Bumble and bumble. thickening hairspray | Review

I bought this on a whim. See, Boots have started doing miniatures of some of their high-end branded products, like Bumble and bumble. and Smashbox, and placing them near the checkouts so you’re enticed into buying them. Sneaky, sneaky Boots. Sneaky but effective, apparently, because I ended up spontaneously buying this without doing any prior research (slap on the wrist for me!).

As the name suggests, this is a hairspray which also thickens the hair. Here’s the product description from the Boots website:

“Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray is for who: Anyone.

When: Anytime; after Prep or Tonic Lotion and before heated tools (or any sort of setting).

How: Spray on damp hair evenly by sections; work through and style.

Ingredients

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: moisturising, conditioning, reparative, improves feel and gloss

Hydroxyethyl Cetyldimonium Phosphate: hold, volume, conditioning

Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey: moisturising, repairs split ends

PPG-12-PEG-65 Lanolin Oil: moisturising, lubrication

PVP/VA Copolymer: body, fullness”

I used it on damp hair before blowdrying. The results were… “meh”, to say the least. 

I found this left my hair thick, but in the same way it does if you’ve used way too much product, or not washed your conditioner out properly. You know, the way it goes all greasy-feeling and hard to style? Yeah, just like that. 

I didn’t use a huge amount, just did exactly as it told me in the directions. I tried it a second time, using slightly less, and a third time using slightly more. Same results.

For this reason, I wouldn’t repurchase or recommend to a friend. It could work for you though, so if you’re desperate to try it, don’t let me stop you.

On a positive note, the packaging is lovely, like all of Bb.’s products, and it smells quite nice. This experience also hasn’t completely put me off using more Bumble and bumble. products, but has perhaps left me thinking they’re overpriced. I might try some more and find out; watch this space…


Consistency: A very liquid hairspray. The kind that’s in a spray bottle, not an aerosol can.

Price: £21.50 for the full 250ml bottle. which I think is extortionate and wouldn’t dream of purchasing. 

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Overall Rating: 3/10. Didn’t get on with it at all, but it might just be the wrong product for my hair, and hasn’t put me off trying more products from the brand.

Clinique High Impact Mascara | Review

I got this as part of a free gift set when I bought 2 other Clinique products (anyone else absolutely love these free gifts? Go to Debenhams, John Lewis, or Boots and you’re guaranteed to find a great free gift offer) and I absolutely love it! I’ve never been big on mascara; I always used to just buy those Maybelline ones in a yellow tube (colossal something?) and I thought they were doing a great job, despite me ending up with dark smudges in the corners of my eyes after a long day at uni – I thought: that’s what happens with mascara; if you want it to stay put you need to get a waterproof one, right? Wrong. Turns out I just settled for a mascara with a shitty formula that just didn’t work for me.

After dabbling with a few different brands and formulas, I discovered this gem after buying two Clinique products and getting it as part of a free gift. It really is amazing – I find I can get a good 6 hours wear out of it, longer if I don’t rub my eyes. Better yet, if I do happen to rub my eyes or sweat a lot (eww, gross!), this somehow never seems to smudge or leave black residue around my eyes. Even if it does wear off a little during the day and becomes less visible, I don’t end up with panda ayes. Amazing!

The formula is not too wet, not too dry, and never clumps. It also gives good length and volume, without looking too dramatic. For this reason, I think it’s best as an everyday mascara for work, university, going about your daily business etc. because it’s so natural-looking. You’re not going to get the false-lash-effect with this mascara, and I’m totally cool with that, because that’s not what I want in day-to-day life. I’d rather have another mascara for that look. Another positive is that it doesn’t sting my eyes, like some mascaras can (Max Factor and L’Oreal’s formulas are often guilty of this). 


Consistency: Not too wet or too dry. Not clumpy or smudgy.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Lasting Power: 6 hours-ish.

Price: £17.50 from Boots.

Overall Rating: 8/10. For the price, it could be improved by being more buildable to a dramatic, false lash effect. 

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+] | Review

I’ve only recently discovered this little wonder-product, but it’s already made a massive difference to my skin. I first saw it on A Model Recommends, the author of which swears by it for clearing up any spots, and after some research, I discovered this was a cult skincare favourite. I don’t have massively blemish prone skin, but I do get the odd hormonal breakout and a smattering of blackheads on my nose and forehead, so I thought I’d give this a go because it’s so popular. And I’m glad I did!

