Review: L’Oreal Lumi Magique Primer

Hey hey!

I’ve been meaning to write up this review for a little while now but the plus side of that means I’ve tested this primer on a number of days, in a number of situations so I’ve got an all-round knowledge of how it performs.

Prior to using this I had been using a MAC primer but I was a bit pushed for pennies when that ran out so I decided I’d try something a little cheaper and at just £9.99, L’Oreal’s Lumi Magique was what I decided to go for.

Here’s what the product looks like when you squirt it out of the bottle:

Holly Birthday 034

It’s much runnier than the MAC primer but also has a much more pearlescent sheen to it so I was hopeful that it would provide me with a dewy glow, not just a slick base to apply foundation to.

Here’s how it looks when you rub it in:

Close Up

Close Up

In Context

In Context

Hopefully you can see the shiny part of my hand vs the rest which looks much duller. This product is fantastic! Now, I don’t believe it will really work out much cheaper than the MAC primer as I find that you need to use more / it doesn’t stretch as far as the MAC primer but it really does give your skin a dewy glow. The first time I wore this under my make-up I couldn’t believe how much younger my skin looked. It also felt really nice too.

The issue I always had with the MAC primer was that it felt like my make-up was just perched on my skin and it rubbed off really easily. This meant by the end of the day, I had really patchy make-up. With this primer, I feel like it just adds an extra layer to my foundation and helps to hide my imperfections by reflecting the light in a more flattering way. I still have an even face of make-up by the end of the day.

I would highly recommend this primer and I’m really surprised at that, I’d pretty much given up on finding good make-up outside of the premium beauty halls but this has been great so far. I’ve worn it to work, to parties, dog walking – it really does help your foundation stay put and keep you looking sparkly and fresh all day! x

Review: Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel

Since October last year, my skin has been out of control following a break up and then a holiday and all the associated suncream and alcohol. I’ve had just millions of those little bumps under my skin all around my chin and cheeks and being me, I’ve picked at them to try and make them go away and ended up with actual spots… attractive!

After years of hearing people rave about Dermalogica products, I finally decided to get on board and give something a try following a visit to a pharmacist when I reacted badly to doctor-prescribed cream for my skin. She said that I’d be much better off trying Dermalogica and that the prescription creams are really only for severe acne, not the few lumps and bumps that I had! The product I decided to try was the Overnight Clearing Gel, it’s got great reviews online and now I’ve been using it for a month, I’m ready to review it myself.

DermalogicaAs with all Dermalogica products, it’s a bit pricey; prices vary between £25 and £40 ish depending on where you buy it but I’d definitely say it’s worth it. It’s quite gel like and goes on really easily, you hardly need to use any product for each application. I normally have quite dry skin and it’s been managing to handle the moisture needs I have just fine too so no need to use any additional products at the same time.

The reviews I read said it would probably cause a few breakouts before the skin cleared and I’d say this is true. I haven’t had anything truly terrible but I have had some extra blemishes appear in the last month. Now however, my skin is smoother, softer and clearer than it has been since last summer. It’s fab! I’ll keep going with this product and see if it gets any better but even if not, I’m really happy with where I have got to and I’m planning to gradually overhaul the rest of my skincare regime to swap to Dermalogica as other products run out.

So there you have it, before you go putting harsh prescription creams on your skin, give this a try, it really is a lovely product which does what it says it will do 🙂 If anyone can recommend any other Dermalogica products that they’ve particularly loved, I’d be glad to hear about it! x


Home Remedy – Grapefruit Face Scrub

Like so many people out there, one of things I struggle most with beauty-wise is my skin. It permanently seems to be either too dry, too greasy or have too many blemishes so I am always on the lookout for new things to try to make it better. This is all well and good but continually trying new beauty products can be a costly affair and I’m not exactly rolling in cash at the moment! For that reason, when I read Huda’s post on a home-remedy face scrub I thought I’d give it a go.

If you aren’t familiar with Huda’s beauty blog, it’s time to make yourself familiar with it, she’s one of the most energetic bloggers I have encountered. Here’s the link to the post I am referring to – Brightening at Home Microdermabrasion.

Basically, Huda recommends mixing some bicarbonate of soda with some grapefruit juice and using that as a face scrub. There are loads of facial products out there with grapefruit in them so I figured it could well hold some merit. Here’s what you’ll need:

Your Facial Friends

Huda says she used 3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda but I used 3 teaspoons and that was more than enough for 1 facial. It also only took about 1/4 of a grapefruit which means I have loads left to do it again later in the week; what a bargain given how cheap the ingredients are!

