Boots No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream (what a lovely tinted moisturiser)

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 22 - 2012

So, staunchly ploughing my way through the UK available BB Creams (but slowly, very slowly)… the next on my radar was the Boots No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream* which was launched recently.  It comes in a few varieties, depending on your skintype: normal/oily, normal/dry, dry/very dry.  I’ve got a stock image here because I took my photos last month and can’t find them on my computer anymore… I bet I got a bit zealous in my cleaning up process a few weeks ago.

I’m really enjoying what feels like a bonus inclusion for the dry/very dry camp and this delivers well on not exacerbating any symptoms of dry skin.  It doesn’t cling to flakes and it doesn’t highlight any dry patches or look powdery as it settles.  It doesn’t however, provide enough moisturisation for me to wear it without moisutirser underneath.  Nor, at SPF15, does it provide enough sun protection on its own.  This to me, isn’t a BB Cream – it’s simply not an all-in-one solution with the kind of skincare benefits that I’m looking for.

But how does it work as a foundation or base?

Really nicely actually.  It gives more coverage than a regular tinted moisturiser but not quite as much as a light foundation.  It leaves a dewy finish that is a little tacky to the touch before settling and tones down my redness well enough to give me the confidence I need to face the world.  I usually apply this with my fingers, making it a fast 5-minute face option for mornings when I don’t need or particularly want to look made-up.  Quick trips to the shops, school-runs, the general day-to-day stuff that you feel a little happier doing without a completely bare face.

It lasts adequately and doesn’t pack any oxidisation issues throughout the day.

Although the texture is quite thick, it feels blendable once it comes into contact with skin (especially under warm fingers) and has enough slip to allow you to really work it into the face quite well.  There are two shades available in each variety (fair & medium) and fair is a good-enough match for my pale skintone, a little too warm/dark but it’s sheer enough not to cause any problems.

The Boots No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream in Dry/Very Dry is priced at £12.95 for 40ml, and is available instore and online at boots.com

* press sample


These trio of eyeshadows from Illamasqua’s latest Human Fundamentalism* collection landed on my desk this week and I thought I’d post up some swatches.  The three matte shades are: Vernau (yellow ochre), CanCan (bright lilac purple), and Pivot (yellow green).  Get ready for some piccies… (I dunno why I always say that like it’s 2001 and you’re all hitting X so as not to max out your 56k dial up *shrugs*)

The shades have fair to good pigmentation (for mattes) and blend nicely.  The pick up is powdery but again, this is something you often have to contend with when you’re using a matte formula.  On with the swatches…

Applied on dry skin with no primer (please excuse the cycling scratches).  The pales don’t look too chalky considering.

Each shade applied with Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel* (as you would for an eyeliner application).

My attempts at a FOTD sadly ended with me looking at myself in the mirror and declaring “you look like a twat in those colours”.

But…. and this is where it gets interesting…

I went to the bathroom to remove my clown face and upon scrubbing with face wash and warm water….

The swatches done with the Sealing Gel would. not. budge.  I mean, they really wouldn’t budge.  I’m sat here 5 hours later and they’re still looking at me.

So my review is being thoroughly hijacked because I can’t coo over a trio of eyeshadows in shades that I wouldn’t be seen dead in (did I mention Illamasqua will makeover your dead body?).  However… I can get excited over the Illamasqua Sealing Gel which would be a phenomenal addition to your makeup routine if, like me, you have hooded eyelids and can’t stop eyeliner from transfering up to your hairline when you blink a bit too hard.

The shadows are ok, if you’re gonna get all hot and sweaty over them… you probably don’t read my blog anyway to be honest.  But check out the inconspicuous looking bottle of sealing gel next time you’re near a counter.  I already own/use a mineral-makeup branded sealing gel… this is 100x better.

Illamasqua’s sealing gel is priced at £10.50 and can be purchased on counter or online.  Also, if you haven’t seen them already – check out Illa’s pretty glorious moving swatches on their new-fangled website.  The Human Fundamentalism Collection can be seen here.

