Monday, 6 July 2015

Cohorted Beauty Box

Cohorted Beauty Box* - £19.99

The Cohorted website is one of my favourite places to shop for beauty products. They offer some amazing discounts on a huge range of popular brands including MAC, Bobbi Brown, NARS & Dior. A little while ago they started up their very own beauty box service & it is incredibly good value for money! The Cohorted beauty box will always feature at least four different items with a variety of skin, hair, cosmetic & body products. Unlike many other beauty box services, Cohorted have made these boxes available for purchase on a monthly basis only. The box that I'm reviewing is from March 2015 which should give you an indication of how far behind I get with blogging sometimes! Even though this particular box is no longer available, I would consider it to be one of the best beauty boxes that I've ever received & the products are well worth writing about.

Bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment
The most intriguing product from this box has to be the Bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment. I've tried the regular Bare Minerals powder foundations before but beyond that I have little experience with them as a brand. Products that blur the lines between makeup & skincare are becoming increasingly popular. This is a treatment powder that you apply to your skin before going to bed. It features the RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex which is supposed to reduce the appearance of pores, increase luminosity & speed up the skin renewal process. The powder is available in Light, Medium, Tan & Clear. Here I have the Light version which is slightly too yellow/dark for my skin but a good colour match isn't too important when you're in a dimly lit bedroom. Removing your makeup at night & then reapplying a powder feels a little odd, I have to admit. I was worried about making my bed dirty but luckily the product doesn't come off on my pillow despite how much I move about during the night! This product looks really gorgeous on the skin. It makes my face look like it's been airbrushed & adds plenty of radiance to my complexion. Best of all it doesn't clog my pores in any way. I don't think it really adds anything to my regular skincare routine but it definitely has it's uses. If you're staying over at a guy's house for the first time & aren't quite ready to let him see you without makeup then this would be a fab skin-friendly way of covering up your imperfections.

Sleek Precious Metals Highlighting Palette
My heart practically skipped a beat when I set eyes on this beautiful palette from Sleek. Highlighters are my main makeup obsession. I can't go a single day without adding some form of illumination to my skin. The Precious Metals palette features three cream highlighters & a powder bronzer. My favourite shade is Renaissance Gold which is what I'm wearing in the above picture. I like to use it on the top of my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose & over my cupid's bow. It adds such a wonderful sheen to my skin. Royal Gold is quite similar in colour but has a few more glitter particles. The formula of the creams is really lovely. They blend into the skin easily & have some real staying power. The brush that comes with the set is a bit useless, you can achieve a much better finish just by using your fingers. The bronzer has beautiful golden tone to it & adds a Summery glow to the complexion. I absolutely love this little set! There's a nice mix of colours here & the four pans are all very high quality.

Too Faced Exotic Color Eye Shadow in Copper Peony
I don't think I have ever tried a Too Faced product before! Everything in their lineup just looks so pretty & I had no idea where to start. I've been meaning to check out their eyeshadow palettes as I see a lot of people on YouTube going on about the Chocolate Bar one so a single eyeshadow is a good way to try out the formula. This is the shade Copper Peony & it looks totally stunning! I never go for warm eyeshadows like this as I don't think they suit my colouring very well but this blends out into a shimmery golden peach & I'm kinda liking it. The quality is outstanding. Normally with shimmery shadows like this you tend to get a lot of fallout & end up with glitter all over your face. This stays exactly where you apply it. The colour is highly pigmented & the texture is so smooth. I feel like this is better quality than a lot of the shadows in the Urban Decay Naked palettes. Too Faced, you've got a new fan!

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
Speaking of Urban Decay, the final product in the box was their Perversion mascara. I've been a fan of Urban Decay for many years & I remember how different their products were when they first launched in Boots. They used to have loads of amazing mascaras & although I don't love the brand as much as I used to as a teenager, I was excited to give Perversion a try. This mascara is super black & looks quite dramatic on the eyes. The formula is just the right consistency, not too wet or dry & it doesn't smudge or flake throughout the day. My lashes still feel fairly soft after applying a couple of layers. It provides both decent volume & length but can get a bit clumpy. The brush really gets into the roots of your lashes which in turn makes them look thicker. However it is quite large & I kept blobbing this mascara on my top & bottom lids no matter how carefully I tried to apply it. Not sure if it's just me being cack-handed but I don't really have this problem with other mascaras. In my opinion it's a good all-rounder mascara, just not quite as good as what I normally use.

