Sunday, 30 April 2017

Skin Care | Garnier Pure Active Range


So I swear by the Garnier Pure Active Matte Control, so much so that I wear it on a daily basis even when I'm not wearing makeup. So while in Boots replacing my Micellar Water I spied that there was now a Pure Active Micellar Water so I had a look around for what else Garnier were doing in the Pure Active Range. As well as grabbing the Micellar Water, I also picked up the 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask and the Deep Clean Foam Wash.

The 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask has now become my daily face wash. I personally prefer a daily face wash that has some exfoliant in to help keep my skin under control; I have major combination skin, as well as having an oily t-zone, I also suffer with dry skin around my nose and my cheeks. Super attractive as you can imagine, so I need something to help me combat both of these. The exfoliant isn't horrendously harsh, in fact unless I work the scrub into my face I can barely notice it's there. I've heard of face washes that can also be used as face masks but I've never tried any of them out. I don't go out of my way to use this as a mask if I'm honest, how I tend to use this is that I'll apply it to my face like a normal scrub and I'll just leave it on while I rinse out my conditioner.

As much as I try to wash my face at night every single day, I get lazy and tired and it doesn't always happen. Although, when I actually do I'm currently reaching for the Deep Clean Foam Wash. Quick warning; if this even manages to get into your eye this will burn. Deep Clean always leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean and I definitely feel as though everything from the day has been removed from my face. So when I'm not reaching for Deep Clean to take off my makeup I'm reaching for my Micellar Water instead. I've used a micellar water to remove my makeup for a good few years now, and as much as I love them I have noticed that I can be left feeling like I have layer left on my skin or that somehow not everything has been removed. The Pure Active Micellar Water doesn't do this to me; I'm not left feeling like I have a layer on my skin and I do feel like everything has been taken off my face. The Pure Active Micellar Water doesn't irritate my skin or my eyes, which is a hugely important factor for me.

So both the 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask and the Deep Clean Foam wash both contain Zinc, and Deep Clean is also enriched with salicylic acid; both of which are great for my skin type. I don't want to say that Pure Active has worked miracles for my skin, but it definitely has changed my skin totally. I'm not breaking out as much, my oil levels are easier to maintain and my skin just feels fresher. I'd love to say my spots have completely disappeared but I'd be lying; I don't get as many spots coming to the surface, which is perfect but I still do have those deep, painful spots. All in all, Pure Active has definitely worked for my skin for the better.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Friday First | Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara


Here we go with another super conflicting product; although seeing as Better Than Sex is meant to be one of the best mascaras around I was expecting bigger things.

Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara is a mascara that I have heard every single beauty blogger, vlogger, and just anyone who is everyone talking about ever since I started watching and reading anything to do with makeup. Just like the Urban Decay setting spray, Better Than Sex is something that I can easily pick up at Debenham's with no issue but I just never have. So while I was in Sephora over in Prague, and in that 'treat yoself' mood who could blame me for grabbing this mini while in the queue to pay? Can Better Than Sex fulfil all my "desire for lush, incredibly intense lashes"? Better Than Sex claims to be able to make "lashes... full, defined and stretched to unbelievable lengths" all in one application. Better Than Sex contains "film-firming Polymer for smudge-proof, all day wear", "acacia Senegal tree extract to nourish, thicken and lock curl in place" and uses "unique peptides for the deepest, intense black possible" (www.toofaced.com).

So Better Than Sex is definitely one of the best mascara's I've reached for in terms of it being a really intense black on my lashes, which is something I really look for in a mascara. Better Than Sex also gives me lashes that are super full with an incredible curl, so it definitely lives up to expectations and claims in that respect. Spoiler: that's where it ends. "Smudge-proof" is the biggest lie that this mascara will ever tell you; within an hour or two of wearing this mascara, I have the biggest shadows under my eyes. It will look like I've gone mental at rubbing my eyes when in reality I won't have even touched them. As well as smudging like there is no tomorrow it also flakes off throughout the day, again without me even touching my eyes, and I have flakes all across the top of my cheeks! Oh, and these will also end up in my eyes, which is not comfortable. Now before anyone says anything, I use mascaras that aren't waterproof and none of them do this to me and I've also tested Better Than Sex with a few different setting sprays and nothing makes a difference.

