Hi again!

Okay, so I’ve been pretty neglectful of this blog, and I’d like to explain why: I started writing in the middle of my second year at university, so I had a bit of spare time to write about the things I love on this blog, but a few months later, exams struck. Obviously, I wanted to do well, so I focused on them and let my little beauty blog collect dust. Unfortunately, this hiatus continued into my 3rd year (which, of course, is the most scary and important year!), so I put all my energy into my studies. 

Fast forward to now – I have graduated and found my such a cushy marketing job in Swansea, so I have decided to take up writing again in my spare time, now that I don’t have to use it for revision and essay writing. 


So that’s it; I’m back for the foreseeable future to write all about my beauty (and possibly other?) purchases! I know I don’t have a massive reader base, but I do hope my reviews have been helpful, especially to those who suffer from the same skin issues as I do. So to those of you who do read my stuff, thanks! 🙂

Mac Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation

I’m a bit on the fence about this one. When I first went to get a sample at MAC in Cardiff, I was given NW25 which was way too dark for my skin, so I bought NW20 instead. However, this still looks a little too orange for my liking, especially in broad daylight. I’m not sure if it’s just too dark a shade, or whether I should be wearing NC instead. Either way, it’s not a good match.

No worries though, I’ll still review it.

I like its texture – it’s quite thick and gel-like, so it’s not runny, making it very easy to apply. It kinda reminds me of my old favourite – the Rimmel 15 Hour stuff I used to buy, which they no longer make (boo!). It doesn’t smell particularly nice, which could be a plus for some people who dislike lingering smells (I’m not one of these – FYI, MaxFactor Ageless Elixir smells amaaaaaazing). It’s very buildable, but can look quite cakey if you put on a few layers (for day-to-day wear I apply one layer using my fingers and a few extra blobs on any blemishes and for night I wear two layers); so be careful if you want to avoid the full-on-makeup-face look. I also like that it’s SPF15.

The overall finish is a bit “meh” – not too matte and not too satiny, but it looks 2D, like I’m wearing a mask instead of my own skin. My other qualms are the price (although you do get 40ml, which is more than the average 30ml you get with foundations); the colour (although this may change once I get a better match); the staying power (it slid off halfway through a night out); and the fact that it does actually sting a little around the eyes at first if I apply too much.

Other than those, it’s a generally OK foundation. I think I’ll try and get re-matched to find my perfect shade, and perhaps keep the NW20 for summer/holidays and nights out (camera flash can make me look way pale), but I don’t think I’d use it every day.

Consistency: Thick, gel-like.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 3.5/5

Staying power: 5 hours without primer

Price£24 for 40ml

Overall Rating: 7/10

Moa The Green Balm

I’ve struggled to find many reviews on this product, so I thought I’d write one myself. On the

website

it claims to have many uses, ranging from healing a sore throat and soothing eczema, to hair-repair and eyelash growth. It’s completely natural and smells so – very herbal, sort of like eucalyptus.

It comes in a tiny white tub (which I must admit, is very cute) and the constancy is quite strange at first – like grainy Vasaline. But these little grains/lumps soon melt once they come into contact with your skin. It’s not overly greasy and sinks in much quicker than other balms/oils I’ve used – I like it as a lip salve and apply it around my eyes at night for my dry skin. I’ve also started putting it on my eyelashes and I swear it’s making them grow a little every day (but that might be wishful thinking!).

Overall it’s quite a useful little multi-functional product. Not sure if I’d buy it again though as I’ve already got some nice lip balms, and I have other means of keeping my dry eyes under control.

Consistency: Like grainy Vasaline

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Price: £8 for 41g

Overall Rating: 7/10

Clinique Even Better Makeup

I used to wear the old version of Rimmel’s “25 hour Foundation”, but the new one just doesn’t cut it – it makes my skin feel clogged and goes all powdery after a few hours. I’ve found it really difficult to find a decent foundation after getting eczema around my eyes – it’s now under control, but I still have to be careful to prevent it from coming back, so I went to a few makeup stands in Debenhams and Boots to see what was around. I ended up at Clinique, where a lovely saleslady gave me a little jar sample of “Even Better Makeup”…

I loved it when I got home and tried it, however I’m pretty lucky that the shade was a close match, as the colour selection is limited. It didn’t sting my skin or clog my pores, and it has an SPF of 15 (yay!).