Overall I was very impressed with this Cohorted beauty box. My favourite product was the Sleek Highlighting Palette & I've already gotten a lot of use out of it. I really liked that there was loads of makeup in this box with a good mix of full sized products & generous samples. The total value comes to £74.99 so you're definitely getting your money's worth here! The main reason I stopped reviewing other beauty boxes was because the products & brands in them had started to get far too repetitive for my liking. All of the brands featured in this box are incredibly well known but luckily I hadn't tried any of these products before. For me that is the main appeal of beauty boxes in general so Cohorted have certainly delivered in that respect. If you're interested in trying the Cohorted beauty box then you can pre-order next month's by clicking here.

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Friday, 3 July 2015

Eucerin Sun Protection

With the current UK heatwave, there's no better time to talk about sun protection! I often ignore the expiry dates of products but when it comes to sun cream it's especially important to buy a new bottle every year. This Summer I've turned to Eucerin to keep my skin safe from the sun. Their skincare products are incredibly effective & I'm massively into their lactic acid-heavy DermoPurifyer range. Knowing that my skin reacts well to their other products, I was keen to find out how their sun protection range measures up. The product lineup is very impressive with different sunscreens for normal, dry, oily, sensitive & even blemish-prone skin types. I have combination, blemish-prone skin & also react quite badly to the sun. I always get heat rash & my skin is incapable of tanning. SPF 50 is essential for my lily-white complexion but they also have products with SPF 20, 25 & 30. All of the Eucerin sun products feature licorice extract which helps to further protect skin cells against sun-induced damage alongside the highly effective photostable UVA/UVB filter system. No matter what your skin's individual needs, Eucerin have got you covered.

Facial sunscreen is a must for me, whatever the weather. I frequently use skincare products that can increase sensitivity to the sun so I always make sure that my face is adequately protected. Over the years I've really struggled to find sun protection that my skin can tolerate. Most things would either look greasy, feel sticky or smell horrendous. Products with SPF often cause me to breakout & I hate the white cast that physical sunscreens give you. I normally reach for the Soap & Glory Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50 but more recently I've been loving the Eucerin Sun Fluid Mattifying SPF 50+*. This sunscreen is suitable for normal to combination & sensitive skin. It's a very lightweight fluid with a slight yellow tint. It doesn't make your skin look oily & it feels very comfortable to wear. What really makes this sunscreen stand out is that the finish is very matte. The sun can make you look sweaty enough on it's own so you don't want your sunscreen to make you look any worse. It also sits nicely under my makeup & doesn't make it any more likely to slide off your face during the day. The only downside is that it doesn't smell quite as a nice as the Soap & Glory one but the scent soon dissipates after application. Otherwise this is a lovely high SPF facial sunscreen that will keep any shine at bay.

Personally I prefer to use transparent sprays to protect my body. They are easy to apply, quick to dry & less likely to ruin your clothes. The Eucerin Sun Spray Transparent SPF 50* is a really fantastic sunscreen. It doesn't feel greasy or sticky at all. The product doesn't pill on the skin after reapplication either. It is also water resistant. This spray is suitable for all skin types including those with very sensitive or blemish-prone skin. People tend to think of spots as a problem that only affects the face but as someone who has suffered from bacne in the past, it's important to use a product that my body can tolerate. Sun cream can be hard to apply to your entire body without someone to help you out but this spray is able to reach every area without difficulty. You can also spray it on your scalp if you've forgotten your sun hat!

If you want a more traditional sun cream then the Sun Lotion Extra Light SPF 50* is a great choice. It feels light on my skin & absorbs right away. The lotion refreshes the skin upon application & feels more moisturising than the spray. Those with very sensitive skin or a skin condition like dermatitis or eczema should get on well with this product. If you tend to get heat rash like me then using an after sun cream is imperative. I feel like most people forget about this step but it's the perfect antidote for allergy-prone skin. The Allergy Protection After Sun Creme-Gel* is a fab way to rehydrate your skin after a long day in the sun. The texture feels wonderful on the skin & sinks in quickly. It features an ingredient called Alpha-Glucosyl-Rutin which helps to strengthen the skin & reduces the likeliness of developing an allergic reaction. This product is free from perfume, emulsifiers & preservatives to reduce the risk of irritation. The calming properties of licorice extract also reduces the redness of the skin. I like to keep my bottle in the fridge to add even more oomph to it's cooling powers!