* press sample

Estee Lauder Daywear BB (Beauty Benefit) Creme

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 17 - 2012

Firstly, I’d like to say a big hoorah for a “western” BB Cream with a decent SPF rating.  The Estee Lauder Daywear BB Creme* comes with a broad-spectrum sun protection rating of SPF35.  What it doesn’t come with, is a whole bunch of moisture – and that’s bad news for me, especially because it’s kind of the whole reason I fell in love with BB creams in the first place.  But let’s not forget, this version from Estee Lauder has disassociated itself with the whole BB cream ‘thing’ by re-imagining those two initials, not to mean blemish/beblesh balm, but ‘beauty benefit’.  If that sounds a little bit wanky, it’s because it is.

Having said that… every cloud has a silver lining does it not?

What the Estee Lauder Daywear BB Creme does introduce, is very good oil control.  It doesn’t achieve this by mattifying the crap out of your complexion, you’ll still see a certain amount of dewiness (a.k.a life) and definitely a lot of ‘real’ skin, but it manages to velvet-ify (that’s SO a word), keeping the greasies (also a word) at bay very effectively indeed.

Coverage is sheer/medium but it evens my skintone without arguments and reduces the redness admirably.  If you’ve got blemishes, you’ll need to conceal these – don’t be layering four coats of BB cream ontop and hoping for the best.

Many have raised concerns about the shade and yes, two shades is not enough and 01 Light (the palest) is both too dark and too warm-toned for pale, cool pink types like myself.  If you’re an NC20 upward, you should be fine with this shade.  I’m not one to be massively horrified if a foundation doesn’t match my skintone exactly, I just don’t want to look tangoed or for people to take sly twitpics of me to show their friends how ‘not’ to get matched for foundation.  You know?  Hopefully the pictures will give a better impression of what I’m trying to say but I think I can get away with this one aslong as I don’t get too fixated on it not quite being right.

What else is there to mention?  Packaging is sleek and portable, if not the sexiest I’ve seen.  It smells strongly of cucumber, reminding me of the Boots own range of cucumber products… again, this doesn’t really scream “I’m worth my £32 price tag”.

Ok, before/after time – this is taken under flash conditions, at night so the change in tone is pretty much spot on (as I have complete control over the lighting here).  Also, I’m loving the chin spot.

The bottom line is this, if you have very dry skin, there are more suitable products available in the BB cream world for you.  If you have combination or oily skin and you’re a little darker than the average sun-dodger, you should really try and beg a sample of this from your nearest counter because I think it may be the best BB cream you’ve yet to try.

Estee Lauder Daywear BB Creme is available to buy now online and on counter, priced at £32 for 30ml

* press sample

Men of the World. Y U No Smell This Good?

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 14 - 2012

We all have definite ideas about the scents we like to surround ourselves with — be it the washing powder we use to clean our undies; the candles we light when we step through the door after work; or the bath oils we pour under a hot running tap at the end of the night.  When was the last time you chose a new shampoo in the supermarket before flipping up the lid and inhaling a quick whiff to make sure you shared the product’s olfactory persuasions?

But what about the people we share our lives with?  What control do we have over how they smell?!

It’s taken a long time to gently steer my husband away from the Umbro Aftershave of his early twenties and onto scents which don’t make me want to check behind his ears for dirt.  I sound like a fragrance nazi right?  I’m not… it’s not that he resisted either, he just didn’t have an opinion either way.  Over the past couple of years, he’s developed a greater understanding and passion for fragrance — and thankfully, we do share quite similar tastes — something which comes in very handy for sharing the cost of those more extravagant fragrance purchases.

On this day, St. Valentine’s Day — I thought I’d hand the reins over to my brilliant husband, who has picked out the fragrances from his collection that make us both swoon when he wears them.