When you add the grapefruit juice to the bicarbonate of soda the mixture fizzes slightly but don’t be alarmed, it doesn’t do this to your face. When you rub it on your face it just feels like a really luxury scrub and I left mine on for a couple of minutes too to really pull off the dead skin. Afterwards my skin felt squeaky clean and even the bf could see the difference it had made; it looked like a layer of grime had been lifted from my face. This is definitely something I will be doing again!

So there you are, a recession busting, natural home remedy for troublesome skin. Give it a go, you’ll love it 🙂 x

Review – Clarisonic Mia

I’m sure that by now you are all familiar with the name Clarisonic but for anyone who isn’t, Clarisonic facial brushes are designed to cleanse your skins far more effectively than you can do yourself and they are made by the people who make ultrasonic toothbrushes. The aim is that they remove dead skin really well and open up your pores so that all of the other products you use work much better.

There are several brushes in the range, starting with the Mia which has one speed and one brush head, all the way up to the Plus which has a few more knobs and dials and comes with more sample cleansers when you buy it. Now these aren’t cheap, the Mia retails at around £120 in most places so it is one of those things I had been wanting for ages but never bought. Then roughly a month ago, the Mia appeared on BuyaPowa for £90 just as I happened to have some cash to spare so I went for it. BuyaPowa is essentially like Groupon used to be in that group buying power means that you can get products for cheaper – check it out.

Anyhow, I haven’t written a review until now as I really wanted to understand how the Clarisonic would effect my skin before I said anything. I’ve read loads of other reviews and they seem to either say it’s the best thing ever or they say it’s the worst thing ever, leading to dry skin and breakouts so I was pretty intrigued to see how my skin would react.

Clarisonic Mia

In my opinion, one of the best things about the Mia is that it is waterproof which means you can use it in the shower or have your bath as usual without having to remember to perform this ritual before you get near the water; I’d never remember to use it if that was the case! Anyhow, after my first use my skin definitely felt softer than usual, I could really tell that I’d used something more powerful than a wash-based exfoliator. I then continued to use the Clarisonic once a day for about a week. It did bring up some small spots on my cheeks but once they had gone, I was left with clearer skin than before. It also cleared the little dent / nook thing in my chin, (you know, under the mouth as your chin juts out!) and a patch on one side of my nose. On the other hand, some patches on my cheeks and the parts where my nose joins my face became a bit dry.

As I was experiencing some dryness, I decided to give my skin a bit of a break and dropped down to using it once every other day. Then, I got lazy and started using it once per week; my cheeks flared up again. If I had a good enough camera, I’d show you the little spots I now have on my cheeks, just like before I ever met the Clarisonic. After all of this rambling, I have to say that for someone with normal or dry skin, I’d say this isn’t worth the money and probably won’t help you. However, for someone with combination skin which verges on the greasy / clogged pores side then I’d say definitely try this out. It’s not a miracle cure, which is what some people seem to expect but it will help treat some of your more problematic areas to the point where at the very least, your make-up will look better on top!

Has anyone else got one of these? What do you think of yours? x

Review Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation

Unfortunately I am not one of those lucky people blessed with flawless skin, (unlike my sister…argh!) and so I’m always on the lookout for a foundation with great coverage which feels nice and light on my skin.

I usually use Clinique’s Repairwear Anti-Ageing Makeup on the majority of my face and then Clinique’s Superbalanced Makeup on my forehead. My forehead can sometimes get quite dry so I have to wear a lighter foundation; I also find that thick foundations can cling around my eyebrows and hairline which is never a good look! This combination works well and covers me nicely from morning until evening and reflects light well in photos so I look like a porcelain doll 🙂

However, the foundation is pretty thick and I would like something budget friendly that’s a bit lighter, especially for the Summer. So, when I was in Boots on Saturday and I spotted the new Maybelline Dream Airfoam range on offer for just under £7 each, I thought I’d give it a bash. Being the English rose that I am, I went for the lightest shade, Ivory which actually isn’t that pale…I can only just get away with it!

