Tuesday, 29 April 2014

All about primers


Primers are a funny one. Its an extra step in your routine that so many people can't be bothered with. I'm a big advocate of them as my skin is quite dry and dehydrated, and for years I couldn't get my foundation to sit properly and it just accentuated my dry skin. Since I started using primers I don't have this problem anymore, and my foundation applies better, stays put for longer and I'm actually using a lot less as well.
Here's a few of my favourites:
Revlon Photo Ready Skinlights in Bare Light
This is my go-to, most loved primer. It injects so much radiance and health to my skin that I can use just this with just a bit of concealer on top on a good skin day. This has replaced my Laura Mercier Radiance Primer as they are pretty much identical. Read my full review here.
Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
Marketed as a moisturiser, this brightens the skin and smooths out every lump and bump so my foundation can glide straight on top.
Dior Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer
A fairly new addition this one, although I'm already quite smitten. It gives such a beautiful shimmer to the skin and doubles as a highlighter. I talked about this one last week as well.
Clinique Superprimer Colour Correct Redness Primer
Possibly the primer with the longest name in history, this is one of a few primers in the range, each of which is designed to address a different skin concern. This is a yellow pastey-type formula which aims to combat redness. Whilst I don't think this is that effective of evening out the redness in my skin and calming down angry spots, it makes my skin feel velvety soft and I really like it. Its really nice when combined with the Revlon primer as well.
Chanel Blanc de Chanel
Another multi-tasking offering, this is a rather indulgent luxury primer. It gives a lovely glow to the skin when used under foundation, or you can use it as a highlighter over the top. If you have a foundation that's a little too dark, you can mix a drop of this with it to lighten it up a bit. Genius.
Are you a primer fan and have you tried any of these?
Laura
Share:

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Switching things up for spring

 
I don't know about you but I really like the change of seasons and the opportunities it brings for playing with different colours and textures.
 
Spring is here, and while the weather has been a bit pants this week, I've gone through my stash and have changed around my makeup wardrobe. Here's a few things that I like to switch up for spring.
 
Pastels
I'm certainly embracing pastels this year, more so than ever before. Clothes-wise I'm still a bit shy with these ice cream shadess, but I'm certainly rocking them on my nails. L'Oreal's Perfection Colour Riche Les Blancs are a great way to wear pastels, and have quite an opaque finish after two coats. I'm especially loving Nouvelle Vague and Peach Neglige.
 
Lip crayons
These are everywhere now and it doesn't seem like that's likely to change anytime soon. I particularly love Revlon and Nars' offerings and what I love about these is that they are so easy and fuss free to swipe on. They don't last forever, but fade pretty evenly and you know that you're not going to end up with it smeared across your face when it starts getting a bit warmer.
 
Coral and orange
As it gets warmer I tend to start veering towards brighter colours. As well as bright pinks, I find corals and oranges really flattering. My go-to orange nail has to be Chanel Holiday, and I cannot get enough of the Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Blush in Tansoleil. This is such a lovely colour and really gives a nice healthy glow. I do tend to wear Nars Luster all year round as its just so damn lovely, but if I fancy a bit more of an intense colour I'll go for the KA or Stila's Convertible Colour in Gerbera.
 
Do you change things up for spring and have you tried any of these?
 
Laura
Share:

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Glowing skin for spring




Now I didn't intend to start with a rhyme but it kinda encapsulates how I feel about the prospect of warmer weather - happy. Spring is finally here, although today might have been a weather blip back to drizzlier, greyer times. Now is the time to start prepping your body, peeling off those winter jumpers and getting those Hobbit-like feet in shape for the summer...
 
When I think of spring I think of healthy glowy skin, and whilst the sun isn't going to tan me just yet I have a selection of products that can fake a glow in the meantime.
 
Starting with skincare, a drop of facial oil mixed with your day moisturiser will instantly perk things up. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil is my choice in this department as it hydrates and plumps the skin whilst healing those pesky acne scars. My hero.
 