YSL – M7 Oud Absolu | Molton Brown NTS – Rogart | Parfum d’Empire – Ambre Russe | Oscar de la Renta – Oscar for Men | Floris – Santal

I’m still an awful fragrance reviewer, I just don’t have enough words swirling around in my puny brain to conjure up enough ways to say “if this fragrance were a doughnut, you’d consume four of them in one sitting”.  Although, I’ll never get better if I don’t try, so – in our own bumbled together manner… (at least I’ve got someone else to blame)

Yves Saint Laurent: M7 Oud Absolu (£58.00) *

As part of the reworked YSL Heritage Collection which celebrates half a century of expert perfume creation, the brand have released a reworked version of M7 which first came to the public nose in 2002 under the direction of one Mr. Tom Ford.  From such an agent provocateur, you’d expect to experience something special and you won’t be disappointed with this fragrance, which despite the reformulation is described as the climax of male sexuality1.  M7 is a deeply smoky scent with notes of myrrh, french labdanum, patchouli and a resonating woody, almost leathery oud accord.  There’s a medicinal hint that lingers through the dry-down which we both find comforting.  It’s not sharp but resinous and syrupy, like a cough drop.  M7 is a fragrance for the night, of the night.  If Serge Gainsbourg were to walk in behind me right now, this is the smell I’d catch (and hold onto) as he passed.  An intensely sexy, dark scent.

1 yslbeauty.co.uk

 Molton Brown Navigations Through Scent: Rogart (£60.00)

If you prefer to scent your senses with a touch of the gourmand, you may be interested in Rogart’s unusual but profoundly delicious note more usually found on your pancakes than in your perfume: maple syrup.  The tasty fragrance from Jennifer Jambon opens with a bracing blend of juniper berries and fir balsam which gives it that ‘great outdoors’ feel and indeed it should, as it draws its inspiration from the Cobequid Mountains of Canada.  All this freshness contrasts wonderfully as it warms on the skin and develops a hint of campfire, resinous wood and that sweet, mouthwatering maple.  Jointly, we’ve purchased nearly all of the releases in the Navigations Through Scent collection but Rogart firmly remains my husband’s favourite.

Parfum d’Empire: Ambre Russe (£84.50)

Not sure we’ll ever fall out of love with the majestic, imperial notes contained within Parfum d’Empire’s exquisite nod to Tsarist Russia.  It’s all here: vodka, champagne, tea, leather, amber and incense.  It’s like the party you know will conclude with most of its guests going home in a meat wagon before sunrise.  It’s raucously obnoxious and it knows it.  It wants you to know it too and you can’t help but admire Ambre Russe for it’s audacity to even exist.  It manages to be simultaneously effervescent (that’ll be the champagne hic!) and creamy, with the boozy amber trumping all else.  If you like dark, oriental fragrances, consider this a contender for the big daddy – shy, delicate noses need not apply.

Oscar de la Renta: Oscar for Men (£45.00)

We fought a little over the inclusion of this… I wanted to place Bvlgari Black above this one but Mr. L triumphed by making me a cup of tea and pointing out that, for once, he was entitled to call first dibs.  Oscar de la Renta’s Oscar for Men can be picked up online for as little as £17.00, which admittedly, ups the desirability stakes.  It’s a far sharper, more summery scent than the ones we’ve so far included – the top notes of bergamot, mandarin, and black pepper ensure that it prickles a little with a zestiness that makes you stand up and pay attention.  It has a floral heart that tempers the spiciness a little but if you’re a fan of the peppery notes of something like Marc Jacob’s Bang, you should enjoy this equally.  Oscar for Men trails with a suggestion of leather and vanilla which further smoothes the pepper without ever fully quietening it.  A spicy serenade that wears well in warmer months thanks to it’s sparkling opening.

Floris London: Santal (£69.00) *

As is my prerogative, I’m a woman of many contradictions.  Sometimes, I will eschew the feral, growling sensibilities of something like M7 (though never Serge) and want the man in my life to appeal as much to others as he does to me.  Floris Santal is the perfect scent to meet that need with its clean but never soapy existence.  Creamy sandalwood (and good sandalwood at that) gives Santal the most distinguished of edges in the overpopulated woody oriental category.  A hint of spiciness and musk keeps things warm and sensual whilst the crisp bergamot and trickles of lavender promote the balance beautifully and prevent this classic scent from ever feeling generic or old-fashioned.  Longevity is unparalled, displaying the kind of quality one would expect from a traditional British fragrance house like Floris.  I may have started with Serge Gainsbourg, but please… let me end with a young, freshly-shaven Paul Newman.  Rawr.