I have to say this is not like any foundation I have ever used before. First lesson is that you MUST shake it lots before you depress the pump. If you don’t, you get unpigmented foam which is no good to man nor beast. Secondly, pressing the pump with the right pressure is an art, one that I have yet to master! It’s just like hair mousse so it grows in your hand and then starts fizzing away to nothing so if you take too much, it will just be wasted. Thirdly, application is messy. You have to pump it into your hand and then use the fingers of your other hand to apply. This is a whole extra hand’s worth of mess than I would normally have when applying foundation.

Yesterday was the first day that I wore the foundation and I have to say I wasn’t hugely impressed. Where my skin really needs coverage is my nose and chin and I had to use two layers of foundation on those areas to feel confident enough to leave the house. It also did nothing for the dark circles under my eyes, that job was left entirely to my concealer. Then to top it off, I looked dirty. I don’t think the colour was too dark, (not that there is a lighter shade) I just don’t think it reflects the light in the way that my Clinique foundations do. However, I was determined to give it a proper test so off I went to work with it…

Around 5pm when I popped to the ladies’, I noticed in the mirror that suddenly I was looking pretty minging. The foundation had clumped onto areas of slightly dry skin which meant I had a patch on my forehead and lines down the sides of my nose. Where it hadn’t clumped, it had pretty much slid off in the heat of the office. Not impressed! Sorry I have no pictures of any of this, none of my photo-taking devices are good enough to pick up this level of detail!

Essentially, if you have perfect skin and don’t need a foundation, this might work for you. Though in that instance, I would recommend a tinted moisturiser instead. If your skin is uneven in tone, has large pores, is dry or oily in any way, shape or form, I would avoid this. It’s messy to apply and the results just aren’t worth effort; spend a bit more and hop on over to the Clinique counter, they’ll be able to help you there. x

Skin Therapy on a Budget

I don’t know about you guys but my skin has taken a right beating this winter. I think it’s at least partly my fault; the mild temperatures mean that I have been less aware of blasting my skin with moisturiser. The result is that I have some hideously dry skin with a greasy T-zone and a fair few little spots. Now I struggle with my skin at the best of times but this is excessive, even for me!

Usually what I’d do in this situation is go and splash a load of cash on an expensive cream which I’d use 3 times but right now I am broke so I had to be more imaginative. Then I remembered what I did when I was at uni and the same thing happened…aqueous cream! Check it out, this whole tub is just £4.05 in Boots:

500g Pot of Aqueous Cream, £4.05 in Boots

What an absolute bargain! It’s a bit thick for everyday use unless you suffer from eczema but I’ve found that using it a couple of evenings per week has really perked my skin up; my cheeks are feeling much smoother and more youthful. Give it a go and let me know if you have any other good, bargainous skin tips! x

Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be…An orange monkey!

So with it being Ascot season and all, I will be making my debut Ascot appearance this Saturday (if I don’t drown in the rain first!) and I have a brilliant bright yellow dress for the occasion. Being such an English rose, (or at least that’s how I like to think of it) I decided it was not only advisable but totally essential to have a spray tan to make the yellow really work…so that’s what I did this evening.

This was my first spray tan and what an experience it was. It started with laughter as I dressed myself in nothing but a plastic shower cap and a paper-esque black thong. I could not take my reflection seriously and it was hard to believe my vanity had driven me to such an absurd look!

Then the tanning began, nice and easy until the point that the therapist stretched one arm and one leg forward and the other ones backward and asked me to do the same. Easier said than done. I realised then that I have even less control over my monkey proportioned limbs than I had previously known as she literally had to direct each limb into position…more laughter!

The tanning itself was quick and easy and then I was left to dry off and get dressed. Well what I sight I was! The tan had stuck to all of the fine hairs on my body meaning that my torso looked like that of a man, loads of dark hairs. I have never looked so unattractive in my life! I then proceeded to do a monkey dance in front of the mirror to celebrate, (the therapist had left the room by then) something tells me that I am not the usual sort of client they have, perhaps a bit too childish!!!

What I did realise after the experience though was the value of getting older. Not only did I go for my tan but I then traipsed over to Tesco to pick up dinner whilst wearing a mis-matched joggers and t-shirt combo borrowed from the bf (realised I owned no baggy clothes!). That is something I would never have done a few years ago for fear of being judged, equally the sight of my naked body used to be too scary for me, never mind for a beauty therapist. It appears that it really is true, you do start to accept yourself more as you get older – I had no qualms about stripping down for a tan!

Let’s just hope that my new found confidence has been put to good use and my tan comes out even and not too orange…fingers crossed!