Face Time - Origins Clear Improvements Face Mask

My friend had a charity bake sale today to raise money for the NSPCC. So I visited her stand and (all for charity of course) pigged out on her delicious red velvet cupcakes (mmmmm). So, since I've been a bit naughty, I thought I would do something good for my body and use my Origins Clear Improvements face mask and review it for you guys!

I really wanted this mask for ages just because it has charcoal in it and the packaging claims that this draws 'out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers' and I get loads of blackheads on my nose and chin. Black heads are like my primary skin concern as, apart from a bit of dryness and the occasional angry spot if I'm being really lazy with my make-up removal (I know, but what can I say I'm not perfect!). I've tried all sorts to try and get rid of them including those pore strips which felt very satisfying but largely just seemed to make my skin in those areas angrier, so a mask with claims like this one really appeals.

So actually using it. First things first (I'm the realest) I really like the fact that its a dark grey colour. I know that's a weird thing to say but because it's so dark it shows in places where you haven't applied as much so it helps you to get an even coverage so all your skin gets the benefits. Plus I like that you have to wait for it to dry rather than wash it off in 3 mins like some others I've used, because it feels like your skin actually has time to get the benefits.

I have noticed a difference in my skin after using this. The next day is generally a good skin day for me and my sensitive skin doesn't react to it which is great. That being said I have noticed if I leave it on too long after it's dried it can feel a bit tight and my skin is a little bit red when I wash it off but this goes away really quickly. Also if you have dry skin like me you'll probably want to moisturise afterwards as it can be a little drying.

Overall a great face mask that I really enjoy using and would highly recommend. Also if you have sensitive skin like me Origins is a great place to look for skincare as they use only organic, natural ingredients.

Smackdown! Makeup Geek VS bareMinerals

I love eyeshadow and I love love love when eyeshadows come out looking like how they do in the pan. My thinking is that if I didn't want it to be that bold a colour I would have bought a more subdued colour (duh). However a lot of the time I find myself being disappointed at the colour payoff of pressed eyeshadows.

Two products that don't tend to disappoint me however are my bareMinerals eyeshadows (I have 10 minis I received in a Christmas set last year) and my Makeup Geek pigments that I ordered from their website. Neither product is pressed and so are effectively loose shadows. I love them both but today I decided to put them to the test and tell you which one is my ultimate favourite (I know it'll be tough but I'll take the struggle for you guys).

Lets go in chronological order and start with my Makeup Geek pigments which I ordered about a year ago now. First off I want to put in a note for UK residents here; Makeup Geek gets expensive quickly. Because they're a fairly new but growing company they don't have particularly low international shipping rates yet plus they don't pay duties for you meaning that you have to add money on top of that (I think I had to pay an extra £8). Don't get me wrong they are still cheaper it's just something you need to bear in mind when buying from them.

L-R: Insomnia, Nightlife, Vegas Lights, Utopia
That being said: totally. worth. it! I love these pigments so much, especially if I'm going out and want some extra drama in my makeup; these just take you to a whole new level. The colour pay off is amazingly amazing with these and you just get so much of each colour I feel like they could last you a lifetime.

L-R: Utopia, Vegas Lights, Insomnia, Nightlife
The only downside I have with these pigments is that they don't last on the eyes. They're great for a night out but if you want to wear them all day you'd need to touch up or something, especially with Insomnia (a dupe for MAC's blue brown pigment and my favourite of the bunch) which has this amazing dual tone which unfortunately fades to a brown as you wear it throughout the day. If you want these to last longer you need to prep with a primer before hand and you might want to think about wearing them wet too (which looks stunning) but they still aren't gunna last you all day.

Tow Row (L-R): Snowflake, Drama, Queen Phyllis, Waterlily, Celestine
Bottom Row (L-R): Nude Beach, Bare Skin, Sex Kitten, The Gold, Vanilla Sugar
Now in comparison the bareMinerals eyeshadows just don't wow me in terms of colour as much. Possibly because the collection of colours in the set all erred on the neutral side, or perhaps because they don't necessarily have the same sparkle (and I am a girl who loves a bit of sparkle) I just don't get the same joy in my heart when just looking at these shadows. However when you apply them it is a whole new ball game!

