I didn’t choose the Sluglife, the Sluglife chose me

If you’ve ever frequented r/Skincareaddiction on Reddit, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Those who live the “Sluglife” are the ones who coat their faces with Vaseline before bed. Yes, this sounds crazy and unnatural and goes against everything you’ve ever thought about skincare (hello blocked pores, oily skin that can’t breathe, amirite?) but I’ve tried it and want to explain why it’s actually a great idea, especially for those with dry and/or sensitive skin:

1. It keeps skin hydrated

Vaseline is an occlusive, which means it forms a hydrophobic layer on your skin, preventing moisture loss. So the point of coating your skin in Vaseline before bed isn’t so that it absorbs into your skin; it’s to lock in whatever moisture is there, preventing your skin drying out. It acts as a barrier: if you apply your moisturiser, then apply a cost of Vaseline over the top of it before you go to sleep, the Vaseline will prevent you from losing that moisture while you sleep. You’ll wake up with beautiful, plump, hydrated skin.

2. It doesn’t block pores

Vaseline is actually classed as non-comodogenic, meaning it doesn’t block pores. The molecules in Vaseline are too big to block them, so you don’t need to worry about the Vaseline somehow infiltrating your pores, setting up camp there, and creating an abundance of blackheads and cystic acne. Unless your pores are vaginally sized. In that case, forget the Vaseline and get that shit seen to right away.

3. Skin doesn’t need to “breathe”

Here’s a lesson in basic anatomy: your skin doesn’t have lungs. Because of this, it doesn’t need to “breathe”. What I mean is, the top layer of your skin is technically dead, but the bottom layers of your skin get nutrients from your blood supply – so what you eat and drink is important. So your pores and stuff don’t need to “breathe” oxygen. You also don’t need to “detoxify” or whatever through your pores- that’s what your kidneys are for. Yes, you so need to remove makeup, dirt, and other crap that builds up during the day; but you don’t need to worry about using a heavy, occlusive moisturiser like Vaseline because it feels like your skin “can’t breathe”. If your skin needs the hydration, use it.

4. Petroleum jelly isn’t the bad guy

It has no fragrance or other irritating ingredients, so it’s not going to upset your skin; it locks in moisture, and many dermatologists, doctors and pharmacists recommend it for skin conditions. Many people believe it’s bad for you or causes cancer because “chemicals”…but everything is chemicals! There are no conclusive reports that petroleum jelly causes cancer, and although it is a byproduct of the oil industry, it’s not particularly bad for the environment; if you’re going to bash Vaseline for being “bad for the environment”, you may as well do the same for, like, 80% of the products you own.

A few years ago, I went to a pharmacist in Boots and asked him to recommend a moisturiser that wouldn’t upset my eczema prone skin, and he recommended Vaseline. I thought he was being ridiculous because Vaseline is all gross and yucky and obvs not that good cause it has like 1 ingredient, omg.

Oh, how I wish I’d listened to him then, instead of waiting until now to act upon the suggestions from a bunch of strangers on the internet, whose advice is apparently more sound than that of a medical professional. Maybe if I’d listened to him then, my skin would have recovered from the nasty flare-up I had at the time a lot sooner. 

After the first time I tried Vaseline as an overnight moisturiser, I woke up with amazingly hydrated, dewy, healthy looking skin. I’m not urging you to try it right this second, I’m just suggesting that it might be worth considering something you might have perhaps overlooked before. Think about it #Sluglife.

Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Foundation | Review

After leaving University and securing myself a job, I thought I deserved a splurge on some nice, high-end foundation. I didn’t jump in head first; no, no, I was careful. I tried about 4 or 5 different brands before settling on this one. The One. Or so I thought at the time…

I first tried it as a sample from the Guerlain counter when I bought my La Petit Robe Noire EDT, and I fell in love instantly. Granted, the sachet I had was a shade too dark, but I still loved the way it looked and felt. “If it looks this good when it’s too dark, imagine how great it’ll look when I’m properly matched?” I mused to myself, before skipping off to Cardiff and buying the lightest shade they had (which was a shade lighter than the sample I’d been using). Oh, how I wish I’d got another sample first…

See, the biggest problem with this foundation is the limited collection of shades. There’s supposed to be around 9, which isn’t a great spectrum, but I’m sure that House of Fraser only stocked, like, 4. This is the lightest one, and it’s still too dark. Not only that, but it oxidises into the pinkest tone you ever did see. It looks absolutely beautiful and practically undetectable on the skin when freshly applied, but give it an hour tops and it’ll go a shade darker and change tone completely. Which is unfortunate ’cause when it first touches my skin, it makes it look perfect, like I’m not wearing makeup. 

It also has an SPF of 20, which may be a positive for some of you, but I prefer to get my sunscreen from my skincare, so I’m not a fan.

I’m incredibly saddened by this as it cost so much, as I might be happy to pay the price if I could find a shade that suits me. At least I managed to get some use out of it over summer, while I was a little tanned, however Autumn is now creeping around the corner, and my skin is getting paler by the minute. 

My other issue is the fragrance: It’s got a huge amount of perfume in it, which stings a little and lingers all day. Honestly, why put fragrance in a foundation? What purpose does it serve, other than to irritate the skin? It’s so silly, and pretty outdated. And the smell isn’t even nice – very powdery, definitely for the more mature lady.

Sadly, I won’t be repurchasing this one. I’m currently mixing it with my very yellow toned, and slightly-too-pale-at-the-moment NARS Sheer Glow to neutralize the pink tones a little, so I don’t end up wasting such an expensive product. 

Colour: 02/Beige Clair. Very limited range of shades, which is thoroughly disappointing.

Staying Power: Impressive. It lasts all day, covers my redness, doesn’t transfer too badly. Lasted 8 hours on me.

Consistency: Pretty thick liquid. Quite a weird one as it dries quite powdery under the eyes, but makes the rest of my skin look really dewy during the day.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 2.5/5. The scent is quite irritating at first, but not so much so that I have to remove it or can’t use it. Still, be wary; try a sample first.

Price: It actually pains me to type this. £37.50 *purse shrivels up and dies*.

Overall Rating: 6/10. It’s not a bad foundation, so please don’t think that. It’s actually a very good, natural looking foundation with great staying power; I just couldn’t find a suitable shade, it irritated me a little, and I think it’s overpriced. Still worth a try though, if it’s within your budget, and you can get a good shade match.

 

Lush Handy Gurugu Hand Cream | Review

I’m one of those people who can’t stop picking at, biting, and generally making a mess of their nails and cuticles. The skin around my fingers is like an old, freyed dishcloth, and I fucking love peeling my brittle nails. Why yes, I am aware that this is making me sound like a total minger. I can handle it (pun intended, lol) because I’ve recently found the only hand cream that saves my mitts from total destruction: Lush’s Handy Gurugu cream.

Yeah, I know Lush gets a lot of stick for their skincare, which, to be honest, is essentially the poorly formulated concoctions of misguided “whole Earth” fanatics who preach the fallacy of “natural is better” when often it really isn’t…ahem…but some of it is actually very nice.

I’d stay well away from most of their facial skincare products because a lot of them contain unnecessary irritants purely for the “natural” factor (iris, lavender and lemon juice, to name but a few), however I have found their hand care is amazing, especially when used as an overnight treatment, and is the only hand cream which fixes my dry cuticles, hangnails, and brittleness. I’m a big fan of Handy Gurugu, but I also use Helping Hands, however that one is a bit greasier and not quite as rich (if that even makes sense).

Handy Gurugu smells lovely and earthy/fresh and the consistency is is very thick and rich, and a bit textured – like there’s little beads or grains of oil or something in there, but you can’t feel them once its’s all rubbed in. It can take a little while to absorb, but it does’t feel greasy, as such, just…moist. Lovely. It’s also quite a nice pale green colour.