After the first application, I noticed a massive difference in the size of some hormonal spots on my cheek, and a significant decrease in size of some larger blackheads on my nose. Success! This really does make an impact if you apply it overnight. This contains salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and great for unclogging pores and spots. If you combine this with an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to chemically exfoliate any dead cells and resurface the skin (such as Nip + Fab’s Glycolic Fix pads) you’re onto a winning skincare routine.

It’s a sort of gel-like texture, not unlike other spot treatments (think Freederm), but the difference with this is that you can apply it all over the face to help clear imperfections, rather than applying just directly onto spots. It doesn’t hurt my skin, unless I’ve already applied a product that’s irritated it, in which case this can make things worse. You can definitely feel it going to work, but it’s not irritating – it doesn’t leave my skin looking red or inflamed. It also has a light, fresh sort of scent – nothing overly perfumey, just a clean, slightly clinical smell, which I kinda like.

I find the price acceptable; it’s £15.50 for 40ml, but you only really need a pea-sized amount if you want to cover your whole face, maybe even less. I’ve had this for about 2 months using it nearly every day and have barely made a dent, so I’m not complaining!


Consistency: Gel-like texture, quite refreshing.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 3.5/5. My skin can handle it, but I wouldn’t use it every day if your skin is super-sensitive, or on already irritated skin.

Price: £15.50, which I’m happy to pay.

Overall Rating: 9/10. It can be a little harsh on the most sensitive of skin, and I’d like a little more for the price – maybe a nice, even 50ml.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer | Review

I got this after reading tons of blogs in order to find a concealer which wouldn’t crease under my eyes or look powdery and caked on. The general consensus was that this concealer is the one of the best; it was a toss up between this and MAC Pro Longwear, but seeing as I was buying a bottle of NARS Sheer Glow at the same time, I thought it made sense to buy the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer to accompany it.

It’s not the cheapest of concealers, but that’s fine – I don’t mind paying more for a concealer that really works. The packaging is elegant and minimalist like all NARS products; it comes in a clear, rectangular shaped tube with a soft rubbery lid and doe-foot applicator. I’m not the biggest fan of the rubbery material NARS uses because, although it looks nice, it does get dirty very easily (as you can see in the picture above), but I do like the doe-foot applicator because it doesn’t waste product, like pump-action ones can.

The concealer itself has a lovely texture – very rich and hydrating, and certainly creamy, like the name suggests. Now, onto the most important part: performance. It applies very nicely – it’s incredibly easy to blend, feels lovely and doesn’t end up dry or powdery during the day. It covers any imperfections beautifully – it’s the only concealer I’ve ever tried that doesn’t look cakey under my eyes (to cover my dark circles, of course, which is does an excellent job of). It also lasts and lasts. All day long, actually, especially when used with my Sheer Glow foundation.

I also love the fact that it comes in 9 shades, which is a lot more than most drugstore concealers, which only come in about 4. That alone is worth the price tag. I find it so hard to get a concealer that suits my skintone and covers my dark circles without being too pale. The shade I have is “Vanilla“, which is perfect with the foundation shade “Mont Blanc“.


Consistency: Lovely and creamy, as the name suggests. Doesn’t dry too “dry” if that makes sense? It doesn’t go powdery or look cakey.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5.

Price: Usually around £19.80.

Overall Rating: 10/10. Well done NARS! Yes, it’s on the pricey side, but it’s well worth the investment because I find I don’t need as much foundation when I use this/

Handy Heroes: My Top 5 Hand Creams

If, like me, your hands are always dry, regardless of season, you’ll appreciate these creams. They’re guaranteed to give you a “helping hand” when it comes to keeping things hydrated. I’ve picked my 5 favourite hand creams:

Norweigian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream (Unscented)

This is the unscented version, which is the only version I’ve ever tried from this brand. Come to think of it, I’ve never actually seen an scented version, but I’ve heard it’s got a medicinal sort of scent, which sounds horrid to me, so I’m quite glad this one doesn’t have a scent! This is a firm favourite for many bloggers because it’s so cheap and effective.