Will I continue to use Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara? This is still the mascara I'm reaching for on a daily basis. I'm so conflicted around this mascara, purely because I love how it makes my lashes look but I hate how easily it smudges and flakes on its own!
Will I repurchase Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara? Definitely not. £19 for a mascara that smudges and flakes on its own without me even touching it is not worth my money. This breaks my heart because it's a mascara that makes my lashes look so incredible!
Would I recommend Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara? Again, I'm in two halves about this. I'd highly recommend Better Than Sex for the way that it makes my lashes look, but then I'd also tell people to stay as far away from this mascara as possible if they don't enjoy a smudgy mascara or one that just flakes into your eyes.
Overall score out of 5? A 3. I love how my lashes look when I apply this mascara, and despite how easily it flakes and smudges this look really does last throughout the day. The curl doesn't drop my lashes and they still look as intensely black as they do when I first apply this mascara. But again, it just smudges all over my face and flakes off into my eyes. Ugh, no thanks.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Skin Care | Pixi Glow Tonic

Talking about a cult product is always a post that basically fills me with dread; what if I say something that people don't like and everyone goes against me? This is basically one of the main reasons as to why it takes me so long to even think about touching such a highly acclaimed cult product. When I received the Pixi Glow Tonic in my TILI Beauty Box I was incredibly excited as I've wanting to try it for years, but I instantly panicked just in case I didn't love it just like everyone else seems to.

Let's cut to the chase, I am totally in love with the Pixi Glow Tonic. I don't know how this little bottle of amazement works, but it does some incredible things for my skin. Glow Tonic contains "aloe vera, ginseng and botanical extracts" and all of these are meant to work together and "exfoliates, brightens and smoothes skin", and of course the clue is in the name, it's also an "instant glow enhancer". When I read that the Pixi Glow Tonic was meant to be able to exfoliate my skin, I couldn't quite work out how that was possible and just how it would work. I still can't work out how it exfoliates my skin, but somehow it does and it does it perfectly well.

I use my Glow Tonic daily so it's probably no surprise that I got through that tiny bottle super quick; within two weeks of receiving this sample bottle I'd already repurchased one of the 100ml bottles and now I genuinely can't live without it! My skin has definitely improved since I introduced the Pixi Glow Tonic into my life, and I don't think I could turn back now.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday First | Beaver Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray


My favourite thing about subscription boxes is that they really encourage me to try new products. As much as I love trying out new products, when it comes to old favourites I can be very reluctant to try anything, in fear that I'll fall in love with a ridiculously expensive product and also I'm very nervous when it comes to trying anything new on my hair. The Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray by Beaver came in February's Birchbox. It sounded interesting, but it also didn't really stand out from the millions of other sprays for hair out there and I was happy enough with my Aussie spray. The Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray is designed as a "light detangler" which "imparts shine and luster to hair without weighing it down" and like any other conditioning spray you can "leave it in for more conditioning". The Conditioning Spray also "helps reduce frizz and flyaways for improved manageability... penetrate[s] hair to moisturise from within and add shine and body" (www.beaver-cn.com).

I'm currently using this on my hair every time after I wash it, although because I have to use so little of it I'm actually thinking of leaving it at Ryan's so I actually have something to use on my hair when I've washed it at his. I've been using this as a pair with my Wet Brush, and detangling my hair fresh out of the shower is now a dream. I still struggle with some really troublesome knots, but I just spray a little extra of the Conditioning Spray on them and they become a thing of the past. I have noticed increased shine to my hair, which I couldn't place my finger on why until I've just reminded myself of what the Conditioning Spray is meant to do, so it definitely adds shine! The amount of frizz and flyaways I'm dealing with has decreased dramatically which is something I have dreamed of for years! I can't say I'm overly keen on the scent; I can't quite describe the scent but it's not my favourite. Although, after brushing through my hair it disappears and can't be detected at all!

