So good do I consider the Lumos High Speed Top Coat, that I’ve bought the entire family!  From salon-sized down to purse-friendly bottles, they speed-dry my nail polish without causing shrinkage or becoming a thick, unusable mess in the bottle before I’ve reached the halfway mark.  The Lumos System also encourages you to use the High Impact Bottom Coat to achieve maximum results and longevity from your manicures but as someone who doesn’t generally suffer from polish chips, I’m happy to report that for me, it works as well with or without.

2011 was the year that B.B Creams hit the Western world with a vengeance and some bandwagon-jumping efforts from the major cosmetic players have left consumers wondering if there’s any difference between B.B Creams and Tinted Moisturisers with added SPF.  If you want to try a true B.B. Cream without the big-budget advertising hype – I can’t recommend the Missha M Perfect Cover B.B Cream highly enough.  It evens my skin-tone, gives serious sun protection, and calms my redness-prone skin in an instant.

I get annoyed with the NYX Cosmetics incarnation in the UK but if there’s one thing worth picking up, it’s the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams that come in a variety of shades and offer easy application, good coverage, and long-lasting colour without causing unbearable dryness or discomfort.  Remembering that these are (to be fair) matte formulas, it’s a great option for those who wince at the thought of dragging a hard-textured matte lipstick across their lips.  There are some awesome lip-popping shades to choose from too!

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So there we have my New Year Honours List – a little late, but what’s half a month between friends?  Do you agree with any of my choices?  What would you have included in yours?

* the selection includes a mixture of press samples, repurchases from what were originally press samples and my own discoveries/purchases.

Andrea Fulerton Glitterati Nails – Good, in theory…

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 12 - 2011

Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique have expanded their popular line of nail products with a set of ultra-cute glitters encased in little ‘puff’ tubes… let me tell you a bit about them…

Four shades of glitter that are designed to be ‘puffed’ onto a wet nail… the design of the ‘pen’ is supposed to afford directional coverage, giving you the ability to do cool things like create half-moons and glitter tips.

Frankly, I’d do a better job at creating a precision design if I snorted the glitter up my nose and sneezed it onto my nails.

The actual glitter is beautiful!  Fine, super-sparkly and not even too gritty… but the whole puff system is just massively flawed.  When I first squeezed the tube to activate the puff, nothing happened.

So of course… I squeezed a little harder, and the harder I squeezed, the more my eyes slitted in anticipation of a puff that would put a mushroom cloud to shame.  The anticipation damn near killed me, but nothing came out.  I recomposed myself, by which time my nail was of course, too dry to be of much use.

Eventually… I got a puff – the most anti-climactic moment of my life.  A splodge of glitter about half a centimetre away from where I’d wanted it placed.

Glitter…

Ultimately, these are beautiful nail glitters with a really awful delivery system that just doesn’t work well enough to create any kind of precision effect.  You may aswell just get a pot and dip your nails in that way.

Andrea Fulerton Glitterati Nails are priced at £10 available to buy at Superdrug.  Yano, if you really want to.

* press sample

 

Avon Nailwear Pro Violetta Sparkle NOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 21 - 2011

Regardless of what your birth certificate says, Christmas is the one time of year we can wear an unadulterated amount of glitter on our nails and not feel even slightly embarrassed of ourselves.

Avon Nailwear Pro in Violetta Sparkle is a festively-themed combination of purple and gold – it also conveys flashes of red when under the right lighting – but it’s mostly about the gold.

Application was fine and the above shows three coats.  I found the brush a touch long and thick but what you sacrifice in precision, you make up for in speed of application.  It also dried quickly despite the three coats.  It’s a hair grainy thanks to the glitter but a single coat of topper smoothes that out nicely and gives a needed boost to the shine that really brings out the sparkle within.

I’ve only had this on for two days, but so far no chips and considering the vampy colour, only very minimal tip wear (the above photo was taken just now).

Currently priced at only £3.00 on the Avon website, it’s making me want to explore the other sparkly shades in the Nailwear Pro Sparkle & Shine lineup!

 

* press sample

 

The Art of Christmas Gifting 002

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 20 - 2011

I’m quite crafty when it comes to Christmas Gifting, not crafty as in sellotape, pieces of felt and glitter pens — crafty as in, Wily Coyote.  Hence my latest find…

The Wrap Your Own Gift Set from Avon is priced at £10.00 and its contents include:

Skin So Soft Soft and Sensual Replenishing Hand Cream 75ml,
Naturals Lime Blossom and Verbena Shine Drops 50ml,
Planet Spa Mediterranean Olive Oil Hydrating Face Mask 75ml,
Naturals Strawberry & Guava Refreshing Shower Gel 200ml,
Naturals Strawberry & Guava Room & Linen Spray 125ml,
Soft Pink Bubble Bath 500ml,
Skin So Soft Soft and Sensual Replenishing Body Lotion 250ml,
Foot Works Heel Softening Cream 75ml.