L-R: Waterlily, Queen Phyllis, Drama, Snowflake, Celestine
These shadows have such a beautiful texture, they are so finely milled that they don't even feel like anything when you apply them (or if you accidentally stick your thumb in their pot as I discovered while trying to photograph these). They also glide on like a dream and require so little for them to look smooth and not at all patchy, while I would say the Makeup Geek ones need a teeny bit more work.

L-R: The Gold, Sex Kitten, Bare Skin, Nude Beach, Vanilla Sugar
Again, like the Makeup Geek pigments you will have trouble getting these to last all day, though I have noticed with a primer they do stay fairly well while I'm at work in that I leave and it still looks like I'm wearing shadow which is better than some of my pressed eyeshadows. The only complaint I have about these is that they are unfortunately not consistent. Nude Beach (which is easily my favourite and most used one of the bunch) has a gorgeous shinny almost liquid finish when you apply it and lasts a long time on the eyes while Vanilla Sugar has more of a matte texture and tends to settle in creases and bunch up a little bit more.

If I had to pick between these two I would have to choose my Makeup Geek shadows just because of the thrill my heart gets (yes I know how sad that sounds, I do admit I have a problem) when I see their colour pay off. The bareMinerals ones are still beautiful (I would fully recommend either brand) but I do get a bit more frustrated with how inconsistent they can be. 

Have you tried these or any other products from these brands? Let me know in the comments!

My Daily Makeup

So...hi. It's been a while hasn't it? It feels like a lot has happened since I last posted here, I'm closer to the end than the beginning of my second year at uni, I've got a job and life has been really hectic. But I miss my blog and I miss talking to you guys and so I'm back with my tail between my legs hoping you'll still want to come back and read what I have to say.

Since so much has changed I figured that my first post here should be on my current daily makeup since it has completely changed since I last posted here! Don't worry just because I haven't been writing about makeup doesn't mean I'm not buying any.

As a foundation I'm currently using my Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in the shade 100 ivory (basically the lightest shade they have for old pale faced me). This one can be a little bit more full coverage than the Touche Eclat foundation I was using previously, but on days when I don't want as much coverage I just use less and it works fine for me. I like that it still gives a nice, natural, slightly more on the dewy than matte side, finish and when I buff it in with my Real Techniques buffing brush it makes my skin look really flawless which is great! It also has SPF 18 which will be awesome when the sun eventually makes an appearance.

I picked up this cream eyeshadow from Elizabeth Arden for an absolute steal in the House of Fraser sale a couple weeks ago (you can still get it on the Boots website for a similarly reduced price). I got the shade Anchors Away 03 which is a gorgeous purple/browny/taupey metallic shade which I think really suits my green eyes. I love cream eyeshadows because they are so super easy to use and blend and, considering I am always late, they are a really quick fix when you're rushing around in the morning. The texture of this one was at first really bizarre as it was kind of gel like and had a more whipped consistency than other cream products I've used before but after a couple uses I've managed to press it into the pot a little bit more and it feels quite nice now. Plus I just found out by looking at it on the Boots website to make sure you guys could still pick it up that it has Aloe and Vitamin E in it so it's doing something nice for your eyes as well!

Because it's cold season here and literally everyone I know (including myself) seems to be coming down with something I keep topping myself up with my Burt's Bees lip balm with mango butter. When I get a cold my lips get ridiculously dry and tight feeling which isn't at all pleasant and this lip balm just really does the job at helping me feel like a normally lipped human being (plus it smells like Heaven).

Mascara is a really personal thing and (let's be honest) I only really bought this one because of the packaging but I actually really like the Revlon Lash Potion mascara. I read a couple of reviews before I bought it and everyone seemed to be saying get the waterproof one and so I did just that. I won't lie I don't think I'm a waterproof mascara type of girl, since it seems to take forever to take off, and I just can't be bothered with that. However I do like that it gives me the right amount of volume and length without weighing my lashes down (am I the only person who worries about this??) and it looks really natural rather than like I've caked myself in layers of mascara which I also like.

Last but certainly not least is my Clinique cream blush in 03 berry pop. I love the bubblegum pink colour of this blush especially when things are starting to get a little bit more summery but my skin is really pale because it gives my skin an amazing flush. Although it is cream it feels quite dry in the pot which I actually like because it doesn't make me worry I'm pasting my cheeks with colour! All I do is swirl a finger over the cute little daisy print stamped into the blush (so adorable) and then pop a couple dots of blush on each cheek and then blend them out. So nice and easy and not at all intimidating like some of the other cream blushes you see.