Pros:

Very hydrating. The formula is super concentrated, which makes it quite hard to rub in, but that’s cool ’cause it genuinely feels like it’s working, and not in a superficial, siliconey way. It’s fairly inexpensive, costing £3.69 for 50ml, which isn’t too bad considering you don’t need to use loads of it. It lasts ages too. 

Not greasy. This sinks in so quickly, so it doesn’t leave your hands feeling greasy. This is perfect if you write a lot (which I do in work) as it means your pen won’t be flung around the room due to slippery mitts. The small size is great for travel, and very appealing to someone who likes to keep a hand cream in every bag she owns.

Cons:

No scent. Okay, I know I’m contradicting myself. But sometimes it IS nice to put on a hand cream and be overwhelmed by the smell of synthetic flowers!

Best for: Really chapped, sensitive hands.

 

Vaseline Healthy Hand and Nail Conditioning Hand Lotion

This is a very forgettable hand cream because it’s a little bit beige. There’s not an awful lot going on, but it’s still a good moisturiser. The thing that appealed to me most about this one was the fact that it was a hand and nail cream, but I noticed no significant improvement in the appearance of my nails.

Pros:

Very affordable at £3.27 for 200ml, and has ingredients to help strengthen your nails.

Cons:

None. I guess it’s not very memorable? There are fancier creams out there, but this is a nice, quite basic one.

Best for: Those looking for a hand cream with nail care built in.

LUSH Handy Gurugu

I’ll often go into LUSH for one thing and come out with, like, 5 more items than expected, thanks to their pesky salesforce. That wasn’t the case when I bought this though; I went in looking for a new hand cream and they suggested this.

Pros:

It’s very hydrating, feels quite luxurious and rich, and also smells nice: earthy and natural. I find this works fast – I notice a vast improvement in the appearance of my hands and nails when I use this – and doesn’t feel too greasy (you do have to wait a few minutes for it to sink in first though).

Cons:

Quite expensive at £7.95 for a hand cream, especially compared to some of the other creams available. The pot packaging is also fiddly, bad for transportation, and unhygienic.

Best for: Those seeking a rich moisturiser, or a once-a-day treatment (I use it before bed).

Soap & Glory Hand Food

This is a cult favourite, and I can totally see why: It smells beautiful and is pretty hydrating. The packaging is also lovely.

Pros:

It’s pretty moisturising, not the best I’ve used, but it’s still great. It also smells very luxurious and the scent really does linger. It also comes in a travel-size mini-version, which is great for handbags (and cheaper at £2.50!). 

Cons:

I don’t think it’s anything special. For those with really dry hands, give this a miss.

Best for: Pretty scent and good all-rounder.

Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely

This is probably my favourite of the lot. I like everything about this moisturiser apart from the price! Good thing I got if free in a magazine, eh? I’ll be devastated when it runs out!

Pros:

This is very hydrating, without being ridiculously greasy. Sometimes it feels like you can only have hydration if it comes with greasiness, but that’s not the case with this. It also smells absolutely gorgeous – a delicate lemon and honey scent. The packaging is very pretty and it’s a nice, travel-friendly bottle. I didn’t know how I felt about the screw top until one of my other hand creams with a flip-top lid exploded everywhere (RIP Nivea Smooth Nourishing Hand Cream), so I’ve decided I actually rather like it! You’re also somehow helping the bees by buying this? I’m not sure how, as Neal’s Yard doesn’t specify, but still…. SAVE THE BEES.  

Cons:

It’s rather pricey at £10 for 50ml. But I guess if you have the budget, it’s worth it.

Best for: Those with a conscience (THOSE BEES, MAN!) and for those with a bigger budget.

What are you favourite hand creams? 

 

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Lightly Whipped Body Buttercream | Review

What a mouthful! I bought this because it smells absolutely delicious – practically edible (although, sadly, it’s not, so don’t go tasting it, no matter how tempted you are). This is probably due to its impressive list of featured ingredients: pistachio oil, almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil. 

It’s quite pricey, but you get an awful lot for your money – 500ml will last you quite a while. I had the same amount of Soap & Glory’s Righteous Butter for Christmas and I’m still not finished with it, so this is worth the investment. 

It has an odd texture. I definitely understand why they’ve called it “whipped” and “buttercream” (and various other food-inspired adjectives) because this is the texture of whipped cream. If you run a finger though it, you won’t pick any up, you’ll leave a dent in it, almost like silly putty (as you can see below). It’s unlike any other moisturiser I’ve ever used, but it’s lovely. Creamy, silky, hydrating. Amazing.