Now, this would make a nice(ish) present just by itself (you know I’d prefer Burberry)… but my idea would be to split it.  Keep the bits that I know will get used up quickly in our household and fashion the rest into ‘themed’ gift ideas.

Example: My Mum’s Xmas stocking is themed on Winter Skin and from this kit, I’d include: Skin So Soft Hand Cream, Planet Spa Face Mask, and Foot Works Heel Softening Cream.  Those items will go nicely with some of the bits I’ve already bought her.

You could also theme a “Spa Night In” with some, if not most, of these items and throw in some slippers and a hot chocolate kit to complete an impressive and thoughtful ensemble.

Me?  I’d be stealing the basket and extra wrappings which include: a wire basket, tissue paper, a sheet of cellophane, and a ribbon to use on another (dareIsayit) posher pressie.

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Do you get crafty or indeed crafty when it comes to Christmas pressies?

 

Tried, Tested and (mostly) Rejected: Sun Protection

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 1 - 2011

I owe you an apology for the sun protection series that never happened.  I planned my posts, split the topic down into the main aspects I wanted to cover but then a few things happened that prevented me from seeing things through…

1).  Turns out there are only 24 hours in a day.  Who knew.

2).  I wanted professional input but one contact went silent halfway through the process and the other replied to my questions with single word answers and I was frankly too aware that they were both doing me a favour to push my luck.

3).  I may have also got the mega wobbles about doing such an important subject justice.

So basically, I failed but I can honestly say that I failed with the best of intentions.

Still, all the ‘homework’ that I put into the series hasn’t entirely gone to waste as it has given me understanding and knowledge that has left me far better prepared to comment on some of the sun protection I’ve discovered this Summer and I’ve needed this time to use, compare and decide on my favourite facial sun protection products on the market today.

Let’s start from the top shall we?

1.  Dr. Brandt UV SPF 30 PA+++* is an an advanced broad spectrum UV protectant that contains ‘dry touch’ technology.  It wears exceptionally well under makeup and provides a satin finish with no white cast.  Packaged in an airless pump, it refused to dispense for me on a few occasions leaving me pumping nothing but air until I swore at it and it behaved again.

I wasn’t hugely keen on the scent but it deserves top marks for leaving a practically naked finish.  Medium-textured and water resistant for 80 minutes.

Price:  £30.00 for 30g at SpaceNK

Repurchase?:  Probably not, it contains Oxybenzone and I don’t like the scent.

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2.  Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ is an incredibly light-textured solution blended with antioxidant Vitamin E, calming Aloe Vera and pure Honeycomb extract for hydration aswell as sun protection.  This is another superb sun cream to wear under makeup leaving no white residue and providing a dry finish without a hint of greasiness.  Claims water resistance of up to 4 hours.

Price:  £21.82 for 50ml at QVC

Repurchase?:  My heart says yes but my head says no.  Again, this contains Oxybenzone.

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3.  Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA+++ is a fluid-textured solution that feels cooling to the skin when applied.  It leaves no white casts and a slightly dewy (but not greasy) finish.  Perhaps better for normal/dry skins though as it lacks the immediate touch-dry feel of the other two.  It sets after a couple of minutes, which is how long I usually wait before applying makeup over it.  No claims of water resistance.

Price: Around £12 for 50ml from eBay

Repurchase?: Again, probably not.  It’s great value but contains Octinoxate.

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4.  Avon ANEW Solar Advance Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF50 PA+++* similar in finish to the Biore but with a heavier texture.  This is definitely more cream than fluid but the most pleasant smelling of all sun creams trialled.  Packaging is a frustration because the bods at Avon decided it would be a good idea to print orange text over a yellow bottle, cue much squinting.

Again, this works best if you leave it a couple of minutes before applying make up but again, it left no white casts on my skin and once ‘set’, I experienced no issues with products that I used over it.

Price:  Currently £8.50 for 75ml at Avonshop – an absolute bargain!

Repurchase:  Unlikely, it’s another one to use Oxybenzone as a UVA/UVB filter and is a little heavier textured than the others.

.

5.  SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF50* is an all-mineral sunscreen that employs physical UV filters Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide to protect the skin from the sun.  You would usually expect to be left with a white residue as these ingredients sit on the skin’s surface, physically deflecting the UV rays but SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense uses micronized particles to provide a sheer, non-chalky finish.  The texture is extremely fluid and needs a good shake before applying as it does separate in the bottle.

Paraben-free and contains plankton extract to increase the skin’s defences against UV and heat stresses.

Price:  £26.99 for 50ml at Dermacare Direct

Repurchase:  Possibly, though I found the mattifying effect a little drying for my combo/dry skin.

