28 August 2012

Stila Brighten & Correct Concealer

I saw the Stila Brighten & Correct Concealer in Sephora whilst in America in April.  I was in the store to purchase the Stila Perfecting Concealer which I have reviewed HERE.

I was initially drawn to this product because of all the swirls in the tube.


This comes in 4 shades, Fair, Medium, Tan and Tone, I purchased Tone.

The product contains a unique multi-mineral complex and Haloxyl, it acts as a brightener, illuminator, concealer and will help reduce dark circles over time.

Two shades are swirled together, one for correcting and one for brightening, the product is also infused with light-diffusing pigments.


Although on it's own this is not heavy enough to cover my dark circles, it does lighten and brighten the under eye area, it works particularly well over your normal concealer.

This is the perfect product if you are having a 'no make up' day and just want to freshen up the under eye area.

If you are in the USA you can find this product in Sephora stores or at www.stilacosmetics.com for $28
If you are in the UK you can find this product at www.stila.co.uk for £18 with free shipping.


27 August 2012

Stila Perfecting Concealer Review

I first saw the Stila Perfecting Concealer in an American Magazine in April, the beauty journalist was raving about it and claiming that certain celebrities would not leave the house without it.  As I was in America at the time I hotfooted it down to Sephora and parted with $23 and left the store with a tiny tube in shade C.


See what I mean about the tiny tube?  There is only 8ml of product, that's not even 2 teaspoons full, but who cares about the price if the product lives up to the claims!

It is recommended that this concealer is applied after foundation and before powder.  It is described as a fuller-coverage concealer with a semi-matt finish, it can also be used as a full coverage foundation.

Now let me just say that I am a long time fan of Stila products,  I have been using their lip glaze, eye shadows and nail polishes for years, I didn't doubt for a moment that I wouldn't love this product.  However, this review does not have a happy ending.


If you look closely at the above picture you can see that I have blended the product out underneath the blob of concealer.  There are two problems for me, one, the coverage is minimal and two, the product sits in and accentuates lines.  This did absolutely nothing at covering up my dark circles, the coverage is not buildable without caking and looking chalky and within 30 minutes I had a build up of product in the creases under my eyes.

Now just because this product didn't work for me doesn't mean that it's a a rubbish product.  Maybe it is just not aimed at working on women of a certain age, if you are below 40 years old with minimum lines/circles and have a perfectly hydrated eye area then I can see that this product might be perfect for you.  However, this product did not work for me at all and as such I will not be repurchasing.

If you are in the USA you can find this product in Sephora stores or at www.stilacosmetics.com for $23

If you are in the UK you can find this product at www.stila.co.uk for £15 with free shipping.

Have you ever purchased a product after seeing rave reviews in a magazine, only to be bitterly disappointed?

26 August 2012

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer

Another product from the Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Range, this time it is the Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer.  You can see my review of the Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation HERE

Again the strap line for this  product is "Look Up To Ten Years Younger Instantly".

This product combines two concealers and a blending tool for flawless coverage.


As you can see there is a small pot of Yellow Cream with a doe foot applicator, this is designed to correct dark under eye circles and blends easily for buildable coverage.  Then there is the solid concealer for covering imperfections and minimising lines.  So you first of all apply the Yellow Cream on your dark circles and either use the roller ball or your finger to blend, then apply the stick concealer on top and blend, the stick concealer can be used on any imperfection on the face prior to foundation application.


These two concealers together are fabulous.  I normally use Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer, but this product is far superior.  Covers my dark circles beautifully, does not crease or sit in the lines around my eyes and lasts all day.

I purchased this product from CVS and it was a bargain at $12.95  Sadly this range isn't available in the UK and again I found this EBAY SHOP but it is £18.49 with £1.75 delivery.  I'm sure you may be able to find it much cheaper than that if you have a rummage around the internet.

Although this product didn't make me look ten years younger instantly it has to be one of the most impressive concealers I own.  Nothing I have tried before covers my hereditary dark circles like this does and I will be purchasing several back ups on my next visit to America.

Have you found a concealer that really does cover up your dark circles?

23 August 2012

Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation

I first discovered Physicians Formula several years ago when I was working as Cabin Crew.  Whenever I go to America I always pick up some goodies from the range.  In April I spotted the Physicians Formula Youthful Wear range which consists of a concealer, a foundation and a powder.

The strap line for this range is "Look Up To Ten Years Younger Instantly"

The company claims that 100% saw less deep wrinkles & fine lines instantly.  94% saw lifted lifted and firmer looking skin after 3 weeks and 100% of women would use Youthful Wear as an alternative to a cosmetic procedure.

I purchased the Youthful Wear Youth Boosting Foundation and the Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Concealer.  Today I will share my thoughts on the foundation.