Will I continue to use Beaver's Daily Moisturising Conditioning Spray? Like I've said above I'm currently using this every time I wash my hair. But I do think I'm going to leave it at Ryan's so I have something to use there and don't have to worry about forgetting anything. I'll definitely keep using it, though!
Will I repurchase Beaver's Daily Moisturising Conditioning Spray? I don't think I will. It's good and I like what it does for my hair, but I can't say it stands out from my Aussie Protection Spray enough for me to justify spending £11.50 on something new.
Would I recommend Beaver's Daily Moisturising Conditioning Spray? Just like with The Wet Brush if you're someone who really struggles with tangled hair while it's wet then you really do need to try this. If you're also looking for a way to put a little moisture back into your hair, or deal with those annoying flyaways and frizz then give it a go!
Overall score out of 5? A 3. I do enjoy how easy it is to untangle my hair, and I enjoy the added shine, moisture and manageability. However, the scent is something I really don't like and it doesn't really stand out as anything special from anything that I've used for my hair in the past.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Beauty | Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

So I totally couldn't resist with the backdrop for this one! Okay, so I'm aware I can pick up Urban Decay quite easily from Debenhams in the UK but as soon as I stepped off the metro in Prague the first thing I saw was a Sephora. Now, I had a lot more spending money left at the end of our trip and come on, what kind of makeup lover isn't desperate for a Sephora bag? I picked up a few bits from Sephora, but the first thing that I picked up was the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray; a product that I've only ever heard of as a holy grail product and one I've definitely lusted over for years.

I wear a setting spray on a daily basis; it actually took me years to start using a setting spray, but now if I don't use mine I feel like I've skipped a whole step of my makeup routine. Being an oily girl I need a setting spray that will hold my makeup all day long without letting me down, which also means I've tried many, many setting sprays.

So I'm currently using All Nighter on a daily basis, but... It definitely took me a few times to start loving this and understanding the hype. So Urban Decay tells you that the best way to apply All Nighter is to mist it over your face in an X and a T shape, which just didn't work for me and left me with huge parts of my face untouched. Instead, I just mist this over my face in almost a circle type fashion, which leaves my face leaving totally secure for the day. I'm yet to try and use All Nighter to create a more intense look with my eyeshadows, but I'll be giving that a go soon.

All Nighter definitely took me a while to fall in love with, and I really do enjoy how it sits on my face and how it holds my makeup in place. Will I be picking it back up for £23.50? I'm currently not sure, I really do like this setting spray but I think I need to see how long it lasts me before I have to make the choice between All Nighter and one I can pick up from Boots...

Friday, 14 April 2017

Friday First | w7 Absolute Lashes


Oh look, Beka is reviewing another w7 product. Honestly, it's all Amazon's fault that I try as many w7 products as I do, I promise! Anyway, this week I'm reviewing the Absolute Lashes from them, which is clearly a dupe for the They're Real mascara from Benefit; literally in every way possible from the packaging to the brush. Absolute Lashes is described as "a black mascara with a soft spiked brush" that claims to "boosts volume, length and add extra curl to give you brilliant bold lashes". Now, I've somehow forgotten to take a photo of the brush but it's basically the same design at the brush on the They're Real mascara. With this brush, Absolute Lashes claims that "each spoke separates and therefore emphasises each lash to give a dramatic curl" (www.w7cosmetics.co.uk).

I'm absolutely in love with this mascara, and I'm reaching for it on a daily basis! It really does give you volume and even length, which can be quite difficult to find in a mascara, especially when I don't curl my lashes on a daily basis. When I do curl my lashes when using Absolute Lashes the whole look just becomes even more intense. The brush does allow me to reach as many lashes as possible, meaning that none are missed and therefore my lashes look even. I always apply 2-3 coats of mascara, I always have and I always will. For me, it isn't about adding coats, but more about making sure my lashes look just right which usually means applying another coat or two to do this. Now, my only complaint about Absolute Lashes is that is can be a complete nightmare to apply; and the more coats you're wearing the more of a battle you have on your hands. I remove all of my makeup with a cleansing butter which usually breaks down all of my makeup without a problem, but when it comes to Absolute Lashes I really have to work my cleansing butter into my lashes to remove every trace possible. Sometimes this isn't always enough and I then have to go in with an oil to really oil cleanse my lashes, all while praying that I'm not pulling any out!