If you don't fancy using an oil in the morning, primers are a great way of adding a bit of healthy dew to the complexion and they will also help your base stay put all day. Or throw all caution to the wind and skip base all together if you wish. I love using the Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm for this step. This is pretty hydrating and can be used instead of moisturiser. It smooths everything out and makes my skin look really healthy. I recently picked up the Dior Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer and really like it so far. It has a lovely radiance inducing shimmer to it without being glittery and is a nice light consistency. If you don't fancy using it all over your face its great when used as a highlighter on cheekbones or even on your collar bones. Highlighting doesn't have to stop at your face after all!
 
On the subject of highlighting, the ByTerry Touche Veloutee Highlighting Concealer is great for concealing a late night under the eyes but also makes a great highlighter. If you wanted something a bit multi-tasking this is a good addition to your makeup bag. Its really lovely used on the cupids bow and under the eyebrows as well.
 
Topshop's Glow Highlighter in Polish is a lovely cream product at a purse friendly £9 and it looks like it will last for ages. They have a darker, more champagne shade as well which is really pretty and I imagine would look really nice on darker skins.
 
Its naughty of me to mention this as its no longer available, but its so nice I just had to. The Topshop Highlighter in Sunbeam is beautiful. I must confess I bought this ages ago and promptly forgot about it as I was using a Nars highlighter at the time. A few week's ago I came across it in my stash and it's become a firm favourite. There's nothing subtle about this one that's for sure. Its great used on the body as well, but obviously you can do this with any powder highlighter.
 
On the eyes the infamous Stila Kitten eye shadow brightens things up and can be washed all over the lip or just added to the corner of the eye. 8 hours sleep here I come! 
 
Lastly, my favourite blusher of all time - Nars Luster. Described as a sheer golden apricot, this is really nice on pale skin and somehow sculpts my cheekbones whilst giving a lovely healthy glow.
It has a beautiful shimmer to it that I can't get enough of.
 
Will you be trying any of these and do you have any tips on faking a spring glow?

Laura
Share:

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Perfect Cleanse Workshop with Caroline Hirons


A few weeks ago I headed over to Liberty's to attend a beauty workshop hosted by skincare expert and blogger, Caroline Hirons. I've been reading her blog for considerable time now, but for those that are less familiar, Caroline is known for her extensive beauty industry knowledge and no-nonsense attitude to skincare, and I for one could not wait to hear what she had to say on cleansing.
 
We all wash our faces (I'm hoping anyway!), so what more is there to learn you might ask? Even though I am pretty familiar with Caroline's take on cleansing, I came away with a lot of notes and a sense of enlightenment. Here's what Caroline imparted on us:
 
Double cleansing
Sometimes regarded as unnecessary, Caroline couldn't disagree more. This is essential in the evening if you've been wearing makeup or SPF. Don't skip on this, your skin will thank you.
 
First cleanse
Use a cleansing balm to take the bulk of your makeup off. These have become really popular over the last couple of years with entrants to the market like Emma Hardie and Clinique. This should be a fairly cheap cleanser. Caroline recommends the Clinique Take The Day Off Balm for this step. Read my rambling about this cleanser here.
 
Types of cleanser
Morning: Cleansing milk
Evening: Use balms or oils as a first cleanse and a more expensive cleanser for the second cleanse. This could be cleansing milk or cream cleanser.
Micellar waters: Fine for a first cleanse, or for helping remove eye makeup but this should ever replace a proper cleanse.
 
Technique
Its also vital to get the technique right, otherwise what's the point? Caroline demonstrated how she cleanses right in front of us - that's one brave lady! Here are some pointers: 
  • Use a clean flannel every day
  • Always use clean, hand- hot running water
  • Don't wet your face first, regardless of the product directions
  • Rub your cleanser onto the inside of your fingers before applying - not into your palms
  • Push upwards and off your face. Never pull the skin on your face down
  • Don't forget your neck. Pull your cleanser down the neck to help drain lymph
  • Skin should be a little pink after cleansing (not hot or burning though!)
 