The consistency is lovely and silky – very nice to apply, and a little goes quite a long way. It has decent coverage (medium to full) without looking fake and plastic-y. I usually just wear one layer plus a few extra touches on any blemishes and I’m good to go. It keeps my skin hydrated, but it has poor staying power: after 4 hours of lectures, it started to look patchy, ashy and gross. The other downsides are the price and the limited choice of colours. It might fare better on those with dryer skin, or with a primer.

All-in-all, a decent foundation, better than most drugstore buys, and doesn’t harm my skin, but not as good as other high-end ones.

Consistency: Very nice and silky, liquid

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Staying power: 5 hours max

Price: £24.50 for 30ml

Overall Rating: 6/10

Lush “Porridge” Soap

I really wanted to like this soap, but it seriously dried out my skin. I avoided using the bar directly on my body ‘cause I knew the scrubby oats would irritate me; however because it’s marketed as a soap for easily irritated skin, I decided on a whim to try it.

It smells okay – not

un

pleasant, but not of anything nice in particular. It tends to melt quite easily if you leave it in your bathroom, so I would recommend keeping it in a little Tupperware box. Once the initial layer of soap disappears, it reveals some knobbly little oat particles (you can see these in the picture) which I imagine would be amazing to scrub down with for those of you with more resilient skin. Saldly, I’m not one of you. I swear I’m part reptile ‘cause my skin goes really disgusting and scaly sometimes. (I know, hot, right?) 

So yeah, this one wasn’t for me. I’ve actually thrown it away now, so it currently lives in my bin.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 1/5

Price: I paid like £4 for quite a big chunk (maybe 250g?)

Overall Rating: 4/10

Philosophy “Hope in a Jar” Moisturiser

This really didn’t do it for me at all. I got a sample size of this product (15mls), and never in a million years would I consider purchasing the large version – which is way overpriced at around £30. I’ve had better results from Lush moisturisers, and even Aveeno (which is a fraction of the price).

I felt it didn’t really hydrate me – it went on thick, but as I spread it, it felt watery and like it wasn’t actually doing anything to my skin. It also smelt funny (kind of chemical-y) and stung around the eyes. I would maybe use it as a makeup base before a night out in the summer, when I don’t want a heavy moisturiser; or maybe keep it in my bag to moisturise my dry nose, but I could never justify spending over £30 on the full size moisturiser.

It’s a shame I’ve had such bad results from Philosophy’s skincare products. I really wanted to like the company as it seemed promising (probably due to the high prices of its products); but I’ve only been let down so far by the items I’ve bought. The only product I have genuinely liked was a serum I got as a free sample in a little pot, but I can’t remember which one it was (When Hope Is Not Enough, perhaps). Sigh.

Consistency: Gross. Thick, then watery, stingy, confusing nastiness in a jar.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 1.5/5

Price: £34 for 60ml

Overall Rating: 3/10

Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter | Review

I bought this after reading an article about how busy mums discovered this product’s

“magical” abilities

after trying it on their faces. There had been reports of “anti-aging”, so I thought I’d give it a try as it was inexpensive and relatively easy to find.

First off, it smells gorgeous. Like very mild vanilla – not the fake, sugary kind, but real vanilla. Absolutely heavenly. Its consistency is similar to petroleum jelly, albeit not as greasy, heavy or cloying. It tends to sit on the skin for a while, so I’d be careful using this on the face as a moisturiser. I use it at night and around my eyes and nose (which get very dry and sensitive) before applying my makeup*.

It works wonders as a night cream if your skin is particularly dry, and it hasn’t upset my easily irritated skin. It contains about 4 ingredients (mainly olive oil, chamomile and vanilla) and no fragrance, parabens or artificial ingredients. Another plus is that it comes in a generous tub, and as you only need a small amount, it should last a long time.