I’m feeling a tad hot under the collar now!  Happy Valentine’s Day you lovely lot.

Do you lust over leather or go crazy for classic cleanliness?  Do those animalic undertones bring out your wild side or perhaps you simply prefer a good old splash of Brut! 

Tell me, how do you like the men in your life to smell? (note: “of money” isn’t a valid answer!)

* press sample

Boots No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection Swatches and FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 13 - 2012

Can you feel it coming?  The birds are beginning to sing a slightly more cheerful tune, the flowers are peeking their tiny heads out from beneath the frozen ground and the dark evenings are gradually fading into longer twilights.  Sure, it ain’t exactly warming up yet… but I’m optimistic that we’re over the worst of it.  Maybe.

The fact that I took delivery of the Boots No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection* this morning may have had something to do with the new-found spring in my step (pardon the pun).  Look at that packaging, I love it and I usually quite dislike white cosmetic packaging.  Mind you, I used to hate white gadgets too… *hides all Apple technology*.

The new Lisa Eldridge-created collection consists of: one eye palette, one complexion highlighter, two cream blushers and two lipsticks.  No nail polishes this time.  Boo.

Want a closer look?

This prettily packaged eye palette reminds me of the Avon Marimekko ones from a few years back, does anyone remember those?  Anyway, the No7 Vital Brighetning Eye Palette offers five warm-toned shades with four neutrals and a pop of golden-yellow.  Nothing too dark here, this is all about bringing some light to the face and brightening the eye area.  I tend to prefer cooler tones on my eyes but I do like the satin-finish of these, they’re not too metallic and showy.  Texture is a touch soft but they blend nicely and last very well on primed eyelids.

Next up is the No7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter, a smooth champagne highlighting powder that applies with more sophistication and refinement than I expected.  It imparts a non-metallic glow when used with a light hand and is neutral enough not to look too warm, or too pink on my skintone.  No7 generally do highlighting powders very, very well and if you’re in the market for a new one, this is worth a look.

A real standout in the collection are their two new blushers.  The No7 Vital Brights Cream Blushers in Blooming Pink (fuchsia) and Blossoming Pink (guava) are a cream-to-powder formulation that pack a real punch of vibrancy whilst still being able to blend down to a wearable flush without streaking.  The formula is *so* spot on with these… I own cream blushers that cost twice as much and apply literally, half as well as these do.  Highly recommend checking these out while they’re still available.

My other favourite from the collection are the two new No7 Vital Brights Lipstick shades that allude to the popular lightweight formula the beauty world can’t get enough off, whilst boasting more buildable pigmentation levels than most gel-style lipsticks.  They’re knockout shades too… Blooming Pink is the killer, cool-toned fuchsia which looks great with a slick of black liner and will carry you confidently through to Summer.  Blossoming Pink is a slightly cool-toned nude which will please women who prefer a safer lip-shade.  It’s nude without being too pale, more of a perfecting lip shade than a colour statement.  How this one turns out will really depend on your natural lip colouring.

Without wanting to sound like a major fangirl, there’s not a dud in the collection.  If you twisted my arm, I’d say that you could probably leave the eye palette on the shelf.  It’s a little bit soft and doesn’t tick my must-have requirements in the same way as some of the other pieces.  Do not let this limited edition collection pass you by without going in for a closer look at the lipsticks and blushes though.  That’s an order.

If you can bring yourself to, please excuse the bottom right cam-whoring.  I couldn’t – in all seriousness – where such a horrifically clashing lip shade and not ham it up a bit.  In all photos I’m wearing the eye palette, blossoming pink cream blush and highlighter.  It’s hopefully clear enough in which photos I’m wearing which lipstick.  Does that make sense?

No7 Vital Brighetning Eye Palette – 4g (£13.00)
No7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter – 10g (£13.00)
No7 Vital Brights Cream Blushers in Blooming Pink or Blossoming Pink – 2g (£10.00)
No7 Vital Brights Lipsticks in Blooming Pink or Blossoming Pink – 3.5g (£10.00)

Have you got your eye on any pieces from the new Spring Collection?  Already bought something – let me know!

