Sunday, 30 September 2012

How To: Combat Shine for a Perfect Finish

Hello lovelies! Hope everyone is ok, I'm currently coming down with a cold but it's weird because I feel like I've been getting it all week but it hasn't actually arrived...not good! I find it really unfair that I haven't been a fresher for 5 years yet I STILL come down with Fresher's Flu!!!

Anyway moaning aside I will get on with this blog! I thought this time I would focus on something that I know a lot of people want to achieve, myself included, which is a shine-free perfect finish.
My own skin has a tendency towards being oily, so since I started using foundation (many years ago) I've struggled with finding the right products so I don't look shiny. I know a lot of my friends also complain of the same problems, we put our foundation on and our skin looks flawless...for about an hour. Then the dreaded shiny T-Zone starts creeping in, and after a few hours we get what I like to call 'Kebab Shop Mirror Face' named because after a night out when a few vodkas make you feel like you surely look like Cheryl Cole, you then get to the kebab shop (and for some reason these places ALWAYS have a mirrored wall), you look in the mirror and realise your makeup appears to have melted into your face so you now resemble Tara Reid...not good.


Over the years however I have discovered some amazing little products that really help to hold makeup in place all day/night, whilst combatting shine for a fresh finish.

The key to getting amazing coverage that actually lasts, starts with using a really good primer. I have two current faves, first of all I absolutely LOVE Benefit Porefessional. It's the best-selling primer in the UK and for good reason. It smoothes out the complexion, instantly making open pores appear invisible. Once foundation is put on top of this primer, it holds it in place so it lasts all day. The best thing about this primer though is that it actually absorbs oil, it contains an ingredient called Silica, which soaks up oil on the skin, meaning you can avoid getting a shiny T-Zone. The primer has a translucent finish once it's on the skin, meaning if you fancy having a makeup-free day, you can just wear it alone to even out the skin-tone. This primer would also suit other skin types as well as oilier skin, as it contains Vitamin E which acts like a protective barrier for the skin. Basically it's an all round wonder product!
Benefit Porefessional-£23.50

Another amazing primer, more suited to oily skin, is Boots No7 Shine Free Primer. This primer is specifically formulated to stop shine for a matte finish. It has light reflecting particles to brighten the complexion and an ingredient called Biopol absorbs oil. 
When this primer says it gives a matte finish, it doesn't lie, the finish is so matte it can be difficult to actually spread it across the skin! That's why I prefer to use this primer under a tinted moisturiser or BB cream, as the extra moisture from the coverage then makes it easier to blend. If you want to wear this primer under a foundation, I would recommend mixing a bit of moisturiser into the primer to make it easier to blend, as otherwise foundation can go a bit patchy.
Don't let this put you off though, if your skin is really oily this primer would be amazing as shine literally cannot get past it!
(Since Boots No7 had a re-brand in September this product has been re-launched and is now called Beautifully Matte Shine Free Makeup Base, it appears to be the same product though and has the same ingredients)
No7 Shine Free Primer- £10.50

 Next up is a matte foundation that lasts all day. Chances are everyone will have heard about this little gem already, and I know a lot of you have tried it/use it but I'm giving it a mention anyway because this feature wouldn't be complete without it! Yes, that's right, it's time for a bit of Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. Marketed as 'Stay-in-Place' makeup, this foundation does exactly as it says.
Once you have applied this foundation, it gives a matte finish and stays in place all day. It is a full coverage foundation that some people might find too heavy, but I absolutely love it. It's suitable for day or night-time, as you will not have to re-apply or touch it up at all.
It comes in a huge variety of shades in warm, cool and neutral tones, so it's really easy to find a shade that's perfect for you.
Estee Lauder Double Wear- £27.50

And finally it's time for a touch of powder to complete our long-wearing, shine-free, perfect finish. I've recently started using a translucent powder, rather than a coloured coverage version, and I absolutely love it. I wasn't convinced at first when the MAC makeup artist suggested a translucent powder as I didn't think it would do much for my skin, but it's amazing. It absorbs oil and gives a flawless finish, without adding any extra coverage to my foundation, so it gives a more natural look than a powder designed to give coverage. The powder contains Mica and Silica to absorb oil, and is perfect for touch ups over foundation. Although it is translucent it still gives a hint of colour, so I got the Dark shade, but because it doesn't give too much colour it always looks perfect, rather than being too dark for my natural skin tone then too light when I fake tan.
MAC Blot Powder Pressed- £20.00

So there you have it, my essential products to give skin a perfect shine-free finish. Let me know if you've tried any of the products I've mentioned, or if you have any other essentials for perfect coverage.

