Thursday 30 April 2015

Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial & Intense Hydrating Booster

Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial / Sarah Chapman Intense Hydrating Booster

I'd been wanting to add some Sarah Chapman products into my skincare routine for absolutely ages. For the uninitiated, Sarah Chapman is a world-renowned skincare expert with over twenty years of experience in cosmetic science. Her skin pefecting facials are loved by A-list celebrities everywhere with their combination of special massage techniques, innovative potent ingredients & cutting-edge technology. Back in 2008 she brought out her own skincare range called Skinesis which promised to deliver the same results as her super luxurious facials by combining the most advanced active ingredients with powerful botanical extracts. I'm normally more than happy to invest in products that my skin can really benefit from but for the amount of product you get, the Skinesis range is astronomically expensive. Luckily I managed to snap up a couple of her products a few months ago in the FeelUnique sale where they were a little more reasonably priced. I'm not quite sure why it's taken me so long to write this review because I started seeing positive results from day one. My skin has never been happier since introducing it to Sarah Chapman & in my mind that makes these products wholly worth the money.

You've probably already heard lots of good things about Overnight Facial which is, undoubtedly, Sarah Chapman's most famous product. The name alone makes it incredibly appealing and just one use of this wonder oil will have you hooked. One pump is all you need for the most radiant, healthy looking glow your skin will ever have. This oil is intended to be used in place of your regular night cream. It moisturises & refines the skin without feeling greasy or heavy. I don't have to worry about half of it rubbing off on my pillow either, the formula is simply wonderful. There are so many amazing ingredients packed into this little bottle! The oil is a potent cocktail of vitamins, peptides, omega oils, skin brighteners, jasmine & rose. It makes my skin feel utterly baby soft & no matter how knackered you feel the next morning, you'll look like you definitely got your beauty sleep. It completely rejuvenates my whole complexion & is a huge confidence booster. There's nothing better for younger, brighter & dewier looking skin.

I should probably mention that Overnight Facial has a very strong herbal scent & it's something that you'll either love or hate. I think it smells quite nice actually but something so highly fragranced might not be the best for those with very sensitive skin. Overnight Facial isn't something I use every day as this product feels like such a special treat & I want it to last for as long as possible. Most nights I tend to stick to my Claudia Louch Botanical Face Cream. What can I say? I love me some high performance luxury skincare products! I also own the Sarah Chapman Facialift Massager and these two products work beautifully together. The massaging nodules just feel oh so good in combination with the oil & it helps to firm up the skin, keeping my many chins in check.

However if you can only afford to splurge on one of Sarah Chapman's products I would definitely recommend buying the Intense Hydrating Booster. My favourite kind of serums are ones with hyaluronic acid in them & this product is the crème de la crème. Whereas things like Hydraluron can get quite sticky in texture, this booster serum feels silky smooth no matter how much you apply. This product comes with a pipette applicator so you don't have to waste a single drop. I normally apply about five drops, one for each area of my face, before gently massaging it into my skin. You can use it day and night, layered under your regular moisturiser or Overnight Facial. As well as hyaluronic acid, this serum contains moisture magnets & rosewater. It has a thin watery texture that thirsty skin will immediately drink up. It visibly plumps up the skin & rehydrates it too. I find that it really helps my blemishes to clear up faster & keeps redness at bay. It balances out my skin type & makes my face feel fresher throughout the day. The Intense Hydrating Booster will fit nicely into any skincare routine & it's the kind of thing that everyone can benefit from. It's basically the perfect serum for soothing stressed & dehydrated skin.

Have you tried any Sarah Chapman products?

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Friday 24 April 2015

Flashmob Cosmetics Electric Kisses Lipstick Set

Flashmob Cosmetics Electric Kisses Lipstick Set* - £10

Weird lip colours are all the rage these days. With brands like Kat Von D & Jeffree Star rising in popularity (and Lime Crime deservedly crashing & burning...) you can't take one look at Tumblr or Instagram without spotting someone rocking black or purple lips. Unfortunately these brands aren't quite so readily available in the UK just yet. Sure, we have Illamasqua but that's about it. It seems that smaller indie brands are the way to go if you're into crazy lipstick shades. I was sent this really cool set of 'shockingly bold' lipsticks from Flashmob Cosmetics. The Electric Kisses lipstick set comes with four different colours - Danger Zone (yellow), Talkin' Smack (lilac), Seeing Fireworks (pink) & Wakin' The Dead (blue). I love the packaging & I was extremely hyped to try these lipsticks out!

These kinda colours are definitely not easy to pull off. In my mind there are two ways to wear them - either with tons of other brightly coloured makeup or by making your lips a focal point with everything else kept as neutral as possible. Personally I prefer the latter method as I like my lips to really stand out. I used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer & Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light to perfect my base. To keep my eye makeup really basic I just used MAC Painterly Paint Pot, Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner & Benefit Roller Lash. I used a bit of Soap & Glory Solar Powder, NARS Douceur & theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer on my cheeks to give them definition without loads of colour. Finally I filled in my eyebrows with Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Medium Brown. With my very neutral makeup look complete it was time to see how these bright lipstick colours measured up. They feel creamy & comfortable to wear with no discernible scent or taste. However that's pretty much where the good points come to an end...