The No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection is available exclusively in Boots stores now and online at Boots.com until the 6th March 2012.  It’s worth pointing out that No7 products are also currently on 3for2.

* press samples

Estee Lauder NEW Invisible Fluid Makeup Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 10 - 2012

I’ve been a little bit too obsessed with tracking down and swatching recent Western brand’s attempts at B.B. Creams (still not great) resulting in having become a little blinded to other base releases on the market and this latest Estee Lauder release is one that I’m pleased I didn’t miss.  Billed as one of those skin-matching formulas (which makes me wonder why they need an impressive 16 shades 😉 ) Invisible Fluid Makeup promises to perfect your skin without leaving a trace.  Step back all ye who can’t be parted with your Double Wear, this one’s not for you.

The  base delivers a lightweight, slightly mattifying finish that evens out my redness and softens my pores.  I would prefer *slightly* oilier skin when using this to maximise those mattifying benefits but it doesn’t cause me any tightness on my dry skin either… I just feel that there is a little room to love it more.  Something that I’ll be excited to discover when the weather begins to warm up.

The fluid formula reminds me very much of Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua, but delivered with more refinement — I found the Chanel less kind to my drier skin.  The bottle needs a good shake to mix the formula before application and contains a ball bearing inside to speed things along.  Unlike the Chanel, and despite its mattifying features – Invisible Fluid Makeup* gives my skin a luminosity, it remains more transparent despite still affording a more even skintone.  The Chanel simply gave me a light mask which didn’t sit kindly with my dilated pores and fine lines.

If you’ve many blemishes, you may find that this doesn’t give you the coverage you’re looking for.  Similarly, if you’re a tinted moisturiser kinda girl — this may offer too much.  If you just want something that feels very lightweight, is easy to blend, and evens both skintone whilst softening the appearance of pores – you should head to your nearest Estee Lauder counter when this goes on full release next month.

It lasts well throughout the day, slipping a little from my nose by tea-time but wearing evenly across the rest of my face.  The lightweight feel of a tinted moisturiser with a hint more coverage makes for a very interesting new addition to the foundation market.  Do check this one out if you’re a no-foundation foundation girl.

Estee Lauder’s Invisible Fluid Makeup is currently an exclusive for the rest of the month at John Lewis, retailing at £27.00 for 30ml.

* press sample – I’m wearing shade 1CN1

Luxurious lips that cost a pretty penny with Lubatti

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 8 - 2012

Luxury skincare brand Lubatti have released their latest skincare product in the form of Anti-age Wonderlip which has been specifically designed to help increase lip volume whilst reducing fine lines and wrinkles.  I was sent a tube a few weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces thanks to the recent cold snap.

The tiny 10ml tube is filled with a deliciously-light, gently scented balm that promises to nourish lips whilst providing a plumped up pout with less of those pesky fine lines and lip wrinkles.  First things first, it works… really, really well but not in the stinging, lip-irritating way that lip volumisers usually plump.  This is a silicone-heavy lip primer that fills the furrows and smoothes the lip texture, creating the illusion of a prettier pout.  That’s not to say that there are no long-term skincare benefits to help promote lip volume, but first and foremost – think of this as a non-drying lip primer.

And the term non-drying is key here, as most lip primers I’ve tried in the past leave my lips looking good but feeling tight.  The Lubatti Anti-age Wonderlip* manages to prime without any unwanted side-effects.  Except for one.  A great, big dent in your wallet.  Priced at £29, it’s a costly addition to your skincare routine but seeing as it offers a tangible difference – I have visions of this becoming a bit of a cult product among those who can afford such luxuries.

If you suffer from dry lips, I think you’ll probably still need the support of something a little more heavy duty on the moisturisation front and paired with a nightly application of Lanolips 101, this has become a bit of a dream team lip-combo.  Not one that I can afford to sustain… but it’s very, very lovely while it lasts.