Second cleanse
With the bulk of your makeup and grime (nice) now removed, this step allows for a more expensive and luxurious cleanser to ensure every last trace of makeup is removed and to really deep clean your skin.
 
Acid toner
You either tone or you don't. Personally, I'm a big fan and couldn't imagine missing out this step. Caroline is also an advocate and encourages double toning with acid toner. Scary as this may sound, acid toners are really beneficial to the skin and gently exfoliate. If you have sensitive skin or skin concerns that you are looking to fix, this is an important step. They do sting slightly when applied to the skin which is a good thing and nothing to worry about. Obviously if your skin feels like its on fire this is not a good sign!
 
I use the Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads for this step, which contain a mix of salicylic and glycolic acids to unclog pores and keep blemishes at bay.
 
CH approved toners include P50, Pixi Glow Tonic, Perricone Thermal Acid Toner, Malin & Goetz and Peter Thomas Roth.
 
After this you can use another toner to help balance and hydrate your skin. Toners help prepare the skin for the coming skincare and help the skin to retain them, thus making your products more effective. Gone are the days that they were to remove the final bits of cleanser and dirt. Skincare has moved on a fair bit since then.
 
Facial massage
According to Caroline, this is a very important step and just a couple of minutes a day can make a big difference to your skin. It helps stimulate blood flow and can be very effective at draining lymph from the skin, as well as clearing colds and spots. This step can either be carried out as part of your second cleanse or with a facial oil post-cleanse. I'm not going to try and explain the technique as it will probably make no sense, but Caroline has a great blog post on this with photos that you can read here.
 
I've been trying to incorporate this into my routine and I think I'm now slowly getting the hang of it. What's important to remember is that you need to use a fair amount of pressure - it should hurt a bit to begin with and leave your skin nice and pink.
 
Serums and oils
So once you're all cleansed and toned, now is a good time to apply serums and oils. Make sure you apply them correctly so that your skin absorbs them rather than your hands. Just apply to the inside of your finger tips. Pat on serums and massage in oils.
 
Moisturise
Yup, you guessed it. Now is the time to apply your moisturiser. Most people tend to splurge unhealthy amounts of money on a moisturiser and neglect the rest of their routine. Think of your moisturiser as an overcoat. You don't plan your outfit around your coat now do you? It's the least important component of your skincare wardrobe.
 
Without wanting to make this the longest post in history, below are a few points that Caroline mentioned that are worth taking note of:
 
  • Face wipes are for the three 'F's only - festivals, flights and, er, fannies.
  • Always wash your face in the morning. That 'dewy glow' is sweat. Yuck.
  • Say no to foaming cleansers, they dry your skin out.
  • Combat puffy eyes by only using gel eye treatments and serums. Also, use an extra pillow at night.
  • Cleanse as soon as you get home in the evening to take all your makeup off.
  • Avoid products with mineral oil in (paraffin).
  • Do not Bioderma and go! You need to use a cleanser. A swipe of Bioderma and Creme de la Mer is not a skincare routine..
 
So now I'm definitely following this advice and never skipping a step. What I've found most beneficial is taking my makeup off the second I get home of an evening. Why keep it on for an extra few hours?
 
I hope you find this helpful and that you're able to incorporate it into your routine. To read more of Caroline's skincare tips visit her blog.
 
Laura
Share:

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

FOTD featuring Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet



The line up: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet (B10), Mac Paintpot (Painterly), Clinique Neutral Territory 2 Eye Palette, Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara, Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner (Chocolate Truffle), Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder (Candlelight), Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (Fair),  Bourjois Java Powder, Benefit Gimme Brow (Medium/Deep), Korres Lip Butter (Jasmine).