The packaging, as always with Lush, is a bit meh. I always found Lush’s little black pots and paper wrapping very gimmicky, trying to recreate the feeling of a farmers market because Lush’s products are so fresh and natural and good for you! It’s pretty gross sticking your grubby hands into the little pots, not to mention impractical and fiddly (that comment applies heavily to their shower products and face scrubs, which often get ruined by water). 

After applying this a few times, my hands feel super soft, hydrated and nourished by the end of the day. An extra helping before bed time, and my hands are transformed by morning. I love it.

Consistency: Thick, rich, very hydrating and nourishing.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5, feels lovely and actually quite calming on my hands.

Price: £7.95 for 100g tub

Overall Rating: 8/10. I think this is best used as an intense treatment rather than an everyday hand cream, not just because of how rich it is, but because the packaging is not very handbag friendly. I’ve had to buy one tub for at home and one for work, which is actually quite pricy. I would much prefer it in tube form because it’s more practical and hygeinic, but this is still a wonderful product and deserves the high rating.

August Birchbox!

I signed up to Birchbox last week, so this is my first experience – how exciting! When it came yesterday it was like Christmas. (No really, I was that excited.) I’m just going to give a quick overview of each product, then I’ll give a full review of each of them once I’ve given them a trial. Maybe. If I feel like it.

The theme of this box seems to be holidays – is that what Brichbox does? Have a little theme for each box? If so, that’s pretty cute. I approve already.

First of all we have Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect, which is a leave-in conditioner spray. I’ve tried it once and I quite like it! I used it as well as my normal conditioner, which I don’t think I was supposed to, but my hair still didn’t feel heavy, just very, very soft. Like a kitten. I like it. Not sure it’s worth the £20 price tag, but I guess I’ll just have to try it some more and see.

Next up is the Dead Sea Spa Magik Refreshing Bath Shower Gel. I’ve used this a few times and it’s…okay. Sure, it smells good and cleans my disgusting, work-sweated body, but would I pay over £7 for a shower gel? Probably not.

Okay, this next one, I’ve only sort of tried. By which I mean I used, like, a drop on my face to test for sensitivity. It’s the Nude ProGenius Omega Treatment Oil, which you use as a sort of intensive moisturizer before bed. I checked the price, and ho-lee shit, the full size bottle is £58! I’m not sure how much you get for that, but I wouldn’t pay £58 for a litre of what is essentially a bottle of apricot kernal oil (which you can get for less than £5 on Amazon). Plus, most of the oils used in this are quite comodogenic, so it’s likely to give you blackheads if you use it too often. Definitely not worth the hefty price tag, in my opinion. 

I also got Wild About Beauty Powder Eyeshadow in….I’m not sure what shade, because I don’t have it to hand, but I have used it and I quite like it. It’s a dark gold shade which is very shimmery – not sparkly, shimmery, which is why I rather like it. It’s a nice product, blends well and looked good all day. I’m not sure if I’d buy it though, ’cause I’m not much of an eyeshadow person; one Urban Decay Naked Palatte will do me just fine.

Also in my box was Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator. I haven’t used this yet ’cause I don’t want to try any more new skincare products this week (currently trialing a new moisturiser) and to be honest, I am a little worried it might not suit my sensitive skin, but I will try it when I’m ready and I will review it.

The lifestyle product included is the first chapter of The Proposal by Tasmina Perry, which I will read on the train to go visit Monsieur Raptor tomorrow.

My Verdict: Hmm, I’m not sure how I feel about this particular box. No brands I’ve heard of, and a few disappointing products, but I’ve read a few reviews on other blogs, and the general consensus seems to be that this box has not been the most impressive, so I’ll continue with my subscription and see what September’s box has to offer. 

 

Benefit “They’re Real!” Push Up Liner | Review

Apologies for the crap image: I actually gave this eyeliner away because I didn’t like it, so it wasn’t available for a photo shoot, unfortunately. 

Actually, “Didn’t like it” is not quite a strong enough expression – I hate this. Hate it. It’s awful, and made me want to throw it out the window in a fit of rage. 

