Friday, 21 July 2017

A letter to my neglected beauty blog

Dear Blog

It's exactly three months since I wrote my last blog post.  That's a long time when you consider that one of my resolutions in January was to write at least two a week!  What happened you may ask.  Well, life did, kids did and then writers block did.  Not a very good combination.  The irony is that I've got SO MUCH to write about.  When I think about products I've bought and tried and want to review as well as the other subjects that have been periodically popping into my head at inopportune moments (like at the checkout till at Sainsbury's, in my pilates class, when I'm listening to Child 3 read), it's not like there's nothing to actually get out there.  Even if nobody reads it I still want to write it, to be creative, to get my thoughts down.

Like I said life has been a bit crazy.  No more crazy than other people's lives I imagine, this isn't a 'poor me' situation but it was a case of prioritising and dear blog, you had to take a back seat.   A really back seat at the very back of the bus kind of thing.  But I never forgot about you and I am determined to be back.  It's the end of the school term next week and it's the middle of summer.  There's a lot of catching up to be done and posts to write, I'm even going to take my laptop on holiday and write there as well, poolside.  Maybe I'll even tweak what I write about, add some thing different, (not fashion, I'm terrible at fashion) but maybe a few posts about beauty post age 40, seeing as I am now quite a long way past 40, in a halfway to 90 kind of way.

That's it.  I just wanted to get this out there as a sort of explanation and a bit of a plan.  Here's to getting back on track, hey might even manage two posts a week, who knows?

No photo for this post, just the words.

Love, Maria
xxx

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Three of my favourite clear top coats for nails

For years I've been dodging the top coat on nails because I'm lazy but actually it's time to admit that they really do make a difference to the longevity, and the appearance of a nail polish, let's face it we all want our polish to last for days and shine so much that we can see our reflection in them.  In addition, a good top coat will contain all sorts of ingredients to strengthen nails and protect them from splitting, you only have to check out the Sally Hansen aisle to see that there are a lot to choose from and they all do different things.

Today I've chosen three of my favourites to share with you, these are predominantly for shine but I find that they all leave my nails feeling stronger as well.





O.P.I RapiDry

First up is RapiDry, cool name huh?  I bought this from Duty Free at Gibraltar Airport last year, as I had euros burning a hole in my pocket and wanted to spend them on something so I checked out the nail polish aisle and found this.  What's great about this is that not only does it give a lovely shiny top coat to your nails, it's also very quick to dry (hence the name) so you don't have to sit with your fingers outstretched for ages not touching them or doing that flicky thing we do to 'air dry' them which is great for it you're in a hurry.  Anything from O.P.I. is going to be good though, right?  I would definitely buy this again.

Avon Gel Shine 

The Avon Gel Shine top coat is part of their Gel Shine range (although this is called Mark now having been recently re-branded).  The purpose of the gel shine top coat is to give the gel polishes that extra bit of shine and I can say that it really does!  The gel polishes by themselves are very good, giving a great shine without the top coat but it's worth popping a bit of top coat over it to give them that extra pazzazz and also it helps with the longevity, they last several days with no chips at all, it's also very hard wearing and doesn't chip easily but there's no problem taking it off with ordinary nail polish remover.  It's very reasonably priced as well and is very often on offer in the brochure and online so if you like it stock up when you see it on sale (I say that as a fully fledged Avon Rep).  It obviously works beautifully on the Avon Gel Shine polishes but I've used it on others and it does a great job.  So all in all a super product for a great price.  To check out the Avon Gel Shine on Avon please click here

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat

I got this as part of my Glossybox subscription last year.  I think I wrote about it at the time because on first look I was impressed with it and then when I used it I wasn't disappointed.  The Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy has got an unusual brush whereby the bristles are quite thin and they are arranged so that the liquid covers the edges of your nail then you brush inwards, thus covering the entire nail and not being blobbed in the middle which usually takes ages to dry and ends in only half the nail being covered an a shiny top coat whilst the rest of it sits their dull as dishwater.  Whilst this polish is designed to go on top of the ColorStay Gel polishes it does work well on other brands too.  


Lipstick Love ... Maybelline Babylips 'Peach Kiss'

Today I'm going to talk about about Maybelline Babylips, these little balms are not quite a lipstick, not quite a chapstick but a bit of both.  They've been out for a while now, the first one I got as part of my Glossybox subscription and I was so impressed I bought another.  I think Glossybox can be credited with quite a few of my recent beauty purchases, that's how I became obsessed with Kiko Milano products (another story ...).

Anyway, one of the reasons I am so impressed is that it does do what its supposed to do, that is, to make your lips feel soft like baby lips.  It is not not squidgy, sticky or over-glossy and it does feel like you're wearing a lipstick.  The Babylips balms give good colour and the packaging is cute and colourful.  It's great to shove in your pocket or handbag and I've even got one in the car for emergencies.

While we were in America over Easter I wore 'Peach Kiss' as it was a lovely colour and had SPF 20 included so both boxes ticked there.  It was very easy to reapply after drinking and eating as it was constantly in my pocket.  The other colour I've got is 'Cherry Me'  (see me wearing it in the photo below) which gives a lovely pinkish glow.  There's something to suit everyone as well because Maybelline have produced a variety of colours check out the Boots website, which shows all the colours and the price.