Ingredients: Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Cera Alba, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate, C 18-21 Alkane, Vp/hexadecene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Tribehenin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Aroma, Sorbitan Isostearate, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Nicotinate, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol.

Lubatti Anti-age Wonderlip is priced at £29 and available online from lubatti.co.uk

* press sample

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 6 - 2012

Ha!  It feels kinda old-skool to be reviewing this on the blog no?  MAC isn’t the force in the blogging community that it once was.  Anyway, I for one am delighted that there’s room for so many other brands nowadays – though I’m excited to be pulling out a trusty old MSF for today’s review nonetheless.

Pretty ain’t she?  Lightscapade is that delicate cousin that looks all willowy and ethereal when compared to your ruddy, more “sturdy” self.  If you can’t *be* her, then at least steal some of her daintyness by dusting your cheekbones and hoping that she’ll impart a ghostly, wispy beauty to your fizzog.

One of MAC’s more finely-milled mineralize skinfinishes, Lightscapade was hugely sought after until the brand re-promoted it last year.  The one I have above is from this re-promote and may or may not be less or more beautiful than its predecessor.  I don’t care enough to google.

Lightscapade is a glowing, almost-white highlight with enough of a warm sheen to prevent you from looking like the undead, madeup.  I apply this with the MAC 130 to keep the application area to a minimum cheekbone highlight, it’s easy to go overboard.

Obviously, what with MAC’s numerous releases and limited editions, you can’t currently purchase this from the store but keep an eye out on eBay as I imagine the prices will be less extortionate than they were before the re-promote.

Are you a fan of MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes?  Which is your favourite?

Rimmel London NEW Wake Me Up Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 27 - 2012

This month sees a new foundation release from Rimmel London which promises to instalntly re-awaken skin with a healthy, radiant looking glow.  Otherwise known as Wake Me Up Foundation.  We could all do with a bit of that no?

The formula contains tiny ‘radiance pearls‘ to help illuminate the complexion… but I can’t see them, so they really must be erm, tiny.  It’s not one of those sparkly foundations that luminize by turning your face into a disco-ball, put it that way.  It’s medium/full coverage and conceals an uneven skintone brilliantly… I can also feel some significant silicone going on with a primer-y slip that effectively conceals larger pores better than many foundations I’ve tried.  And I’ve tried a lot.

I’m using the lightest shade (Ivory), which as you can see above – is a hair too dark and a hair too warm for me.  This isn’t groundbreaking stuff… when you only have six shades in your range, you’re not going to have a shade for everyone.  Something to bear in mind if you’re on the pale end of NW15 (I’d class myself somewhere inbetween NW15/NW20).

It claims to last 10hrs, I’d say it gets close to that for me, a little bit of slip down the bridge of my nose but it wasn’t sliding off my face by lunchtime.

Infact, I think this is pretty darn amazing for an £8.99 price tag.  Except for one thing.  It hates dry skin… if you have any flakes, no matter how invisible they may be when you’re bare-faced – once you’ve applied this, you’ll be scratching at them in an attempt to dislodge.  I can’t comment on how this would work for oily skin types, I think you may experience a little too much slip as I didn’t feel this was particularly mattifying.

On my cheeks, where my skin is ‘normal’ – this foundation worked flawlessly, better than flawlessly thanks to it’s pore-busting properties but over my problem (dry) areas, it struggled.  In other words… I’m coming back to this when I get my dry skin under control and I may not stray for a while.

Rimmel London’s NEW Wake Me Up Foundation is available instore now from Boots, Superdrug, etc. Priced at £8.99 for 30ml.

* press sample

Fiberwig LX by D.J.V. Beautenizer Mascara Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 16 - 2012

Japanese mascaras are hot property and DJV Fiberwig is the top selling mascara brand in Japan, Fiberwig LX builds on the popularity of the original Fiberwig formula with a new-fangled brush that promises to coat each lash with greater ease, allowing more of those lash-extending fibres to reach their intended target.

I already have fairly long lashes but lengthening is still high on the list of what I want mascara to do.  There are two things in life that can never be long enough… lashes, and um holidays? (stop smirking).