I’ve calmed down now, so here’s why it was so crap:

The twist-up packaging design is flawed. I either had a dud product, or Benefit have just cocked up the mechanics, ’cause I had to twist and twist and twist to get something to come out, then when it eventually worked, it shat eyeliner all over the place. I then had to rub it on the back of my hand and dip the stupid rubber slanty nib in it, then apply it. It was time consuming and gross. Great news though, the longevity is good, ’cause it left smudges of eyeliner on my hand all fucking day…

…which wouldn’t have been so bad if the same happened with my eyes. NOPE. I found this smudged, flaked and basically just fell off during the day. Brilliant

It’s just not worth the effort or the price. I’d rather use a crayon than this abomination. I don’t use eyeliner that often, so I would say I’m not the best judge of this, but the friend I gave it to (who’s an eyeliner fiend) also thought this was rubbish. So there you have it. 

Am I using it wrong, or did anyone else have a cataclysmically shit experience with this product too?

Consistency: waxy, shitty, flaky, awful.

Sensitive skin suitability: 5/5, didn’t irritate me, which is probably the only thing going for it.

Price: £18.50. And your soul.

Overall Rating: 1/10. It could be worse; it could have kicked a puppy or something.

 

 

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 | Review

I didn’t know much about the Bobbi Brown brand when I went to the counter in John Lewis for a little snoop around. I was really just killing time while waiting for a train, but ended up coming away with a powder foundation (which is lovely, by the way – I’ll review it soon) and a sample of the skin foundation

I just want to point out how absolutely lovely the sales assistant was. She spent ages with me while I faffed about deciding which shade was best for my skin. I was literally there for about 25 minutes umming and ahhing about whether I preferred “Sand” or “Warm Sand” (I went with “Sand”). She also educated me about the brand and how Bobbi wanted to create a makeup line which dedicated itself to looking as natural as possible. Why did I not know this before? I absolutely detest foundations which look fake and cakey – Mac and the Maybelline Dream Mousse foundations come to mind – so it sounded perfect for me. Anyway, she was generous with the samples that I came away with 2 sachets of the skin foundation, and a sample of the skin foundation stick.

The thing about this foundation is that it will look amazing if you already have great skin. I’m very lucky in that my teenage years were kind to me. I have no acne scarring, and my skin, although sensitive, is actually pretty normal with no particularly large pores. My only problem is redness in my cheeks and on my nose, but this covers them quite well and I use NARS’ Creamy Concealer on the bits it doesn’t (eye bags, I hate you).

To be honest, you will probably struggle with the coverage if you have problem skin. Although it’s quite buildable, it probably won’t give you the coverage you need if you are really blemish prone, or have acne or acne scars This is definitely one to keep for days when my skin is in good condition. 

The longevity is okay. It’s no Estee Lauder Double Wear, but I find my redness is still covered when I get home from work 9 hours after application. It could be better, but this is not a full coverage foundation, so don’t expect it to look immaculate for longer than 8 hours.

There’s a great choice of shades, most of them being yellow based and better for warm skin tones, but most skin has yellow undertones, so it’s quite likely you’ll find a match. I actually find that yellow toned foundations cancel out some of the redness in my cheeks, so this could work for you if that’s a problem you have too.

I’m not a huge fan of the fact that is has SPF. I prefer to apply a sunscreen separately, and feel like SPF in foundation (especially if it’s really low) is a bit pointless. Plus it can give you a ghostly face if you’re photographed with flash – not great for a night out. The SPF is pretty low (15), so this may be alright for nights out sans ghostface, but I’ve yet to trial it and find out.

It’s great if you have quite sensitive skin because there’s no perfume in it. I’ve had no bad reaction whatsoever, and it’s quite dewy looking/hydrating, so if you have the occasional dry patch (like me), it should be great for you. It’s definitely not a matte foundation because it’s supposed to look like skin –  so it has a lovely dewy, natural-looking finish. 

Consistency: It’s a water-based foundation, so it’s pretty runny. Doesn’t feel waxy or thick, very light and easy to blend.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5.