So there we are; my current daily makeup staples! If you've got any staples you think I should try of it you've tried any of these let me know what you think in the comments!

Clean Slate - Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes

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So...I'm back *awkward silence*...I realise I have been away for quite some time now and I'm sorry (bad blogger *slap on the wrist*) but I've had a really amazing but really busy summer and finding time to write my blog was hard and I hope you guys understand. Anyway I'm back at uni now and I'm back here too so I hope we can all see the benefit in the fact that I've got a whole summers worth of products to share with you all!

The first thing I just had to talk about were these Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes! Now if any of you read my A Little Bit Gel-ous? post then you know that I used to only use makeup wipes to remove my makeup, which isn't the best of things for your skin but is a really quick alternative after a long day when you'd rather just dive head first into bed. However the ones I used aren't readily available in the UK and though I tried a few other brands I could never find ones I loved as much so I just gave up on makeup wipes altogether (and I won't lie, as a result had a few days where I just went to bed without any attempt to remove my makeup).

However the other day I was in boots buying a new eyeliner when I found myself in the skincare section next to these Yes To wipes I'd never seen before. The packaging of them is just really cute and it says on the front that they have won an Allure Beauty Expert Award so I was like 'what the hell' and bought them to try and I am so glad I did!

First off I really like how they come with the closable plastic flap because I've never had that on a packet of face wipes before and I like how it keeps the wipes on the top moist (yes I hate that word too) rather than drying them out like the stick able ones sometimes do.

The wipes themselves are amazing! They are quite thick and sturdy feeling so you don't feel like they'll fall apart half way through using them which is great. Also they feel really soft on the skin more like a piece of cotton than some of the scratchy wipes I have tried and they are just a nice product to use. Plus it handled removing my makeup really well and left my face feeling really clean.

The only downside as far as I can see is that it doesn't completely remove my suborn waterproof eye makeup but then again not a hell of a lot does!

I would say these wipes are perfect as a quick fix for those occasional days where you don't want to go through that complete skin care regime or as a first step before using a cleanser etc. as they will remove the bulk of your makeup. I'm just so excited to find some I love! Let me know if you guys have tried these and if there's any wipes you think I should try too.

Scrubbing Up - Soap and Glory Flake Away

I haven't talked about body products on my blog for a while and so today I thought I'd talk about one of my favourites since in summer (i.e. when people are more likely to see parts of my body that are not my hands and face) I am much more inclined to crack out as many lotions and potions as possible to make myself look fabulous.

Oh also quick disclaimer: I feel like I'm seeming summer obsessed on my blog right now but if any of you come from England (particularly the north) and are experiencing the amazing heatwave right now then I think you can see where I'm coming from.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Scrub
I was thinking retro packaging, wood panelling...did it work I don't know?

I was away all of last week with some friends and we ended up in a Boots, already a dangerous situation for someone like me to be in, inevitably I ended up buying beauty products (all for you guys to have reviewed of course) and one of which was a repurchase of the Soap & Glory Flake Away body scrub. I first bought this ages ago but then it ran out and (what can I say I'm lazy) I just never got round to buying another one till last week but seriously this is my favourite body scrub of all time!

I've used other scrubs, notably the Body Shop sugar scrub (which is also really good) and some other Soap & Glory ones but for me this knocks them out of the park. This scrub contains sea salt and sugar and is a little bit 'chunkier', for lack of a better word, than the Body shop scrub so the actually scrubbing particles (being so technical here) seem to stick around longer before dissolving down. I like this because if I am going to use a scrub I want to feel like I'm actually scrubbing the dead skin away but at the same time I have quite sensitive skin so overly abrasive scrubs can be a bit painful.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Scrub
The texture is a bit more jelly like than some other scrubs I've tried

Also, as seems to be the way with all Soap & Glory products we have to talk about the smell. As I say I've tried other scrubs by the brand and have stood there smelling each type to see which one to pick and this one is always my favourite! The smell is sweet without smelling like candy and is the standard Soap & Glory scent that is in their other products such as Hand Food and The Scrub Of Your Life.

Overall I would say a great product which boasts ingredients such as sweet almond oil and shea butter, it leaves my skin feeling really soft and paired with a good body butter makes my skin look amazing after I've been using it. Also if the actual product itself isn't enough it's slogan that 'He'll never know you've been flaking it' might give you a little chuckle in your morning shower.

Have you tried this product?? Are there any body scrubs you would recommend??