Packaged in a glossy, red tube, d.j.v. beautenizer Fiberwig LX combines a lash-building fibre formula that unlike previous fibre-rich mascaras I’ve tried, doesn’t irritate my eyes or drop little fibres onto my cheeks as the day progresses.  It has a filmy, slightly oily texture that glides onto the lashes and the curved brush makes applying the product to my lower lashes a breeze.

I found the finished effect to be more lengthening than volumising.  I have naturally curly lashes, so I’m unable to comment on how well it holds a curl but I can feel that this is a lightweight formula, so I’d imagine that it would do well for those who need to curl their lashes in advance.  The most impressive thing about the Fiberwig LX mascara is its resilience.  There was no flaking, no smudging and my lashes looked as mascara’ed up by the end of the day as they had at the beginning.  Removal was an issue… I did have to work a little harder than normal to dissolve the mascara with my cleansing oil.  The product removes in little clumps which can feel a bit disconcerting!

If I’d experienced better volumising from this mascara, I’d have it on my holy grail list – but as it stands, a girl needs more than just lengthening alone.  Unless you’ve got naturally thick lashes, in which case run RUN to CultBeauty.co.uk, where you can buy the Fiberwig LX by D.J.V. Beautenizer for £18.00

* press sample

UPDATE: I sheepishly stand corrected… this mascara removes like a dream with the help of some hot water.  Who knew water was so, err, useful? 😉

 

Fifty years ago, there was very little we could do about most cosmetic imperfections.  Children wore port-wine stains and birthmarks on their skin their entire lives and men and women alike have always suffered from cosmetic abnormalities that range from the mildly irritating to the full-blown debilitating.  Nowadays, of course, things are very different and the one technology that has made the biggest difference to non-invasive treatments is the not-so-humble laser.

You don’t need to read far back through this blog to discover the impact that cosmetic lasers have made to my life, I have a greater sense of self-worth now that I’ve achieved and am maintaining a worthwhile reduction in hair growth, perhaps a shallow sentiment but it’s easy to underestimate the devastating effects that cosmetic flaws can have on our self-esteem and confidence.

I headed back to my local Sk:n Clinic one morning in November to see what could be done about a skin imperfection that I’d noticed had gotten worse since giving birth to my daughter in 2009.  It’s a ‘condition’ that affects many women (and men) around the world and is particularly prominent among those of us with a classic Celtic complexion.  I’m talking about thread veins.

Thread veins, spider veins, broken veins — whatever you want to call them — come under many guises but these delicate blood vessels are generally harmless little blighters that may be clearly visible across the thinner areas of skin.  In my case, it was the tip of my nose that suffered a permanent red (purple in cold weather) flush.  Making me look not unlike a total lush.  The photo below shows my skin on the day of my consultation, it’s freshly washed and moisturised so a little more ‘stimulated’ (read: irritated) than it would be later in the day.

The majority of my thread veins are minor and conceal well with a good application of a medium-coverage foundation.  The one on the tip of my nose however, has slowly become more resistant to concealer.  I’m prone to redness and see it as part and parcel of who I am but when faced with the opportunity to correct the imperfections genetics has dumped on us, why not?

My consultation was enlightening, I discovered more about the causes behind these little red road maps that traverse my face just under the surface of my skin.  I couldn’t resist asking if squeezing spots too recklessly as a teen (ok, older) may have contributed to their irritation.  The nurse at Sk:n said that whilst it may have been a contributing factor (as with any physical skin damage), the biggest likelihood pointed at simple genetic inheritance.  Thanks Mum!

The procedure itself was painless.  Not ‘uncomfortable’ just completely painless.  For some reason, I assumed that due to the particularly bony location I might have felt a reasonable amount of discomfort.  Nothing, nada.  Does not even compare to laser hair removal (which I find pretty ‘uncomfortable’).

The biggest caveat the nurse at Sk:n warned me about was the likelihood of bruising.  And er… I’m glad she did, as the photos will demonstrate.

Nice.  I don’t look *at all* stupid.

No, ok I really do look stupid.  There is no concealer in the world…

Scabby McScaberson.  DON’T PICK THE SCABS!