This foundation comes with an application brush but I soon discarded that.  This is available in Fair, Light and Medium.  I chose Light as Fair was too pale for me with a bit of a tan and Medium is quite dark.  

The texture is like a very thick mousse but it does melt on contact with skin and gives excellent coverage, it even covered my sun spots on my cheeks without the need for further concealer.  One thing I did notice was that if you apply this foundation with your fingers it has a slightly gritty feel to it, but that disappears as you blend the foundation into the skin.



Although the colour looks quite dark and orange on the inside of my arm it actually blended out to the perfect colour on my face.  Sadly with the lack of summer in the UK this is currently a bit too dark for me, when I go back to America I will be purchasing the Fair colour to wear on my paler days.

The most impressive thing for me about this foundation is that it lasts all day, once it's on it's on, I wore this whilst in Florida and normally I don't bother with foundation as it melts off in the heat, this stayed put until I removed it.

Now the big question is did it make me look 10 years younger instantly?  Well actually no it didn't, but what it did do is make me look less tired, it made my skin look firmer than it actually is and it did a great job of minimising my sleep creases first thing in the morning.

All in all I really like this foundation, in fact I think I would chose this foundation over my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear.

I purchased this from CVS in Florida for $14.95 which is less than £10  Sadly this brand is not readily available in this country but I have found this Ebay Shop that stocks most of the range, unfortunately they are charging £18.99 plus £1.75 delivery.  I'm sure if you have a look around the internet you will definitely find it a lot cheaper than that.

Have you recently found a foundation that has replaced your all time favourite?

Japonesque Complexion Perfection Brushes

This is my first experience with Japonesque brushes and I am very suitably impressed with the quality.

I received 3 brushes from their Complexion Perfection Kit.


The Japonesque Angled Foundation Brush was a bit of a surprise, I've been used to using a stippling brush to apply my foundation so I wasn't sure how this was going to work.


This is a great foundation brush, the fact that is angled makes it perfect for applying foundation around the nose area and under the eyes.  It's fabulous for building up coverage and leaves a very smooth finish to your foundation.  I also used the brush to apply primer.

The Japonesque Pro Finish Fan is also a brush I have never come across before.


To be honest I don't know how I have managed all of this time without a Finishing Fan Brush.  If you're a user of subtle highlighter like me then you need one of these brushes.  It is the perfect shaped tool for sweeping a light dusting of highlighter powder on top of the cheek bone in a 'C' shape up towards the temple, it deposits the correct amount of powder and leaves a beautiful professional finish.

My favourite of the 3 brushes is the Japonesque Travel Lux Bronzer Kabuki Brush.


I love this brush, I have used it every day since receiving it.  It's perfect to apply bronzer, blusher or powder.  It is very soft and so far it hasn't shed any hairs.  It seems to intuitively pick up the correct amount of powder and distributes it very evenly wherever you use it.

I don't have a huge collection of brushes but  these are the best that I have used so far.

Japonesque brushes are now available at www.hqhair.com

Japonesque Angled Foundation Brush retails at £19.50
Japonesque Pro Finishing Fan Brush retails at £15.00
Japonesque Travel Lux Bronzer Kabuki Brush retails at £36.00

HQhair offer free standard UK delivery on all items and £4.95 next day delivery.
International standard delivery is £2.99 and free on orders over £75 using the code INTERFREE

If you looking at replacing old brushes or adding to your collection then have a look at www.hqhair.com



*PR Sample

22 August 2012

Anastasia Brow Wiz Review

At last, after years of searching, Anastasia Brow Wiz is, in my opinion, the perfect eyebrow pencil.




Now, the problem I have always found with eyebrow products is that there is always too much red in them.  I have no red whatsoever in my eyebrows so I have resorted to using matt brown eye shadows.  This is not my preferred method of enhancing my wispy brows but there just wasn't a brow pencil out there that was the correct colour.

During my last trip to America I visited my favourite store in the world, Sephora and asked if they stocked an eyebrow pencil that had no red in it.  I was given the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash to try.  To say I was overjoyed is a bit of an understatement.  At last an eyebrow pencil that matched my actual eyebrows.





Just look at that perfect Medium Ash Brown.  The pencil itself never needs sharpening as it is a mechanical pencil, there is a handy brush at the other end to ensure perfectly groomed and blended brows.

Other colours available are Caramel, Ash Blonde and Brunette.  The pencil retails at $20 in Sephora but is available in the UK at www.cultbeauty.co.uk for £15.50

JINNYlash Lash Bar Launch at Selfridges

JINNYlash are launching a new Lash Bar in Selfridges London at the end of August.

They will be offering 16 new designs of Strip Lashes and these will also be available online at www.jinnylash.com

Here are just a few of lashes that you can choose from.