Out of all the lipsticks in this set, Danger Zone is definitely the worst. Yellow is almost impossible to wear anyway but the streaky formula makes this lipstick really horrible to apply. I had to keep layering it & smoothing it over again and again to make it look half decent. It still looks like a patchy mess though.

Talkin' Smack is a sheer cool toned lilac shade. I have to admit that I do like this colour on me. I'd never tried any kind of purple lipstick before but I totally get the appeal now. Again the streaky formula lets this lipstick down and getting it to look good is more trouble than it's worth.

Seeing Fireworks is a blue toned bubblegum pink. This is my favourite of the bunch and is probably the only colour that I would wear out in public. The other lipsticks don't last on my lips at all but Seeing Fireworks leaves behind a bright pink stain after eating & drinking. This colour is the most pigmented & is easiest to build up without going streaky. I used to be obsessed with Barry M No. 52 lipstick so it's no surprise that I feel most at home with this shocking pink colour.

Wakin' The Dead is a bright sky blue colour. I can't look at blue lipstick without thinking of Joey Tribbiani's Ichiban lipstick for men advert. Wakin' The Dead feels a little bit firmer & looks a little bit matter than the other lipsticks. It applies quite well but my lips still look uneven & streaky, especially on the outer edges. If you're planning on dressing up as Smurfette then this would be a great lipstick. Otherwise I can't imagine anyone getting much use out of it.

I don't really know what I was expecting from lipsticks that cost just £2.50 each but I can't say that I'm at all impressed with these products. Crazy colours like these can look stunning but the formula & pigmentation of the Flashmob Cosmetics Electric Kisses lipsticks is very disappointing. There's nothing worse than someone trying to wear streaky blue lipstick that applies poorly. I'm just holding out for the Anastasia Beverly Hills & Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks to make their way across the pond because they seem infinitely better! Unless you're a child playing with makeup for the first time, I would suggest you do the same.

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Thursday 23 April 2015

Claudia Louch Mineral Loose Powder

Claudia Louch Mineral Loose Powder* - £47.50

Powder is something that I cannot live without. My skin isn't particularly oily but I just don't feel right if I haven't used something to set my foundation. In the past powders were associated with a chalky looking finish. The last thing you want is for a powder to actually look powdery on your skin. I really like mineral powders because I feel like they give the most seamless finish & make my skin look naturally perfected. At the minute I'm really loving this Mineral Loose Powder from Claudia Louch. I'm often wary of brands who try to do both skincare & makeup as one is inevitably not up to the standard of the other. Claudia Louch's skincare products are utterly fantastic so I was rather keen to find out how her makeup range measured up. Presently the main focus of the makeup line is base products. You won't find fancy eyeshadow palettes or bright lipsticks in her shop but then that wouldn't be entirely appropriate to the brand. The clients of the Natural Skin Clinic visit there to fix their skin so it makes sense that any cosmetics sold are intended to further enhance the complexion without aggravating any pre-existing skin conditions.

As with all the Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic products, this powder is 94% natural, hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic and free from fragrances & harsh chemicals. It is suitable for use on all skin types & many skin conditions. The Mineral Loose Powder is incredibly finely milled & glides effortlessly onto the skin. It helps to absorb excess oil & reduce shine. It won't cake or clog your pores either. The powder comes in a black plastic pot with a sifter. Loose powders can be a bit messy to use but this packaging is well designed & it's easy to tap out just the right amount of product. One thing that sets this powder apart from many others is the inclusion of jojoba oil. I adore the Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser so this ingredient stood out to me when I had a look through the list. It acts as an anti-inflammatory & helps to dissolve excess sebum so this powder is ideal for anyone prone to clogs or breakouts. Jojoba oil naturally warms to your body temperature which allows the powder to blend really well so it won't accentuate any dry patches. The result is a velvety satin finish which just looks wonderful on the skin.

I was sent the shade MC2 Warm Yellow which I have to admit did worry me a little. It's rare that base products in anything other than deathly pale shades suit me but this colour looks really natural on my skin. Although the powder is beige in colour, it has very little pigment so it looks almost translucent once applied. It's more of a setting powder than a powder foundation but still looks fab when used on it's own. It doesn't offer masses of coverage but it manages to even out the complexion, reducing redness & giving the skin a smooth, poreless appearance. Combine it with something like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for the ultimate 'no makeup' makeup base. I generally like my skin to look as flawless as possible though so my favourite way to use this product is as a setting powder. It helps to keep my foundation in place & finishes off my makeup beautifully. It brings some instant radiance to my face & gives my skin a lovely silky texture. In the above photo I used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation before applying the Mineral Loose Power with a Zoeva Powder Brush. My face never normally looks this glowing without a hefty dusting of highlighter but this powder really gives you that 'lit from within' look that so many of us desire.

At nearly £50 this powder is definitely a luxury item. However anyone with extremely reactive skin will know that finding makeup that won't clog your pores or cause irritation can be rather difficult. I would highly recommend trying out some of Claudia Louch's products as they have been specially formulated for use on even the most sensitive skin. If this Mineral Loose Powder is anything to go by, then Claudia Louch is one brand where I can safely say that the makeup is just as good as the skincare.

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