Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday Makeup: Dare to bare with 'no makeup' makeup

I don't know about you, but on Sundays I like to relax in comfy clothes and I definitely don't want to be caked in a faceful of makeup...but equally I'm usually battling a hangover or at the very least I'm shattered after a long week, so going makeup-free would be a BAD idea.
Therefore I love the idea of 'no makeup' makeup- that is, a natural look requiring minimal makeup to make me look fresh and awake, whilst staying light and natural.

I'm going to show you my must have products and tips to create a gorgeous natural look.
Firstly I start with my usual moisturiser, at the moment I'm loving Clarins Daily Energizer Lotion. Then instead of my usual primer, because I'm not going to be wearing a heavy foundation, I go for Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. This wonder-balm instantly makes skin look more awake and glowing, and creates a perfect base for makeup.

Then I mix a little bit of highlighter with a BB cream, for a light, dewy coverage. At the moment I'm loving Benefit Sunbeam for a golden sunkissed glow, mixed with No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream for Normal/Oily skin in Medium. I prefer this to other BB creams as it is specially for oily skin so doesn't leave skin looking greasy or shiny.

To brighten my tired under eye area, and disguise my dark circles, I create another clever little cocktail, mixing Benefit Ooh La Lift which is a brightening under eye treatment with Benefit Erase Paste in 02 which is a light-reflecting concealer. The mixture feels cooling and soothing on the under eye area, whilst reflecting light away from my dark circles. 


I then dust a little blotting powder on my T-Zone to get rid of any shine, and then I sweep a shimmery blusher over my cheekbones, forehead and down my nose, to warm up my complexion. Today I used Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder (available at John Lewis). The shades are divided into Blondes (shimmery bronze and pink shades) and Brunettes (shimmery bronze and orange shades), I'm using Sun Blondes 04, which is the darker Blonde shade, I know obviously I'm brunette but I just prefer the pinky tone to the more coral Brunette powder.

A couple of coats of natural mascara, and a slick of brow gel adds a groomed touch, and finally the look is completed with a touch of Rosy Lips Vaseline.

And there you have it, my finished Sunday Makeup look!

What do you think? Do any of you guys use different products for a more relaxed look?


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Review: Fake Bake 60 Minute Tan

With the weather finally getting hotter it's starting to feel like summer might actually finally be here! I don't know about you but the sudden arrival of this hot weather made me instantly panic about having to crack the old shorts out while my pins are still pasty! 
I must admit I'd got lazy with my tanning as I have't been going out much due to be majorly skint, and obviously the weather has been awful so my pale skin has been snuggled up in loads of layers. 

Normally I'm brown all year round when I've got nights out to plan for, as I would rather not go out than go out looking anything other than bronzed. If I'm having a big night out I need at least 2-3 layers of fake tan to feel brown enough, so for me getting ready for a night out usually starts on a Thursday if I'm out on Saturday, so I can have a couple of nights applying my tan, giving it plenty of time to build up to my desired shade. 

Now while this means I can go out looking lovely and brown, it also means being spontaneous is a bit difficult, as if someone springs a night out on me, my immediate thought is 'but I'm not brown!' I would definitely rather stay in than go out looking pale, as I just wouldn't feel comfortable. I'm not going to lie, this does make life difficult and can be really frustrating as although instant tan is great then you have the issue of constantly panicking about some idiot spilling a drink on you, and hyperventilating at a drop of rain.

Fortunately for the tanaholics out there, Fake Bake has developed a new product to save the day! 
Fake Bake's new 60 Minute Tan Liquid is formulated to develop in just one hour. 

Fake Bake say:
"The longest lasting, most natural looking, ultimate fake tan just got even FASTER!"

Now as a Fake Bake devotee I simply HAD to try out this new wonder product. Normally I use Fake Bake Extreme Gel or Flawless Liquid, and find both to give amazing deep brown results. 
The new 60 Minute Tan is very similar to the Flawless Liquid, except obviously it develops faster.

For £24.95 you get a 236ml bottle of the tanning liquid, along with a reusable Fake Bake tanning mitt and application advice.

I should've probably taken a photo of the mitt before I used it, when it was a cute shade of bright pink, rather than an awkward dirty brown shade...oops!

Fake Bake guidelines state how long to leave the tan developing for:

One hour- a beautiful golden tan
Two hours- a bronzed tan
Three hours- a dark tan

Fake Bake DO NOT recommend leaving the tan on for longer than 3 hours.