I thought it was about time I featured a makeup look on this here little blog. So here's a little Sunday natural look that I wore this week. I had to try out the new Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation (shade B10) as soon as I walked past it on a counter. I really like the original Perfection Lumiere foundation but I've been opting for less coverage lately so its been a little unloved in favour of Vitalumiere Aqua. This new offering from Chanel sits right in the middle of the two and I really like it so far. This is my first wearing of it so will be keen to see what I think of it in a few weeks. The finish is absolutely gorgeous and whilst it has a velvet finish it isn't too matte and doesn't eradicate all luminosity from the skin. I think Vitalumiere Aqua has got some serious competition!
 
Laura
Share:

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Haulin'


I do love a little haul. Last week I treated myself to a few bits in order to help cheer myself up after not feeling very well at all. I thought I'd share my first impressions with you as well.
 
Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Truffle. I'm a big fan of their original gel eyeliner so had to try out one of their new pencils which are said to be very similar, yet in a more convenient pencil. The range consists for six colours and I'm loving neutrals at the moment so I opted for a dark brown. Personally, at £18 I think this isn't worth the money. Bobbi Brown are quite expensive anyway, but I found this quite hard to get a decent amount of pigment from and it certainly doesn't have the staying power of the original gel pots. I do really like the colour and soft consistency but I won't be trying any more of them.
 
Diptyque Infused Facial Water. When I heard Diptyque were bringing out a skincare range I was pretty excited. Yes, its a pricey brand, there is no denying that, but I had to try something from the range. Formulated with Damask rose, this smells amazing. It hydrates and refreshes my skin and leaves it feeling pretty calm and happy. The only thing I can fault it for is that it has a pump dispenser which I find a bit faffy and wasteful. Not sure why they didn't include a spray personally, so I'm going to decant some into an empty bottle to spritz on instead.
 
Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial. I'm pretty happy with my skincare routine at the present (more on that here), but this is one of those products that I've heard so much about so I had to try it out. Its designed to be used instead of your night time moisturiser and is wonderful when massaged into the skin. I was worried I wouldn't get enough hydration from it but I was pleasantly surprised. In the morning my skin felt baby soft and glowing. I'll let you know how I get on with it once I've given it a proper road test.
 
The Body Shop Body Butter in Strawberry. This just smells divine and leaves my skin super soft.
I get quite dry skin on my body and I don't have the same enthusiasm for moisturising it like I do my face. I've vowed to get better at this though so this is a step in the right direction.
 
Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo. As much as I love the Surf Wash shampoo from the range (see here), my hair is really fine and I like giving it a regular detox. The Sunday shampoo is brilliant for that. It removes all sign of build up without stripping the hair. I will admit that I have used it on other days too. Naughty eh?
 
Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Luster. This is my first foray into the brand so I went for a lovely super bright lipstick. Illamasqua have recently launched this range of three satin lipsticks and boy they don't disappoint. Its really pigmented and has amazing staying power. I had this on for about 5 hours the other day before it needed a top-up. It even lasted through lunch which never happens for me. Its a pretty limited range at the moment but hopefully they will add to the range.
 
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow. I've wanted this for ages so it was quite satisfying picking it up. Its a pale girls dream to contour with as its easy to build up, really blendable and not at all orange. I'm a bit of a contour newb but you can't really mess this one up.
 
I have bought a few more things recently which I'm sure I'll share with you soon. There seems to be no stopping me lately which isn't great for the old bank balanced but there you go!
 
Have you been haulin' lately and have you tried any of these?

Laura
Share:

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Surf's up


The hair heroes that are Bumble and Bumble really outdid themselves with their surf range. The original pioneers of seabreezy goodness launched the Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Crème Rinse Conditioner last year and I wasted no time in getting acquainted. A recent Space NK trip rekindled my love and I didn't walk away empty handed.
 
As a fine haired gal with slightly greasy lank hair (painting a good picture aren't I?), I've always wanted effortlessly cool mussed-up beach waves but my hair just doesn't want to co-operate. I've tried salt sprays in the past but I'm a bit heavy handed truth be told and within a couple of hours my bonce is a tangled lank mess.
 