 

Halle-frickin-llujah, it fell off. Followed by: “Is this dent ever going to go away?”

“Oh, thank God for that”.  OOOOOooooohhhh where’s it gone?!

16 days people.  From start to finish.

A couple of laser bolts (not the technical term) fired at the tip of my nose, lots of giggles and comments about not needing “Rudolph” this Christmas and a fortnight later and cheerio biggest thread vein conurbation.  I’m really pleased to be able to show you something so tangible, often with all this beauty stuff results can be subjective and OK, it’s not the most groundbreaking cosmetic procedure in the world but it makes all the difference when a red nose isn’t the first flaw your critical mind picks up on when you look in the mirror. (I’ve moved on to something else, of course!)

The cost of this procedure? £99 for a single, very minor treatment.  That’s all it took to shift mine and over a month later, it hasn’t returned.

I hope this helps to give an accurate timeline and a little background information into what you can expect if you decide to go for laser thread vein removal.

In the words of The Fast Show’s Mancunian teenage, “Aren’t lasers BRILLIANT!?!”

 

You can read more about the facial thread vein removal services offered by Sk:n Clinic by clicking through to their website.

* complimentary treatment courtesy of Sk:n Clinic

Last month, I attended a ByTerry event to showcase the French brand and in particular, two new foundations that have hit the counters recently.

Sheer-Expert and Cover-Expert are the two new formulas from ByTerry’s creator Terry de Gunzburg.  As you may have guessed from their names, the major difference between the two are the coverage that they offer.

According to the brand…

Sheer Expert provides adjustable coverage, smoothes and plumps features and dims imperfections and signs of fatigue.  The natural satin finish adjusts and blends into your natural skin colour to reveal a perfect complexion with a sheer effect.

Cover Expert corrects all imperfections and flaws (including dark circles, freckles (flaw?!?!) wrinkles, fine lines or expression lines) while immediately lifting, smoothing and illuminating.  The matte satin formula is undetected on skin and provides an illuminated, unified, smooth skin tone.

Priced at £44 each for 35ml, they’re as you would expect, priced for the luxury end of the market but unlike a lot of their luxury counterparts, the range is impressively inclusive with a full 12 shades from the lightest to darkest skin shades available.

I was given a tube of the Cover-Expert foundation, after being matched to #4 Rosy Beige and have been trying it out over the past month.  I have to say, it’s been a difficult month for a foundation to be tested on my skin… adjusting to the central-heating coming on has cause all manner of dryness and irritability, so this foundation has really been up against it, so to speak.

It’s rose-scented (as is much of the ByTerry lineup) and has a distinct silicone feel to the formula… which isn’t surprising when you look at the top three ingredients listed: Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua and Dimethicone.  This does give a good, smoothing and softening effect over my imperfections but doesn’t play too well with my skin dryness.  I have to give this foundation a well-moisturised base to avoid the dreaded flakies – but to its credit, it does behave well as long as I prep my skin adequately.

The shade is a wonderful match, which is surprising as I never have to go as high as a #4 in anything usually!  Pale girls, check this range immediately.

As for the coverage… I’d actually describe this as a little less than full.  It’s not in the same league as something like Estee Lauder Double Wear, my benchmark for wearable full coverage!  The ByTerry Cover-Expert foundation is a medium-to-full coverage which is fine for wearing during the daytime.  It reduces the redness around my nose without obliterating it or preventing my natural skin texture to show through.

I also find that it makes excellent use of light reflection, despite a matte finish – I feel that the hollows under my eyes are softened thanks to some clever light trickery – something which we all know Terry is notoriously good at (hello Touche Eclat!).

If you’re normal or even oily-skinned – you may find a perfect foundation partner with this new high-tech foundation from ByTerry.  Me?  Well, it makes me work a little harder than I’d like… but the result is worth it and this may well come in to its own once the weather gets a little warmer.  It’s a keeper, I’ll let you know if it’s a repurchas-er!

Sheer-Expert and Cover-Expert are available to buy now from SpaceNK, priced at £44 for 35ml and available in 12 shades.

* press sample

 

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