Will I continue to use w7's Absolute Lashes? I'm currently using it on a daily basis, and the only time I reach for my trusty Boots mascara instead is those days after I've struggled to get it off and I need to give my lashes and my eyes a rest.
Will I repurchase w7's Absolute Lashes? Definitely. w7 have it on their website for £6.95 but I picked it up on Amazon for as little as £1.98! I love the look that it gives to my lashes and it isn't difficult to use. My lashes don't feel heavy while I'm wearing this, it doesn't smudge and it definitely doesn't crumble away.
Would I recommend w7's Absolute Lashes? Highly! If you're looking for a mascara to give you volumized and lengthened lashes then really do give this one a go. For such a small price you'll be able to very quickly work out if the mascara is for you or not.
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I love how it easily gives my lashes volume and length, and even more so when they've been curled. I love how it lasts all day long without smudging or budging. Although, the one thing I don't love is that if I put too much on my eyelashes will clump and I have no way of fixing it!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Beauty | Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer


Okay, let's talk about a product that receives so much hype within the beauty community and I'm pretty sure you've heard of. If you haven't, well where have you been? So Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer seems to be the most talked about concealer by everyone going; I've asked for many recommendations for conceal and everyone seems to come back to this one.

So I caved and picked it up while I was in Boots the other week. Now, with how long it took me to get into the liquid foundation game just imagine how wary I was when playing around with concealer. If you're anything like me you can watch 1,000 tutorials and then still manage to mess it up when it comes to your own go. I grabbed the Lasting Perfection Concealer in the lightest shade, as I know a lot of people use it under their eyes to brighten as well as conceal and it matches my skin tone perfectly... Nonetheless, we carry on. I use this under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, around the edges of my nose and then on any imperfections and blend it out with a mini Real Techniques sponge. It blends in effortlessly and I just set it with my normal powder just to keep it all in place and that does the trick for me.

I have found that if I touch up my concealer at any point while doing my makeup then it will become incredibly cakey, so I've found it works best for me if I just apply it, set it and leave it alone... It hasn't caked since I've stopped playing around with it! I can't say I have the worlds worst dark circles, however, it just gives me enough coverage to not look so pale and ill. I find it also tackles any blemishes pretty well; I use a pretty decent coverage foundation so I don't really have to worry about my blemishes being ridiculously obvious. But on those days, or nights, where I want that flawless look this becomes my best friend!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Friday First | Pantene Foam Conditioner


As soon as I saw the advert for these on TV I knew I had to get my hands on these and give them a go. 'A foam conditioner? Just how on earth does that work? Is it just another gimmick?' I grabbed two while I was shopping on Sunday; I grabbed the Repair & Protect and the Smooth & Sleek foam conditioners to try two things I really want for my hair. Being a girl with long hair I tend not to condition higher up from my ears to avoid greasy roots; I style my hair with heat on nearly a daily basis and I have bleach in my hair that means that my fringe and the top half of my hair run the risk of being damaged and dry. Both the conditioners are designed for fine hair, but I see them both as the perfect chance to fully condition my hair. Pantene's foam conditioners both work as "the air-light foamy texture is absorbed deep into the hair and moisturizes it from the inside out... Without leaving unwanted residue on the outside that could weigh down fine hair". Repair & Protect is also designed for damaged hair and "helps restore hair's strength against styling damage". Pantene also claim that the Repair & Protect foam conditioner should also leave "hair easy to detangle, silky soft and free-flowing" as it gives "hair all the nourishment and conditioning it needs, without weighing it down" (Repair & Protect). Having long hair seems to be a little bit of a curse; it tangles like there is no tomorrow, it seems to get greasy quicker than I remember and new hairs and flyaways seem horrendously noticeable. Smooth & Sleek again gives "hair all the conditioning it needs, without weighing it down" and leaves hair "easy to detangle, visibly healthy and full of volume" (Smooth & Sleek).