All-in-all, a delightful multi-functional product.

Consistency: Not unlike Vasaline, but a bit thicker

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5

Price: I think I paid around £3.50 for it. Bargain!

Overall Rating: 10/10

(* – for use under makeup, I recommend using only a minuscule amount. It will give you a lovely, dewy look, but don’t overdo it as your makeup could slither off your face!)

Lush “Angels on Bare Skin” Cleanser

This is a lovely cleanser, made from natural ingredients
(and it’s Lush, so you know it’s not tested on animals). The consistency, at
first, was a little alien to me – fresh and crumbly, not gloopy and runny like most
scrubs or foaming cleansers. I put this down to the fact that it’s all natural
and has no preservatives (which also explains the 3 month shelf life).  The smell is also strange at first – but definitely
something you can grow to love (think earthy/lavendery).

I bought this when my skin was very sore and upset, with angry spots on my cheeks and some nasty dry patches. After a few days of using it morning and night (along with Ultrabland to remove my makeup) my skin calmed down and I fell in love. I now use it every morning and I’m surprised at how gentle and effective it is. Until I discovered this little gem, I was struggling to find a balanced cleanser which gave a good, thorough clean without hurting my skin. I find my skin looks especially soothed and radiant after using this.

The only downsides to this are the packaging (typical Lush pot) which often allows water to leak in and dilute the product – most people find this very off-putting, and while I can see that it is a flaw, I actually rather like it as it loosens up the product and makes it easier to use. And also the shelf life (around 3 months). I do find it hard to use up the entire tub in this amount of time, even using it morning and night.

I also found I had a few blackheads/whiteheads around my chin while using this, so maybe it wasn’t giving me the clean I thought it was? 

Consistency: Grainy and unusual. Lovely for exfoliation.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 4.5/5

Price: £6.40 for a tub (100g)

Rating: 6.5/10. Not sure about cleaning abilities, poor packaging and short shelf-life. 

Burt’s Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

I think I was setting myself up for a disaster by using this. I received it as part of a gift set for Christmas, so it wasn’t the full sized bottle (thankfully!). It smells lovely; very fresh and pepperminty, and it has a nice consistency – It’s a cream cleanser, so it doesn’t foam (this can be off-putting for me as I like my skin to feel like it’s being cleaned, but I gave it a go anyway).  I love that it’s mostly natural and BUAV approved (not tested on animals), and I find the packaging rather attractive.

Unfortunately, it ruined my skin. I should have seen this coming, if not from the words “deep cleansing”, then from the strong peppermint scent. It stung my eyes and made my skin angry, red and itchy, so I will be giving this away. I do think it would be lovely for someone with more resilient skin – not necessarily oily, as it didn’t dry me out; it just irritated/made my skin red. I’m quite disheartened by this experience as I like the idea of Burt’s Bees as a brand, but I’m now a little hesitant towards trying any other products from the line.

Consistency: Typical lotiony type stuff.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 1/5

Price: About £10 for the large size

Rating: 3/10

Vichy Normaderm Hydrating Care Moisturiser | Review

I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect moisturiser. My ideal day moisturiser would be suitable for sensitive skin, non-comodogenic (that goes without saying), SPF at least 15, and completely colour and fragrance free. I bought this on a whim on a visit to Boots when I had a little more cash than sense to hand;

it cost me about

£12 for 50ml

, which is slightly more than I would like to pay for a staple product, but I’d have been willing to fork out on this every few months if it had been perfect.

It does not contain any SPF. It is highly fragranced. It has a gel-like consistency (a nightmare for my dry/sensitive skin). Not exactly Holy Grail material. After the first few tries I rather liked it: it made my skin feel very smooth, and I liked the idea of it getting rid of blemishes. However, after using it morning and night for 3 days, it started to really irritate my poor skin.

I think it would be perfect for those with oiler, blemish prone skin; but this one’s not for me. On the plus side, the pump bottle is very attractive, and it smells nice!

Consistency: It’s a gel moisturiser, so uh…gel-y.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 2/5

Price: Around £12 for 50ml

Overall Rating: 5/10