My arm BEFORE tanning

Naturally I left the tan on overnight so it would develop as much as possible!

My arm AFTER tanning

Now I must add that these photos do not do the tan justice, it was MUCH darker in real-life, so don't be fooled and think it didn't develop much, it really did!

The tan goes on really easily, I sprayed it directly onto my skin and blended with the mitt, rather than following the instructions which suggest spraying the tan onto the mitt then applying to skin in a circular motion. This is simply because I don't like wasting any tan! The results are just as good if not better and you don't feel like you're losing all the tan into the mitt.

It's really easy to apply the tan, due to Fake Bake's "shows where it goes" colour guide. And the tan absorbs immediately so you can get dressed straight away. It doesn't smell too bad either.

Now here's the science part; the tan works so quickly as the unique formula activates the melanin to penetrate in the skin for faster results. The tanning agents dihydroxyacetone and erythulose are activated on contact with the skin.

When I showered off the base colour, I was pleasantly surprised to see that hardly any tan comes off, whereas normally I look down in the shower to see a big brown puddle where all of my hard work and application time is streaming down the plughole!

So overall I would say Fake Bake 60 Minute Tan gets a big thumbs up from me, it develops quickly but also doesn't look ludicrous if you end up leaving it on longer. The tan lasts for at least a week before it starts to fade, and it gives a really natural brown tan, rather than the orange shade that some tans can create. I would absolutely recommend this tan to anyone, the simple application means it is suitable for tanning beginners, as well as die hard tanners like myself, and the results are incredible. 

So thankfully now those of us who live our lives in accordance with our tan can now say yes to spontaneous nights out! 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Review: Clarins Daily Energizer Skincare Range

Hi! Firstly sorry I haven't blogged in SO long, I've been super busy but I'm back now and have loads of exciting products to review for you!

I'm going to start off with some products I got a little while ago now, which are from Clarins' Daily Energizer Range. I think Clarins sometimes gets a reputation as a brand for older women, with loads of really complicated lotions and potions and science-y ingredients to tackle a myriad of issues that I'm hoping I won't have to deal with for a while yet! However this is totally not the case, Clarins have a brilliant range of products aimed at younger women, and the specific problems we can find with our skin.

The range, called Daily Energizer, is made up of a collection of simple products, aimed to help women maintain a flawless, radiant complexion, while still living our fast-paced daily lives.

Clarins market the skincare range at the younger market, to help give skin a boost against things we all suffer from...late nights, partying, stress, pollution and fatigue. This really appealed to me as I don't know about you but I can definitely see a difference in my skin the day after a night out, it's like my hangover instantly transforms my skin from alright to zombie-fied over night!

I went for the Wake-Up Booster (£15.50), which is like a tonic but it's also designed to 'wake-up' the skin, and anything that's going to make my skin look a bit more lively in the morning is fine by me! The brilliant thing about this product actually works! As soon as I splash it on my face and pat it all over (I don't use cotton wool as it doesn't feel as good) I instantly feel more awake and refreshed, and my skin responds to my moisturiser much more than usual.

Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster

Clarins also do a selection of moisturisers within this range:
Daily Energizer Cream (winner of an Elle Beauty Award)
Daily Energizer Cream-Gel
Daily Energizer Lotion SPF15

I went for the Lotion (£20), as it is the lightest of the three and as my skin can get quite oily I need a moisturiser that is nice and light. The SPF15 is also an added benefit, whereas the other moisturisers do not contain SPF.
I have been using the Lotion for a little while now and it makes my skin feel really healthy. It absorbs quickly so my skin isn't left feeling greasy, it also smells amazing and a little bit goes a long way.

Daily Energizer Lotion

Probably the best thing about these products, is that I got an amazing free gift!
Usually, free gifts tend to be tiny miniatures of stuff you will never use, just to con you into buying an extra product, but with this Clarins offer, the customer had the choice of three decent sized products from a wide range of ten products to suit various ages and skin types, as well as a cute bag perfect for holidays or picnics.

I chose Clarins' famous Beauty Flash Balm, a product beloved by celebrities (and my mum), a Moisture-Rich Body Lotion (which smells divine) and a One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, which is also absolutely gorgeous and gentle enough to use every day. I've been using all of these products since I got them and I have to say I've been really impressed.

Have any of you tried any Clarins products? What would you like to see me review next?

Alex xxx