I have a bit of a problem with tub packaging because it’s so unhygienic, and a bit fiddly, so this loses a few points for that reason. There’s nothing appealing about shoving your dirty old paws into a moisturiser, leaving whatever grossness is on them in the pot. It’s a very pretty pot, however, with a retro design and lots of jibberish about “intensive 5 oil super nourishing formula” or something. Whatever, it smells good and hydrated my scaly, reptilian legs. 

My favourite things about it are the smell, how moisturising it is, and the fact that it doesn’t leave skin feeling really greasy. There’s nothing worse than moisturising and then having to wait around to get dressed because you feel like a massive greaseball. Because it’s quite heavily fragranced, it may upset some skins. Mine’s pretty delicate, but my body is mostly okay, just my face gets irritated ridiculously easily, so if you have severe eczema, this may not be the best for you.


Consistency: Really unusual – the best way I can describe it is like jelly or silly putty.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 3/5. I’ve had no problems, but it may irritate some delicate flowers because of the fragrance.

Price: £10.50 for 500ml.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10. Lovely and hydrating, but not as much as some moisturisers. Smells amazing, feels a bit weird. Overall, Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Lightly Whipped Body Buttercream is a winner for me!

Battle of the Boxes: Brichbox vs. Glossybox

This September I have received not one but TWO subscription boxes! Why? Well, I tried unsubscribing from Birchbox because I wasn’t very impressed with the products, and I guess I was too late and they’ve sent me (and billed me for, sadface) this month’s fares. OH WELL. I thought I’d try Glossybox instead, so I guess I benefit from seeing them side by side. Let’s see how they compare…

Birchbox

Okay, so last month’s box (my first ever subscription box) was a bit of a dud. I only really liked one product – Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Super Comb Prep and Protect spray – and probably not enough to actually buy the full sized version because it’s so frickin’ expensive. Let’s see what this month’s box has to offer…

The theme of this box is “Happy Days”, and its lifestyle choice products are a photoholder and a bag of dried pineapple (neither pictured – I ate the latter, sorry). Both were…okay, I guess? I’m never going to use the photoholder, but the pineapple was a welcome snack on my work break, and pretty yummy.

First we have the Agave Healing Oil Treatment, which I understand is something you put in your hair to make it shiny or… greasy? I don’t know. I haven’t used it yet, and I haven’t liked any hair oils I’ve used in the past, but I do like serums. If this isn’t too heavy, then maybe I’d buy it. But it is £27, which puts me off immediately. 

Next there’s the beautyblender® + blendercleanser® solid. This is pretty cool ’cause it’s quite expensive at £26 for a bit of sponge and soap. Definitely worth the price of the subscription box, and I love the fact that it’s got a cleanser – I will probably use this for my makeup brushes too. However, it’s a bit useless to me ’cause I already have a beauty blender…

…likewise, I already have Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, and I wasn’t keen on it. If you like Benefit products, you’ll love this ’cause it’s a generous size. So well done there, Birchbox.

I also got Korres Citrus Body Milk, which is lovely, refreshing and not at all greasy. It smells great too, always a bonus. I’m also pretty happy with the size of the product. Again, well done Birchbox!

Lastly, is the ModelCo® Lip Lacquer in Morocco. I’m not the biggest fan of lip glosses because I find them sticky, gross and plastic-smelling, but this one is actually rather nice! I’m not sure if I’d buy it though ’cause I don’t know how much it costs! Probably not though – I prefer tinted lip balms.

Glossybox

Okay, I much prefer this box. There aren’t as many products, but I prefer them all.

Firstly, there’s a full size WESTMINSTER BRIDGE MATTE TOP COAT by Nails Inc. which would normally cost £12. I love Nails Inc., and I’m pretty keen on matte nails, so I’m very pleased with this product. 

Secondly, there’s a full sized cream blusher by GOSH worth £6.99. A beautiful coral pink, I’m sure this would match most skin tones, and there’s no sparkle, so it’s natural looking. Top marks, Glossybox!

Next, there’s some sachets of SkinPep stuff – 2 of the same Brightening Acid Peel, and one dark circle corrector. I’ve tried the peel and it’s amazing – I’m so impressed. They’re supposedly professional grade AHA peels, and cost a bomb at £89.99 each for the full size. I won’t be buying them soon, but damn I wish I could! I’ve yet to try the dark circle one, but I have high hopes.

Then there’s the Model Co. More Brows Fibre gel, which I also love. I’ve never used a brow gel before, so I kind of thought this would just make a mess everywhere, but nope! I normally groom my eyebrows with that funky little brush (whose name escapes me) then darken them with a gel/powder, but this cuts out the middle man and does both! I think I’m converted. I’d probably pay the $14.50 price tag for the full sized product.

Last up is L’Oreal’s Mythic Oil, which is another hair treatment oil. I haven’t tried it yet, and I’m not too excited by it, but we’ll see what happens.

My Verdict: Glossybox wins!

By an absolute mile. Better, bigger products, all of which I’ve tried and I’ve liked. I guess it all comes down to personal preference though – I probably would have been a lot more pleased with Birchbox’s offerings if I didn’t already own two of the products. Also, while Glossybox offers bigger products, Birchbox offers more, even if they are smaller. This might be preferable to some as there’s more chance of you finding a product you like.

 

7 Steps to Sensational Skin

I’m a firm believer in investing more money, time, and effort on your skincare than on your makeup. If you’ve got £30 to spend on either a nice bottle of Estee Lauder Double Wear, or some alpha/beta hydroxy acids, a nice, soothing moisturiser, and a gentle cleanser, I’d go for the latter because it’s better to have skin that glows and is blemish free, than to cover up your mishaps with the thickest, hardiest foundation you can find. 

7 Wonders…

I like to think I have pretty good skin. It’s not perfect – I’m prone to eczema, sensitivity, redness, dryness and the odd hormonal blemish – but on any given day i’s generally blemish free, and I find it’s at its best when I follow these tips…

1. Always remove makeup before bed

http://www.elle.com/cm/elle/images/W8/crealine-makeup-remover-de.jpg
http://www.elle.com/cm/elle/images/W8/crealine-makeup-remover-de.jpg

I can’t stress this enough. This is usually the leading cause of breakouts, because if you don’t take your makeup off, your skin is going to cling on to any of the crap left on your face after the day is done – makeup, dirt, sweat, you name it – and turn them into nasty clogged pores. I always, always, always take my makeup off, unless it’s after a heavy night out – after which I’ll usually wakeup with terrible skin, and a surfacing spot or two. Sort of on this topic – try not to touch your face too much. You’re hands are gross, and you’re putting all that grossness onto your face, which makes your face dirty and spotty.

2. Have a routine (and stick to it!)

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/radiancetiaras/Images/Mud%20Pack.jpg
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/radiancetiaras/Images/Mud%20Pack.jpg

Test out some products, find what works for you, and then stick to them. It’s no good changing up your routine constantly, ’cause you won’t know what is and is not working, and you’re just going to stress the shit out of your skin. If you’re completely refurbishing your skincare routine, I’d recommend trying out one new product at a time, giving each one a week to see any results and decide if you like it, and then moving onto the next. If you’re using more than one new product at a time, how will you know which one is causing you any irritation or breakouts? I know this sounds time-consuming, but it’s worth it in the end.

3. You are what you eat

http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/11/28/10/02/isolated-219955_640.jpg
http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/11/28/10/02/isolated-219955_640.jpg

Your diet is really important. If all you eat is sugary, fatty, salty, processed snacks, then you’re more likely to see the results in your face. Alcohol is another big cause of poor skin. Usually, after a night out on the beer/vodka/sugary shots, followed by a nasty meal of cheese and chips, and a kebab-shop burger, I’ll have a nasty breakout. Which leads us to the next point…

4. Keep it hydrated

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http://learn.flexport.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Water-bottle.jpg

Water is so, so important. Not only for your body in general, but for your skin too. Dehydration is one of the major causes of bad skin, especially dryness. I’m not 100% sure about the science around this one, but keeping hydrated also stops you retaining water and helps your kidneys flush out all the nasties.