These beauties are a different story. Benefiting from sea fennel and kelp they give a bit of beach-inspired matte texture, but leave your hair really soft and full of volume without any dryness. I can easily eek out a third day post wash with the help of some dry shampoo, perfect for when you just can't be bothered!
 
I'm quite tempted to dig out the salt spray from the range and see if I can go a little easier with it and add a little more texture...
 
Have you tried these and what are your suggestions for adding a little texture?

Laura


Share:

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Seven Days - Skincare Routine




I've seen a couple of similar posts to this over the last few months so thought I'd do my own take on it. I'm not the best at sticking to a skincare routine at the best of times as I always get distracted by a shiny new thing, but somehow I've really clicked with this routine and my skin is in the best condition its been in for a very long time. I do, however, think its important to mix your products up from time to time as your skin can get a bit to used to certain things. Also, your skin isn't the same every day, so its good to have a few different cleansers and treatments to hand to swap between as and when required. This is exactly what I used on my face last week, day by day. Of course, do remember that I am no Caroline Hirons and just because something works on my face doesn't mean it will work on yours.

Monday Morning - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche.

Monday Evening - Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, Clinique Take The Day Off Balm, Elemis Tri-Enzyme Face Walsh, Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator, Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, Origins Make A Difference Plus Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream. 

Tuesday Morning - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche.

Tuesday Evening - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, Origins Make A Difference Plus Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream. 

Wednesday Morning - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche.

Wednesday Evening - Clinique Take The Day Off Balm, Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, Origins Make A Difference Plus Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream.

Thursday Morning - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche.

Thursday Evening - Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, Clinique Take The Day Off Balm, Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, Origins Make A Difference Plus Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream. 

Friday Morning - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche.

Friday Evening - Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, Clinique Take The Day Off Balm, Elemis Tri-Enzyme Face Walsh, Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator, Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, Origins Make A Difference Plus Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream. 
 
Saturday Morning - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche.
 
Saturday Evening - Clinique Take The Day Off Balm, Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, Origins Make A Difference Plus Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream. 
 
Sunday Morning - Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Cleanser, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, La Roche-Posay Toleraine Riche.
 
Sunday EveningClinique Take The Day Off Balm, Elemis Tri-Enzyme Face Wash, Cane & Austin Acne Treatment Pads, Caudalie Eau de Beaute, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Eyes, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, Origins Make A Difference Plus Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream. 
 
So that's my week. As you can see my morning routine is pretty static as I like to keep things simple in the morning. I was actually pretty unwell from Tuesday through to Friday, so whilst it was really tempting not to stick to my routine I knew my skin would thank me for it in the long-run, and it certainly did need the extra TLC. I will be switching things up soon as I did happen to go on a bit of a Space NK rampage at the end of the week. More to come on that one soon...
 
What does your skincare routine consist of and have you used any of these products?
 
Laura
Share:

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Taking it all off: Garnier Micellar Water

 
I've never really been one to use a separate makeup remover. Perhaps that's bad on my part but seeing as I don't use waterproof products a double cleanse has always been sufficient. Then came the Bioderma craze and I started to wonder if I was missing out on something. Its allusive nature in the UK is enough to put anyone off though...
 
Luckily, there's more than one micellar water in town if you don't want to hunt around for Bioderma. As well as the original I've tried a couple, and to be honest I wasn't sold on what the high street had to offer. Most of them stung my eyes and dried my skin out.
 
Then there was Garnier's offering and I must admit I'm pretty happy with this one. It feels just like water and I can't fault it. It really is on par with Bioderma and much more easily available. It makes pretty light work of most of my makeup, but do remember its only intended as a pre-cleanse/makeup remover. Its not going to get everything off but its a good start. I especially like that it feels pretty cold and soothing on my tired eyes after a tough day. A perfect start to taking the rest of the day off.
 
Do you rate micellar waters and have you tried this one?
 
Laura
 
 
 

Share:
© Lelore | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig