Nip + Fab Make-Up Haul, Review, Swatches & Give-away!

Nip + Fab Make-up Range
I’m a little out of breath after such a long title! It’s pretty exciting stuff though, popular skincare brand Nip + Fab have released a make-up collection!

Naturally, as soon as I was well enough and able to pop down the shops and bag me some of their goodies I did so. I wanted to buy the foundation in person rather than online so I could choose the right shade for me. This is something I always recommend doing if possible. If necessary take a tiny pot with you to put a pump of the tester in to take away and try in daylight.

In my Nip + Fab haul were foundation, matching concealer, the eyeshadow palette, and travel palette. I received a gift with my purchase of a little cosmetics pouch with a liquid lipstick, lip liner and mascara inside. I have another one of these pouches to give away so keep reading to the end to find out how you can win it for yourself.  Continue reading

April Favourites!

It’s that time of the month again… no not that one silly! These are the products I’ve been reaching for the most during the month of April:

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A mixture of skincare and make-up items here for you this month but no eye products! I’ve been all over the place with what I’ve done with my eye make-up and have done different things as often as I possibly could so I don’t have one thing that I reached for more than anything else to put in my favourites this month.

Trilogy, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil
26632469466_64134b0f8a_mRosehip oil is a truly remarkable beauty discovery and I’m so glad to have made it! It’s chock full of vitamins (A, C & E) and essential fatty acids (omega 3,6 & 9) plus lycopene and beta carotene.
It’s really been helping me with my dry skin and speeding the healing time of my hormonal break outs which always get even drier when healing. I’ve been massaging a couple of drops into my skin at night and it has really made a difference to my moisture levels.
It’s non-greasy and very light, absorbs quickly into the skin but not too-quickly that you don’t have time to do a little bit of massage. I might have to look up some of the other products in the Trilogy rosehip range!

Maybelline, Eraser Eye Concealer in ‘Light’
I only recently decided to try this after seeing lots of other bloggers and vloggers singing it’s praises. The applicator is soft and helps dab on just the the right amount of product which I then blend with my Real Techniques sponge, the concealer its self is a slightly yellowy tone which is very unusual in concealers but is great for neutralising under eye circles. I hope they bring out more shades as currently there are only two available meaning darker ladies are very left out!

Soap & Glory Archery Brow Sculpting Crayon & Gel in ‘Brown & Out’
26593596101_a1e8ff6529_mI’ve been loving this and have used it nearly every day since it arrived! The shade is perfect for me which is a rare find in its self and the texture of the ‘crayon’ end is such that even heavy handed people like me can’t over apply and end up looking like one of the Marx brothers! The other end has a setting gel with a mascara-type applicator wand tucked inside it.

Super Facialist, Probiotic Micellar Cleansing Water
I’ve been reaching for this over the Garnier micellar water whenever I’ve used this kind of product recently. It’s free of any of the bad skin stripping alcohols, however, while it states the product is fragrance free having had a quick look at the ingredients that’s not strictly true. Just because they’ve used an ingredient for it’s preservative properties doesn’t negate the fact that it’s also a fragrance ingredient! Tut tut Una! I’m not sensitive to fragrances (in this case phenethyl alcohol which imparts the smell of roses) but if you are you might want to give this one a miss.
What it does have is hyaluronic acid for an extra hydration hit plus extracts of calming cucumber and the mild astringent echinacea.

MAC, Matte Lipstick in ‘Mehr’
machybridI love my matte lipsticks especially the MAC ones and ‘Mehr’ is one that I’ve been reaching for a lot this month.
You can apply it lightly for a more dark-nude look or heavily and with liner for a more bold look – I do tend toward the latter I have to admit!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them? What are your April favourites? Do let me know in the comments!

Rosie For Autograph Reviews + Swatches

Rosie for Autograph

Rosie for AutographI promised earlier in the week that I would review some of the Rosie For Autograph (Marks & Spencer Beauty) products properly so here goes!

The whole range bears the leaping bunny mark so is good for those who don’t buy make up by companies who sell in China etc.

Eye Shadow Quads

I’ll start with the eye shadow quads, there are four different ones available, all of them are quite neutral toned, Earthy and versatile. Continue reading

Painting on “Normal” – Creating the Image of Wellness

Painting on Wellness

There are few “secret weapons” in my beauty arsenal that help me paint on my fake well-person face, in this post I’m going to share a bit about them with you.
Some days you may feel too tired to go full on with the make-up and just want to go for something simple and quick, I’ll cover a short routine for the roughest days that you have to somehow push through after going through the more time-intensive products first. Where I use a higher end product I’ll do my best to offer a high street (drugstore) alternative as everyone has different budgets and when you’re sick your cosmetics resources can really take a hit. At the end I’ll cover a couple of salon treatments that can save us time and energy in our at home beauty routines.