Have you tried any of Eucerin's sun protection products before?

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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

June Favourites

Bioderma White Objective Lightening Fluid SPF 25
I recently ran out of my Bioderma Sensibio micellar water & as Escentual had 1/3rd off all French pharmacy products, I decided to place an order with them. They exclusively stock the Bioderma White Objective range which is aimed at those with hyper pigmentation. I picked up the White Objective micellar water & also added this Lightening Fluid onto my order. The cleansing water is pretty much the same as the Sensibio version. It apparently contains a patented complex that can brighten the skin & prevent the development of further pigmentation. I can't really tell if it's working but it can't hurt to try & only cost £1 more. I've been much more impressed with the Lightening Fluid which is a really lovely day moisturiser. It's the perfect consistency for the Summer, light yet hydrating. As well as the White Objective complex, this moisturiser also boasts a high dose of vitamin C & SPF 25. It contains everything you need to keep your skin looking bright, even & youthful. I'm so glad I gave it a shot!

MAC Fix+
Fix+ is something I've been meaning to purchase for years. I've always heard so many good things about it but felt bad about paying £17 for what could just be glorified water. There are some misconceptions about this product. It is not a setting spray. Fix+ is a finishing spray that you can use after applying your makeup to prevent it from looking powdery or cakey. It makes my base look soft, dewy & fresh. I especially like to spray it over my powder highlighter as it really adds some oomph to the shimmer. I also use it with eyeshadow to intensify the colour. I had my doubts about it but this is a fab multi-tasking product that can make such a difference to the finish of your makeup.

Michael Kors White
The name White is very apt for this limited edition fragrance. White floral scents are my very favourite kind and this Michael Kors perfume delivers a delicate blend of freesia, tuberose & white musk. It is sweet & feminine with a sensual, oriental base. When first sprayed the scent is very floral & green but as it dries down the vanilla & amber base warms it up a bit. It's certainly seems a lot more glamourous & sexy than the other floral perfumes in my collection. The packaging looks really cool & chic but the spray mechanism tends to squirt me with a stream of liquid instead of misting me with the scent! Technical faults aside, I absolutely love this perfume.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
This purchase was inspired by Wayne Goss & the good people over at /r/SkincareAddiction. I've used loads of products containing salicylic acid before, with Stridex pads being my previous BHA of choice. However the SkincareAddiction subreddit is forever inundated with rave reviews of the Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid & I couldn't resist trying it out any longer. There was just so many different people saying how this product had saved their skin & unearthed clogs that other acids couldn't touch. I would consider my main skin problem to be recurrent closed comedones located mainly on my forehead. Most people told me that AHAs were the answer to this problem & although they did help immensely, this BHA product is exactly what I needed all along. BHAs are better for people with oily skin because they can get through the oil that's clogging your pores. It works on all kinds of blemishes & is especially effective on sebaceous filaments. Unlike Stridex it doesn't contain menthol so it's less likely to irritate the skin. It also features butylene glycol which allows the BHA to further penetrate the skin without drying it out. This is a seriously brilliant product & a must-have for anyone with acne-prone skin.

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Coconut*
I used to be obsessed with the Barry M Nail Paints but I hadn't tried any of their newer formulas. The Gelly range is supposed to be a high-pigment, high-shine collection of polishes that provide a glossy, gel-like finish with a single coat. Coconut is a creamy off-white shade & I think it looks gorgeous! I'm so impressed with the formula. It wasn't quite opaque with one coat but it applies very smoothly & evenly with a super shiny finish. The polish is quick to dry & very long lasting. The colour is surprisingly flattering as the slightly warm tone compliments the skin. There's no sign of Tipp-Ex here! I love white nails in the Summer as they look so fresh & clean. Coconut would also make a great base for nail art.

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