Maria
xx

Maybelline Babylips - Peach Kiss

Me wearing Cherry Me

Cherry Me






Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Primer Review - Kiko Milano and Avon Anew Vitale


Kiko Milano Radiant Boost Face Base

As I have something of an obsession with Kiko Milano at the moment it would be unfair not to mention this lovely primer Kiko Milano Radiant Boost Face Base which I clearly must like a lot as I’m on my second one of these (though the packaging has changed since the first one I got in 2015).  I bought this at the same time as I got the Kiko eye primer which I reviewed a little while back and I'm just as impressed with this one as I am with the eye primer.  This base is a slightly peach tone to it, so it is actually possible to use it as a base by itself without foundation as it leaves my skin quite a healthy colour.  Given the state of my skin however, however I rarely use it alone unless I'm on holiday as I do need a foundation and concealer to make me look human most of the time.  It's a thin but creamy consistency and sinks in straight away, it feels a bit more like a moisturiser than a primer.  The other excellent thing about it is that it's extremely reasonably priced, all Kiko products are amazing value (and beautifully packaged as well).   The website often has a sale on so it's worth checking that out to stock up on your favourites.

So that's Kiko covered, read on to find out more about Avon Anew Vitale.


Radiant Boost Face Base 

Avon Anew Vitale Visible Perfection


Avon ANEW Vitale Visible Perfection

I wasn't sure if this was an actual primer at first, Avon don't exactly market it as one, it's more of a skin-smoother-line-eraser type product, in fact it has the words "blurring treatment" on the front .  I absolutely love this product.   It smells glorious for a start and no matter how much attention my face is going to need it always gives an amazing base, smoothing over lines and pores, leaving a clear canvas on which to start painting.  It's in pretty pink packaging and, like all primers less is more otherwise you just end up with greasy skin.  It sinks in straight away so if you're in a hurry and you want to whack your foundation over the top then you are able to do that without worrying that it's going to slide off as soon as you walk out of the door.   It costs £12.00 which feels a bit steep at first but actually I think its worth it so I would definitely buy it again.  

For further details of the ANEW Vitale Visible Perfection please hop over to my online store http://www.avon.uk.com/store/beauty-aware where you find out more about the product and read other people's reviews too.

Hope you enjoyed this post, happy primer-ing!

Maria xx



Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Primer Reviews - Covergirl Tru Blend and Hard Candy Sheer Envy

Primer is one of those make up items that I can't do without now.   A couple of years ago I started wearing Pixi by Petra and really I haven't looked back.  What I've realised since then though, is that there are different primers for different looks.  Some are illuminating, some are matifiying, it all depends on what look you're after, and what make up you're going to put over the top.  I've managed to collect quite a few over the past couple of years and I do use them all regularly.  Primer is one of those products that doesn't have a particularly long life before it goes off, most of them are 12 months so it's not a something you can have in your make up collection and then not use for ages.


Covergirl Tru Blend

Covergirl Tru Blend is part of the extensive Covergirl range. I discovered Tru Blend last year when visiting the USA.  Covergirl products are not available in the UK (although they used to be) which I find really annoying because I have many, many Covergirl favourites but let's not get me started on that.  Back to the primer.  It's completely odourless, by that I mean that it hasn't got any particular fragrant smell to it like some products have.  The packaging is great, compact and with a tight fitting top so if you put it in your bag it won't squidge everywhere.  It's easy to get exactly the right amount of primer as well because of the handy squeezy tube type nozzle, it's impossible to get too much out at one which means less is wasted, essential for those of us who have to travel half way round the world to get it when it runs out (not that I need an excuse to go to the States once a year).  I find this sinks in straight away and leaves my skin smooth with a very slight matte finish.  Unlike some other primers I don't feel like it's clogging my skin up either which is good because to get a natural finish we want to look like our skin can breathe, which it can't when your pores are bunged up with gloop.  Foundation and concealer are easily applied over the top and the finish lasts all day.  I would definitely buy this again.



Covergirl Tru Blend Primer for Dry Skin



Hard Candy Sheer Envy Perfecting Primer


This is another one I snapped up in Walgreens.  I wasn't entirely sure who Hard Candy were to be honest as I didn't have any of their products in my make up collection but it is an attractive packaging, girlie pink with hearts which is sweet.  This primer is clear and a slightly thicker consistency to that of the Covergirl Tru.  The purpose of the Hard Candy primer is to minimize lines and pores for a smooth finish.  I use this one sparingly because like I said it is quite thick and if you use too much it can leave your skin feeling heavy and a little bit greasy.  It does give a great base though and foundation is easy to apply over the top, particularly if applying foundation using a brush it just covers perfectly.  It does minimise lines as well (I have a few!).  I've just realised that I must really like it because there's not much left so it's going on my shopping list for my next visit to Walgreens!  I also think the packaging is pretty though really that's not relevant to how the product fares on my face but you know, if you're a packaging person these things are all part of it!


Hard Candy Sheer Envy Perfecting Primer

These are just two of my favourites at the moment, there are a couple more but I'll review them on a different post.  Would love to hear what your primer favourites are, I'm always up for trying a new product!

Maria xx