Products For Painting On Wellness

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  • Always prep with a good moisturiser, one with hyalauronic acid is great if your skin shows fine lines from dehydration or your eye area appears sunken. The skin is one of the last parts of the body to get any of the good stuff we take in from our diets, the body prioritises where nutrients are needed the most and the skin is way down at the bottom on it’s list of priorities so a little bit of extra help never goes amiss. Una Brennan Super Facialist is a brand I’m rating quite highly at the moment and it’s surprisingly affordable. If you have breakouts or otherwise broken skin a great product to try is La Roche Posay’s ‘Cicaplast’ which has vitamin B5 to help heal your skin, it also provides a great base for make-up.
    When you’re having a very bad day and you’ve no choice but to spend time on the sofa watching ‘This Morning’ do treat yourself to a moisturising face mask and try to relax and ignore Schofield.
  • Stick and compact powder foundations are quicker and easier to apply than liquids or creams. Make-Up Forever do an amazing stick foundation and I really like the Benefit powder foundation. L’Oreal also produce good powder foundations on the high street. Powder foundations are however to be avoided if you have flaky dry skin as the powder will sit in the flakes and emphasize them. Invest in a good scrub exfoliator and a bottle of Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation or similar.
  • If you opt for a liquid foundation I recommend a good brush to apply it with, I don’t use your standard flat foundation brush I use a Real Techniques stippling brush. If you wipe the foundation on as with a regular brush it can lift up any dry patches and emphasize them where the stippling brush keeps them patted down. Using the stipple brush in a swirling motion can also hide large pores. Budget store Wilkinsons do a surprisingly good own brand stippling brush for just £4.
  • Sleek ‘Barekissed Illuminator’ in ‘Monaco’ or a similar glitter free (that part is important) illumination fluid mixed with your liquid foundation or worn thinly underneath a stick foundation does wonders for putting that healthy glow back into a dull complexion. Choose one that works well with your skin tone, I’m naturally very fair so ‘Monaco’ is perfect but others will benefit more from a different shade.
  • Concealers that actually conceal problem areas can be hard to find, I often use Kat Von D ‘Lock It’ foundation as a concealer on break out areas that need more coverage. Other good options are camouflage creams like Vichy Dermablend or professional brand Kryolan’s Derma Colour – remember you need to set camouflage creams with a powder. High street concealers are getting better but they’re not there yet, this is one area you do have to look elsewhere. The cheapest option would be the Kryolan Derma Colour which you can buy direct from their own website it’s also the one available in the widest variety of shades so you’re sure to find something to match your skin tone. NARS ‘Radiant Creamy Concealer’ is a good one but again, quite spendy.
    24481800122_0e45b06c9e_zColour correcting concealers (worn underneath foundation) are thankfully now much more widely available and can be found on the high street. Green is a must have for any areas of redness while peach, salmon or orange (depending on your skin tone) will help neutralise dark circles. Max Factor do green in a handy stick and NYX (available from Boots online) produce liquid and pot varieties, for a good orange check out LA Girl.
  • A touch of blush can work wonders, I recommend a cream formulation for both easeCream Blush of application and blending. Dab three dots onto the cheek bone and blend with your fingers, avoid the apple of the cheek unless you want to look like an old fashioned china doll. Teenagers can get away with that look but the rest of us, not so much! Illamasqua do some lovely ones but you can now pick up cream blush from brands such as No.7, MUA and Sleek.
  • If the very thought of blending powder eye-shadows makes you tired but you stillcream shadows want to wear eye make up invest in a wardrobe of cream shadows. They are available in almost every hue and pretty much every company makes at least three or four as either pots or sticks. NYX probably has the widest range of shades available in their crayons, Maybelline’s ‘Color Tattoo’ range are also brilliant, frankly amazing for the money.
  • Lipstick. A good lipstick choice draws attention away from other “problem areas” on the face and can reflect a bit of colour and life into the skin too. There’s nothing quite like lipstick for making you feel like you’re ready to face the day. If your medication has affected your teeth and caused yellowing (long term antibiotics in particular can have this effect) choose shades on the cooler/blue end of the spectrum rather than the warmer orangier end as they will make your teeth look whiter.
    LipsticksI have more lipsticks than your average branch of Boots and one of my little rituals is choosing which one I will wear that day. MAC, Illamasqua, Charlotte Tilbury and Rimmel London make some of my favourites.
  • At the end of the day if you feel too tired for a full on at the sink cleansing ritual use a good alcohol free (alcohol is terrible for your skin, avoid it like the plague) micellar cleansing lotion. Please don’t be tempted to just use wipes – these are fine to start off the process but don’t rely purely on those. If you’re a wipe user try using a micellar lotion straight after your wipe and you will be amazed at how much make-up was still on your skin. Super Facialist and BioDerma are both very good ones.

A Quick Make-Up Routine for Sick Days

On our worst days we need a routine that doesn’t require too much thought, that we can do almost on autopilot. Here are a couple of alternatives:

On bad days or on very early mornings when I’m half awake I often do step one and sometimes even step two while still in bed as I keep both micellar cleanser and moisturiser by the bed for times when I’m too tired for a full on bathroom cleanse/tone/moisturise.If you have hair loss because of your condition you can find specific tutorials for dealing with loss of lashes and brows over at Look Good Feel Better.

For a more made up look:
1. Cleanse with micellar lotion
2. Moisturise well and allow it to soak in
3. Apply a stick or powder compact foundation
4. Apply concealer to any areas that require it
5. Apply cream blush
6. Apply lipstick (avoid nude shades)
7. Apply a cream shadow and mascara.
For a less made up look:

1. Cleanse with micellar lotion
2. Apply tinted moisturiser
3. Apply concealer where required
4. Apply a sheer cream blush
5. Apply a lip product such as a tinted balm or Chubby Stick
6. Apply mascara/pencil if desired.

Time Saving Salon Treatments

To save time in your routine you may wish to consider a salon treatment such as brow or lash tinting, this will save you time filling in brows or putting on mascara to make your lashes stand out. Many local colleges also offer these treatments to the public at a lower price so that students like myself can practice the technique and practice dealing with clients before going into industry. The amount of time the tint lasts varies from person to person, eyebrows around 3 weeks and eyelashes up to 6 weeks. Not bad for a half hour lie down!
Professional hair removal treatments such as waxing and eyebrow shaping save you struggling to do it yourself at home and giving up half way through out of tiredness or fear of mucking it up. It’s far easier to have a professional do it! Yes, waxing is painful but it’s also over very quickly. Avoid waxing if you have easily damaged skin such as that of Ehlers-Danlos Classical or Vascular types, or use topical antibiotics on the area to be waxed. Brow plucking or threading should still be fine but you know your own body.