I'm always very nervous when it comes to trying new hair products, especially when I have to put something near my roots. I jumped straight in at the deep end; I smothered this good stuff all over my hair, from root to tip and let it sink it. Both have the typical Pantene smell, a smell I'm pretty sure I'll be able to recognise no matter where I am in live. The foam conditioners take no time to sink into my hair, to allow a little bit extra time I was my face while they're sinking in and then I rinse them out. The beauty of them sinking in quickly is that they also rinse out really quickly, which is really nice touch with these products. So did my hair feel any better after using both of these? Definitely, I noticed the difference straight away. Both of these made my hair super easy to brush through, there were no tangles and my hair just felt better.

Will I continue to use the Pantene Foam Conditioners? Definitely! I love how they've cut down the amount of time I have to spend on my hair in the shower and I love how much better my hair instantly feels. Annoyingly I can't comment on how my hair looks as each time I've used these I've had to throw my hair up each day for work.
Will I repurchase the Pantene Foam Conditioners? I think I will. I think that £4 could be judged as being a little bit expensive for conditioners, depending on your budget of course. Although I really enjoy the way my hair feels and how I'm able to manage my hair after using these, so these will definitely be a repurchase.
Would I recommend the Pantene Foam Conditioners? Definitely. I personally thought these would just be a gimmick, but I have definitely been proven wrong. If like me you have long hair you need a way to really condition your hair well then this is a product that you should definitely be considering. If you have fine hair and you find that products stay in your hair too easily then this is definitely something you should try!
Overall score out of 5? A really high 4. My hair was incredibly easy to manage after washing my hair, and felt really smooth. To say I applied conditioner directly to my roots, you'd never know!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Skin Care | Bio-Oil


So I was really hoping I'd be able to include a bare-faced photo in this to really showcase the difference in my skin from when I first started using Bio-Oil* to now, but my skin confidence still isn't quite there; maybe I'll upload one to my facebook! Everyone who is anyone has heard of Bio-Oil, but then if anyone is like me then you'll also admit that you've never really seen the hype surrounding it, and the price tag definitely put you off. Especially when you're questioning if it's really that essential to you life?

It's very well known that Bio-Oil is meant to be the wonder product if you have scars or stretch marks that you'd like to improve the look of. I do have stretch marks, however, I've had them for so long I really don't care about them anymore and currently, I'm quite comfortable with them so I didn't use my Bio-Oil to help improve the look of these. What I do have however is very acne scarred skin; I can genuinely remember going to the doctor when I was around 12/13 for one issue and the doctor commenting on my acne scars. Now, I have tried everything I can think of to help with my acne scars and my skin tone. Bio-Oil recommend using it on scars or uneven skin tones twice daily, however for my face this is just too much and I've found the best way for me to make Bio-Oil work for me is to use just around 4 drops after I've cleansed my face before I go to bed to allow it to really sink in overnight.

Oil cleansing is the latest thing lately, and if like me you're constantly stalking the skincare pages over on Reddit you'll know how oil cleansing is meant to be absolutely incredible and the best thing ever. I can't say oil cleansing works wonders for me, although I do use my Bio-Oil just after I've used my cleansing butter to remove all my makeup to add some moisture back into my skin and replace anything that might have been stripped away. I did try to use this after every time I washed my face or showered, however, the one day that I used my Bio-Oil in the morning before I applied my makeup I hated how my makeup felt and looked that day. So oil just doesn't suit my face in the morning.

I've also started using my Bio-Oil to clean my Real Techniques makeup sponge; I've always cleaned my sponge with a form of oil and a cleanser, so one day I just tried Bio-Oil. Amazingly, my sponge actually didn't feel like it dried out as much as it has done in the past while using another kind of oil and the makeup really was pulled from my sponge.

So although I might not be using my Bio-Oil in the traditional ways, I've found ways to make it work for me in my everyday skin routine and daily life!

*I was sent this product for free in return for a review. I have not been paid for this post, all opinions remain my own and have not been influenced in any way.