5. Chemical exfoliants are your buddies

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http://www.dermalinstitute.com/us/news2/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/1284389585_Exfoliate-deeply1.jpg

Physical exfoliation has long been the go-to method for removing dead skin cells, but many scrubs can actually be harmful to your skin because the particles which cause the scrubbiness can make tiny mico-tears in the surface of your skin, leading to damage, sensitivity and accelerated ageing. These physical exfoliants are much too large to get into your pores and flush out the crap, but if you choose a good alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) product, and combine it with a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), your skin will be gently exfoliated (AHA’s break down dead cells) and your pores will be unclogged (BHA’s get rid of blackheads) without damaging the skin. So put down the St. Ives Apricot Scrub and invest in some chemical goodness! Look for ingredients like glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids.

If you do have some obvious flakies, I’d recommend gently scrubbing them away with a warm, damp flannel or muslin cloth, or using a scrub with spherical beads rather than walnut shells or iron filings (or whatever those nasty scrubs have).

6. Know your skin type

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http://www.women-info.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/skin-12-type.jpg

Oily, dry, sensitive, combination…there are more, but I won’t go into it too much because there’s a great guide here to help you if you don’t already know what skin type you have. Once you’ve figured out your skin type, you can choose products which are likely to be more compatible with your skin. For example, you can buy a moisturiser to control shine and oil production for oily skin, or one with no fragrance or known irritants for sensitive skin. Trust me, your face will thank you for it!

7. Use an SPF

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http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/154/7/b/sky_sun_burst_by_w1mm13-d523ttb.jpg

I know we all love sunshine, but it’s not great for your skin. While vitamin D is essential to your health, the harmful UVA/UVB rays can cause permanent skin damage like hyper-pigmentation, accelerated ageing, and worse, lead to skin cancer. I’d recommend using a moisturiser with a generous SPF (15 or above, depending on where you live) if you plan on being outside for more than 10 minutes. Even if it’s cloudy, the rays can still penetrate your skin, so you have to be careful.

But most importantly…

Everybody’s skin is different! What works for one person may not work for you, so you don’t have to stick to these rules – if you do it differently, and that works for you, that’s great, carry on! I just find these work well for me. So if you have any suggestions for tips or advice, please let me know in the comments below 🙂 

What’s your skincare routine like?

Micellar Waters: Garnier vs L’Oreal

Thanks to my ultra-sensitive skin, I’ve always struggled to find a makeup remover that’s both gentle and effective. That’s why I got super excited when I picked up Garnier’s Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Makeup Remover, and discovered it didn’t upset my skin in the slightest, and removed most of my stubborn mascara. But we’ll get to that later…

First, I’d like to put the spotlight on Micellar waters. These are quite a recent discovery for me. I say recent, but I purchased the L’Oreal one about a year ago, so maybe not that recent. It hasn’t been a household name for too long, mostly being an insider’s secret weapon behind the scenes of fashion week, and has only been marketed to the unwashed masses for the past year or so. The appeal of micellar water is that it contains tiny oil particles that grab onto any dirt on your face, without it feeling oily. It’s safe to use all over, including the eye area, without being irritating (just don’t use it as a contact lens solution and you’ll be fine), but it’s also supposed to be very effective at removing stubborn makeup. Let’s see how they perform…

L’Oreal Paris Skin Perfection Micellar Water

First off, I love the packaging – how very chic. Square and angular, much like a catwalk model of the makeup remover world, this bottle isn’t dumpy and rotund like your Bioderma, it stares at you from its perch on the chaise longue, balances its cup of hot-water-with-lemon-in-it, arches an eyebrow and says “Darling, are you really wearing those? Well, if anyone could make cankles look good in Jimmy Choos it’s you dear, brava!

I’ve used it all over my face, and it’s fine – it doesn’t sting, and it does get rid of my makeup with one or two wipes of a cotton pad. Waterproof mascara, however, is a force to be reckoned with, and this does take some elbow-grease to remove it, and I often require a go-over with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish to make sure there are no traces left.

My biggest issue it the price you pay for the amount you get. This is £4.99 for 200ml, whereas the Garnier one is the same price at £4.99 for 400ml, so let’s see how they measure up…

Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water

This one’s much more economical. For the same price, you get twice the amount of the L’Oreal micellar water. Now, the packaging – I’m a little conflicted in my feelings for the packaging of the two bottles. On the one hand, you get a lot more for your money with Garnier, but it’s not as travel friendly. And while the L’Oreal bottle is nice and flat, and fits easily into any bag if you need to take it away with you, it’s quite awkward to use because of the square/flat shape. The Garnier one, however, is nice and round, allowing an easy grip. I’ll admit, I’ve actually dropped the L’Oreal one a few times, which wastes a fair bit of product.