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6.  Neals Yard Remedies Wild Rose Daily Moisture SPF 30* is the first sunscreen to be certified by the Soil Association (it’s 56% Organic) and contains only one active ingredient: Zinc Oxide.  Naturally scented (as you would expect), the tube dispenses a heavy-textured cream that takes a bit more effort to massage into your skin compared to the others on trial.  Once rubbed in, it dries to a velvety finish with no white residue.  It feels more comforting for my dry skin than the SkinCeuticals but otherwise, very similar once set.

Also contains antioxidant-rich wild rosehip oil and milk thistle, is paraben-free and wears beautifully under makeup.

Price:  £23.50 for 50ml at Neals Yard Remedies.

Repurchase:  Absolutely.  100% mineral, matt-finish but with the added benefits of moisturisation makes Neals Yard Remedies my winning choice.

.

A note on my personal choice to avoid some synthetic UV filters:  I’ve made the decision to avoid some UV filters that have been linked to possible hormone disruption.  The jury is still out on the validity of studies that have flagged these safety issues but whilst there are good alternative choices available, I’m pleased to be able to make them.

* press sample

The Cutting Room Floor #2

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 20 - 2011

It’s true, we don’t have much need (where did I put my umbrella?) for protecting our locks against sun damage on these drizzly shores at the moment but if you’re planning a Summer holiday to warmer climes don’t forget to pack more protection than just your SPF30!

Our hair can suffer the effects of the sun just as much as our skin and if you’re constantly dipping in and out of the sea or chlorinated pools whilst on your hols, your barnet will return home drier than a sun-dried twiglet.

Welcome to the second installment of The Cutting Room Floor, the segment devoted to Summer hair bits and bobs that have caught my eye over recent weeks!

1.  Aveda Sun Care 2011 (from £14.00)

Aveda Sun Care 2011 lineup comprises of a three-step defence and recovery system:

Aveda Cun Care Protective Hair Veil (£17.50):  A lightweight, water-resistant UV defense mist that forms an invisible screen to help protect hair from sun exposure for up to 16 hours, to minimise colour fading, damage and dryness.

After Sun Hair & Body Cleanser (£14.00):  Aveda Sun Care Hair & Body Cleanser features a colour-safe formula with corn-derived chelator that gently removes chlorine, salt and product residue.

Aveda Sun Care After-Sun Hair Treatment Masque (£16.50):  An intensive cream masque that replenishes hair’s protein balance, moisturises and defends against free radicals and the damaging effects of sunlight.

2.  Dr. Hauschka Neem Hair Oil (£22.95) *

Described as a ‘hero product’ for the Dr. Hauschka line, the Neem Hair Oil contains a rich, replenishing formula that promises to soften and restore hair that has been damaged by treatments, hair tools and the strains of holiday living!

It also lays claim to being able calm itchy, flaky conditions, encourage hair growth and even normalise sebaceous activity on hair that is prone to greasiness!  Best used as a weekly pre-shampoo treatment on most hair types but also recommended as a styling product for those with extra-dry, frazzled locks.  I have a sample here that I’m ITCHING (no pun intended) to put to good use… watch this space!

3.  Vidal Sassoon Contemporary Collection (from £17.99)

From August, Vidal Sassoon is getting a new look.  Clearly fed up with us lot buying up the high street stores in an attempt to reinvent our Summer wardrobe, the iconic hair brand is upping their game to join us!

The purple accents and redesigned packaging give a nod to the hairdresser’s love of geometric lines and asymmetric styling.  The new budget-friendly range in its eye-catching new packaging will be on shelf from August.

4.  Gielly Green Summer GWP offer (£19.50)

If you’re more concerned about the weight of your luggage than anything else this Summer (well not *anything* else, need a life much?), you might be interested in the current offer available at Gielly Green.

My love for their Argan Oil is well documented on here and until the end of August, when you purchase a bottle, you’ll receive complimentary travel-sized Lemon & Muguet Body Wash and Lotions with every order.  Perfect for sticking two fingers up at RyanAir’s baggage restrictions and indulging in a bit of pampering at the same time!

5.  Sachajuan SPF Range (from £18.00) *

Sweden’s hottest hair stylists have hit the UK with a new range expected to delight the socks off beach lovers everywhere.  The SPF line up includes three products designed to offer maximum protection against environmental damage without adding additional weight or build-up to fine hair.

A shampoo, conditioner and UV-busting mousse ensures that your style is protected with long-lasting effects without skimping on nourishment thanks to its very own Ocean Silk Technology formula containing valuable proteins and minerals derived from sea algae.

Sachajuan is available instore at Liberty and online at MichaelJohn Boutique

.

Do you have any practical Summer hair tips for holidays?

* press sample

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