Price: £31 for 30ml

Overall Rating: 8/10. I’d like a little more coverage and longevity, but there’s a great choice of shades, and I’ve found probably the closest match for my skin tone so I’m going to stick with it for a while.

 

I Bloody Love Autumn

Satisfyingly crisp.
Satisfyingly crisp.

This is one of my favourite times of the year: end-of-August-almost-Autumn. I get so excited when the temperature drops and there’s a bite in the air, the leaves looking a little fragile and I debate with myself whether or not it’s socially acceptable to wear gloves and scarves yet. 

I’m one of those people who loves Autumn/Winter fashion (cosy, cable knit jumpers; snuggly boots; coats and scarves…I could go on), and counts down the days ’til Christmas. I think about halloween costumes in July. I love the smell of bonfires, the crackle of dry leaves under my feet. Frost is my best friend.

One of my other fave things about this season is that makeup seems to stay in place so much better. The drop in temperature and lack of humidity means no more foundation sliding off your face and no more panda eyes from mascara that can’t stand the heat.

But. Yes, but: It also means that it’ll be Winter soon, and you know what that means, right? Dry skin. Chapped lips. Brittle hair. Boo 🙁

So I’m going to make the most of this lovely transitional period between Summer and Autumn, when it’s neither disgustingly hot, or uncomfortably cold, and experiment a bit with my makeup, so I know I can leave the house and it won’t have slithered off my face by noon. 

Wish me luck.

X

Balance Me Moisture Rich Face Cream | Review

Sad skin, sad face :(
Sad skin, sad face 🙁

Oh, how I wanted to like this moisturiser. I love the ethos of the brand – the naturalness etc., – and I was looking for a new moisturiser (I still am), but this upset my skin a treat.

It smells very natural and herbal, has a lovely thick consistency, and it’s quite a mattifying formulation, so I imagine it would go well underneath makeup, but it did nothing for my sensitivity. It didn’t sting massively, but after about 5 minutes it started to burn a little, then when I looked in the mirror I found my skin had turned blotchy and red! Not good.

I imagine this will be lovely for those with normal/combination skin, but if yours is anything like mine, then I’d approach with caution. I’m lucky I got this as a free sample and didn’t splurge the £24 odd for the full-size. I understand it comes in a pump style bottle, which is always good, and as mentioned earlier, it’s filled with lovely natural ingredients (it’s 99% natural I think). Definitely look into it if your skin is normal, or test it before buying if you’re sensitive like me.

Consistency: Quite thick as it’s for dry/sensitive skin, but it’s actually quite mattifying and not at all greasy.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 2/5. It wasn’t awful, but it burned a little and made my skin red.

Price: £24 for 50ml

Overall Rating: 5/10. Loved the way it felt on my skin – apart from the burning of course – just a shame I can’t use it. I can tell it’s a good product, and probably great for those with less sensitive skin. Maybe I’m just allergic the one of the many natural ingredients?

NEW: Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

I know I literally just reviewed a Jo Malone scent, but I really need to share this one with you ’cause it’s so shiny and new: yup, it’s the Wood Sage & Sea Salt cologne from the new range.

I know it’s not out yet, but if you go into a Jo Malone store, you might be lucky enough to be offered a sample (like the cute little one I’ve got here), or you can request a scented postcard online. I didn’t even know there was a new range coming out, so I got embarrassingly excited in the store when the SA said it would be available in September

I’ve tried it out, and I love it! I’ve lived by the sea all my life, so this evokes memories of scampering along the sand dunes among the long grasses and brambles, with the salty Atlantic air blowing in my face. It’s quite a unisex fragrance, and that usually puts me off ’cause I like to smell girly and feminine, but this is very wearable and not too masculine- clean, fresh and outdoorsy. Delicious. I’d say it’s more of a daytime scent, but don’t listen to me – wear it however you want,

I think this will be my next purchase from Jo Malone.

Price: £40 for 30ml or £80 for 100ml

Overall Rating: 8/10. Not my favourite Jo Malone scent (that title goes to Wild Bluebell), but definitely one I’ll be adding to my collection when it’s available.