There’s also not much difference in the performance of the two products. I think, if anything, the L’Oreal one is every so slightly better at removing makeup than Garnier’s, but the difference is not significant enough to make a big deal about. They’re basically the same product, and you get more with Garnier, so you can be a little more generous.

My Verdict

Packaging: It’s a draw. L’Oreal’s is prettier and better for travel, but Garnier’s is more economical and easier to use.

Price: Garnier. You get a lot more for your money, so you can be as generous as you want.

Performance: L’Oreal. Only by a whisker though.

Overall Winner: It’s a tie. They both have their benefits and their drawbacks, so it’s really hard to decide. I think my best advice would be to buy the Garnier one and decant it into a travel sized bottle for journeys.

Back to Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2-in-1 makeup remover!

I’m mentioning this one because I think it’s a great alternative to the two micellar waters. It’s so non-irritating, soothes my skin, and is really great at removing even stubborn waterproof mascara. If I had to choose between the 3 products, I would definitely pick this one: it’s got a nice, flat-ish bottle that’s travel friendly, performs well, doesn’t irritate, and it’s cheaper than both at around £3.25 or less, depending on where you buy. It sometimes leaves a greasy film, but I find this keeps my skin moisturised, and is easy to wash off so it doesn’t bother me. 

So my overall verdict: I much prefer the Garnier Soothing Essentials makeup remover to both micellar waters.

Have you tried micellar waters?

Soap & Glory “Feel Good Factor Translucent BB Cream SPF25” | Review

This is my go-to day moisturiser. If I’m leaving the house and it’s particularly sunny (or even sometimes when it’s not), chances are, I’ll be wearing this under my makeup. I’ve been quite loyal to this little tube for about 2 years now, because it just ticks all the right boxes for me. I’ve flirted with other moisturisers, even used some of them for quite a while, but I think I’ll always come back to this one.

Here’s a few reasons why I love it…

  • It doesn’t sting my skin. This is probably the most important thing on my checklist, because my skin is super fussy. 
  • It has a generous SPF. I’m not a fan of SPF in foundations because they’re usually not high enough to protect sufficiently, plus it’s pointless for night time wear, and causes a ghostly white flashback in pictures. I prefer to use a separate SPF in a moisturiser, and this one has SPF 25, which is very good for everyday use (you might want to use something 30+ for a super-hot midsummer day at the beach).
  • It doesn’t break me out. I don’t normally have issues with breakouts, except for the odd hormonal spot, but it’s still good to know this agrees with my skin enough not to cause spots to rear their ugly heads.
  • It feels okay under makeup. Not amazing, but better than most SPF moisturisers, and a primer normally helps make things stay in place. It leaves skin a little greasy, but nowhere near as much as some moisturisers; it’s fine after it sinks it, and doesn’t make my face oily throughout the day. 
  • It’s not ridiculously expensive. It costs £12 for 50ml from Boots, which I think is pretty reasonable. Boots often has offers on their Soap & Glory stuff anyway, so you can usually pick up something free or half price with this.
  • It’s readily available in most Boots stores (they’re bloody everywhere).
You can't really see it properly from this picture, but it's a yellow-tinted colour.
You can’t really see it properly from this picture, but it’s a yellow-tinted colour.

The packaging used to be very pretty, with a shiny tube and some retro designs, but S&G has had a bit of a re-brand lately with their skincare, probably in a bid to be taken more seriously. As a result, the new packaging is quite a plain-looking white tube, which looks very clinical, and almost like toothpaste. I must be honest: I prefer the old packaging. It was less cumbersome, and much prettier, but unless it’s really fiddly, packaging generally doesn’t bother me ; it’s what’s inside that counts 🙂

My other issue is that it’s now being marketed as a BB cream. It is definitely not a BB cream! At least in the traditional sense, anyway – it has no coverage/pigment in it to hide redness and blemishes, or act like a tinted moisturiser, so don’t expect that. In my mind it’s just a really great moisturiser, and really doesn’t need to marketed as a BB cream, because it definitely isn’t one, and I can’t stress that enough.

10/10 from me.

What’s your go-to everyday moisturiser?