DISCO DIVA

CANDY STRIPE

SECRET


NATURAL GLAMOUR


ELECTRIC SWAN



The JINNYlash Lash Bar will offer a unique service where you can 'try before you buy' by allowing you to try your chosen lashes against your lash line on a lash wand.  The lashes are priced between £6 - £10 and can be re-used several times.

As I'm not that brave I would probably go for Natural Glamour or Secret, but believe me if I were a few years younger I would be definitely going for Electric Swan.

Which ones would choose?

Carmex Lip Products


I have been using Classic Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm for such a long time, there is always one in my handbag or pocket.  It just puts the comfort back in if your lips are feeling a bit dry.

I had not tried any of the other Carmex products until recently and I have thoroughly enjoyed testing them out.

Firstly I tried the Mint Moisturising Lip Balm, this contains SPF 15 so it's fabulous for use on holiday.  The balm has a lovely minty taste and instantly soothes and moisturises dry or cracked lips.  I found this balm ideal to use before applying lipstick or even on top of lipstick.  I have to say I became a little addicted to this and have since purchased several tubes.

Lastly I tried the Carmex Moisture Plus.


I was sent the Sheer Peach to try but it is also available in Sheer Pink and Clear.  This again has an SPF 15 and I intend to take this on holiday with me next month.  Although the colour is described as sheer this is actually more pigmented than I was expecting, it gives a decent wash of colour and feels really nice and moisturising, there is no stickiness and because of this I have been using this much more than my lip glosses.

Classic Carmex is £2.69
Carmex Moisturising Mint Lip Balm is £2.69
Carmex Moisture Plus is £4.49

Now I know how you all love a bargain, I'm happy to report that all Carmex products are currently on off at 3 for 2 at www.boots.com




*PR Sample

Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray

If like me you suffer from dry eyes but you're also not very good at administering eye drops then Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray is the product for you.


As you can see from the front of the box, this product is safe to use with contact lenses, it works for 4 hours, it won't disturb your make-up and it moisturises the area around the eye.


I was a bit sceptical at first, I couldn't work out how this was going to help my dry eyes when I was spraying it onto closed eyelids. However, I followed the instructions and hey presto within 5 minutes my eyes felt much more comfortable and looked less red and more refreshed.  

The spray can be used as often as required, can be used by other people as there is no problem with cross contamination, does not need to be discarded after 28 days, unlike like most eye products this one is good for 6 months after opening.  At only 10ml it is ideal to take on a plane with you and use throughout the flight.  On the bottle it states that there is enough product to use approximately 100 times.

The added bonus of using this product is that the skin around the eyes is also kept moisturised.

I love this product and it will be a permanent product in my handbag.

Optrex ActiMist 2 in 1 Eye Spray is available from www.boots.com for £12.89 and it is part of their buy 1 and get a 2nd product for half price on their Healthcare offer.  So for you savvy shoppers out there, you could have a years worth of perfectly moisturised peepers for £19.33




*PR Sample

21 August 2012

Revlon Lip Butter Review

A few months ago every other blog post I read was about Revlon Lip Butters.  I waited until I went on holiday to purchase one to try as I just had a feeling I wasn't going to like them.  I decided to purchase just one than rather than the whole range, I paid around $7 for mine.


As you can see I opted for Raspberry Pie



A light and not so light swatch in different lights

Well my intuition was correct, I did not like this at all.  I like the colour in the case and swatched on my arms but on my lips it was a different matter.  It has a sort of gel like consistency and even with a lip pencil this bled almost instantly and within an hour the only colour remaining was what was left in the small lines around my mouth.  Now if you are young with no lines around your mouth then I'm sure the lip butters work really well for you.  However, if you are of a certain age then I recommend you give them a miss.

7 August 2012

Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-on Kit

Hair removal is my least favourite thing to do, I have tried all sorts, plucking, epilating, threading, creams, wax strips and nothing works as well as warm wax in my opinion.  Now as a trained beauty therapist I am a dab hand at waxing but I hate dragging my salon size wax pot out of the cupboard and plugging it in for and hour or two just to wax my upper lip.  I have tried microwave wax but I don't trust the instructions on how long the pot should be heated for.  A salon that I worked at had a cartridge wax system and I always really liked it as it was nice and hygienic, my clients all had their own cartridge head so there was no cross contamination and it was a nice clean way to remove hair.

I was recently sent the Veet EasyWax Elecrical Roll-on Kit and was very impressed when I took it out of the box.


The kit comes complete with a stand, a wax cartridge, a packet of wax strips and packets of after wax wipes.