Take care,


Sunday, 23 September 2012

5 of the Best: Budget Beauty Buys That Really Work

 Hello my lovelies, sorry I've not blogged in a while, I got back off holiday last week so it's all been a bit hectic. I'm a bit depressed with the holiday blues to be honest as now I'm back it suddenly seems to have got majorly wintery all of a sudden, so I've got from laying in the sunshine in my bikini drinking cocktails, to sitting in my christmas fleecy pjs drinking endless cups of tea :(

However to cheer myself up I thought I'd do a little blog post on 5 budget beauty buys that are actually really good. Hopefully these purse friendly little wonders will cheer you up too :)

1. Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask- £1.48

I like to use this brand of facemask sometimes because they have such a wide variety of different purposes and textures, from peel off detoxifying masks, to moisturising chocolate masks. This particular mask is really good because rather than being the usual liquid that you squeeze out and spread onto your skin, it's actually a fabric mask infused with the clay mask solution.

Don't be put off by the fact that the mask looks, well, horrifying and more like something Michael Myers might put on before he goes on a murdering spree, it actually feels really nice when it's on!

One thing I would recommend is to definitely let anyone in the house know that you're putting the mask on, as it does look pretty scary. 

As you can see apparently I must have an absolute pea head because the mask is a bit big for my face, about 2 inches of the forehead piece actually covered my hair, and I had to stick a lot of it to my neck or it would've been hanging off, but for £1.48 it's a funny little treat that made my skin feel like it had a really deep cleanse.

2. Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Makeup Remover- £2.99

I first bought this makeup remover because I desperately needed some and was absolutely skint. It's safe to say I wasn't expecting great things from a makeup remover costing less than three quid, however I've got to say this is actually the best makeup remover I have ever tried! It is part oil, part cleansing liquid, that you shake up to mix before applying it with a cotton pad, and I think that's what makes it so effective. Usually I HATE oil based makeup removers as they make my skin feel greasy and when I use them to remove my eye makeup I tend to feel a bit like I'm going blind, however this product is different, it doesn't feel oily at all and is SO gentle.
It dissolves eye makeup and mascara really easily, and I usually wear at least 3-4 coats of mascara so that's saying something! It's also brilliant at removing other makeup too so you can use it all over your face.
All in all I would rate this product 10 out of 10, it literally does exactly what it says on the bottle, and you can't go wrong for £2.99.

3. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Body Lotion- £3.77

I couldn't write about budget beauty buys and not include good old Palmer's Cocoa Butter, I have loved this product for years as it is so cheap yet so effective. I love it because it really hydrates my skin, yet it absorbs easily, as I hate anything that sits on my skin and feels greasy. 
Recently it's been a lifesaver as my skin has been peeling since I've come back off holiday. I was absolutely horrified when my lovely tan suddenly started peeling off leaving me looking like I've had some sort of flesh eating tropical disease...not ideal. This has also meant that my dreams of showing off my tan have died an absolute death and I've been in long sleeves since I got back...gutted.
I was using aftersun but that did nothing, so I switched to an expensive Sanctuary body butter which smells amazing but didn't really help my skin much, so I went back to my old favourite and of course, it's worked and my tight peeling skin is starting to feel (and look) much better.

4. St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse- approx £3 (depending where you get it from)

Speaking of tanning this brings me nicely onto my next little budget wonder, St Moriz. I'm including this although I imagine most of you will have already heard of it, simply because it's LIFE CHANGING! This is the best cheap fake tan in the actual world. It gives a gorgeous deep brown colour instantly, and then develops to give you a long lasting golden glow. I prefer the mousse formula, although the spray is also good, especially if you're not as confident with tanning. I also use the normal version as opposed to the Dark one, as although the Dark version gives an amazing tanned colour, its also an absolute b*tch to scrub off and leaves you with that awkward patchy giraffe skin when it's coming off. 
You can usually buy this tan from dubious places such as Home Bargains type stores, indoor markets etc, don't buy it from bigger shops like supermarkets as they charge about £4.99 when you get get it for as cheap as £2.99 from bargain shops.

5. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor- £4.99

And finally my last honourable mention goes to Aussie for their amazing 3 Minute Miracle range of hair reconstructors. I use the Deep Conditioning treatment for dry/damaged hair, but they also do 3 Minute Miracles for coloured hair, heat damaged hair etc, so you can pick your hair dilemma and they have a product to solve it for you. 
All Aussie products smell amazing, and this one is no different. The scent really stays on your hair as well, so your hair will be smelling sweet all day long. 
This is a really simple product to use in the place of your conditioner, I tend to put it on in the bath or shower, then tie my hair up while I faff around doing everything else I need to do like shave my legs, then just wash it off like normal conditioner. 
My hair can get a bit frazzled and look less Kim Kardashian, and more like a Fraggle from Fraggle Rock, but this treatment smoothes the hair and leaves it feeling soft and silky and really easy to style...perfect!

So there you have it, some amazing beauty buys that won't break the bank. Let me know if you've tried any of these products, and what you think to them.

Take care,

Alex xxx