The instructions are idiot proof, just put the cartridge in the unit, plug it in and wait 20 minutes, you are then good to go.  Apply the wax in the direction of the hair growth, smooth on a wax strip and whip it off in the opposite direction against the hair growth.  For people that haven't waxed before I suggest you start off by doing small areas to start off with until you feel more confident with your technique.  There are lots of hints and tips in the instructions.  I really like that you can buy smaller cartridges for waxing underarms and bikini area.

This really is the first home waxing unit that I have tried that gives salon results, no mess, minimum pain and excellent results.

The Starter kit retails for £29.99 the large and small refills retail at £9.99 and the replacement wax strips are £3.49 for 24

1 cartridge will last up to 4 waxing sessions, so based on an average leg wax at the salon being around £20 outside of London, you can make a significant saving by using this at home kit.

Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-on Kit is available www.veet.co.uk you can also find more hints and tips on the site too.



*PR Sample

5 August 2012

JooMo Face Wash

JooMo is a skincare product for young people developed by Nick Wallen and Linda Russell.  The face wash includes 100% natural ingredients and includes the revolutionary skin care product SaponinJ, this is a proprietary skin repair system dealing with existing skin conditions, repairing the damage caused by synthetic products and rebuilds the skin's natural defences to prevent future problems.  The product is designed for young, sensitive skin.

So with this product being aimed at the young I gave the face wash to my 14 year old daughter.  Now she is a sensitive soul, well that's actually a lie, she is not sensitive at all but her skin is super sensitive.  As a toddler she could never have her face painted as she would react within seconds to the face paints, it took a few years to find a sunscreen that we could use on her and bubble bath was a big no no.  Although she has sensitive skin she is very lucky that she has pretty good skin at the moment, not too oily and I don't think she has ever had a spot in her life.  So this is what ChloĆ© had to say about JooMo Face Wash.

The packaging is nice, not too girlie or too boyish.  I like the smell, I hate things that smell flowery or fruity, this just smells nice and fresh.  It feels nice on the skin and rinses off easily, leaves the skin feeling nice and soft and not tight.



I can confirm that ChloĆ© has had no adverse reaction to this product at all.  I have used this a couple of times myself, purely for research you understand, I actually really like it, I'm not usually a fan of face washes but this is lovely to use.  This will definitely be a re-purchase in our household and if you have teenagers at home then I would thoroughly recommend that they give this a try. At just £4.75 for a 100ml tube you are getting something free of any nasty additives and you're getting your teens into a good skincare regime at an early age.

There is another great twist to this product.  JooMo are offering all 16 to 24 year olds the opportunity to join the JooMo Co-operative, they will have a chance to gain a stake in a growing business, take a share in the profits and have a say on how the co-operative is run.

For more information about the products, how the business was founded and about the co-operative please visit the www.joomo.coop



*PR Sample

Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?

If you are under the age of 45 then there is nothing to see here so please move along and make way for the women of a certain age.



I've been feeling a bit strange/odd/unwell for the last 6 or 7 months, nothing I could put my finger on, just a bit meh.  I have had lots of niggly symptoms such as extreme fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, cold hands and feet, tingly fingers and thinning hair just to name a few.  Then 2 months ago I started waking in the night in a hot sweat, not just a bit warm, I'm talking full on sweat, damp pillow, wet hair, oh my god, some nights I thought I was going to self combust with the heat.  I demanded my husband fit a ceiling fan immediately, which he duly did, this did not help, the breeze from the fan was lovely, however, the noise from the fan made me want to throw a brick at it.  When these tropical moments started happening during the day and some other symptoms appeared I decided it was time to visit the GP.  

Well that was easier said than done, it has taken 3 weeks to get an appointment due to a new booking system.  So on Friday off I went with my list of symptoms, yes I took a list as with my memory problems I couldn't trust myself to remember everything.  I reeled everything off that had been happening since January and when I had finished he said 'Jude, I think you'd have been better off going to the vet, they would've put you out of your misery'!  He then said that although some of the symptoms I'm having are clearly indicative of the menopause there are other symptoms that are more likely to be an under active Thyroid.  After discussing the treatment options open to me for both conditions he made an appointment for me to give an armful of blood and a follow up appointment in a few weeks.

When I got home I did what most people would do and googled my symptoms, now I don't normally do this as god knows what I would diagnose myself with and there is every chance that I could die from a misprint.

In this case though I have symptoms that would fit with both conditions.

Although I haven't had a conclusive diagnosis yet I want to investigate what treatments are available to me.

I just wondered if any of my readers are going through the menopause or dealing with Thyroid problems?  

I would like to know if you are treating these conditions with conventional medication or whether you have found natural remedies that are working for you.  How long after treatment started did you being to feel better.  Have you suffered any side effects from either conventional or natural remedies?  If you are happy to discuss this with me but don't want to do it in the comments then please feel free to email me at fairydust.dunn@gmail.com

I'm really looking forward to hearing about other people's experiences.