Friday, 29 July 2011

Being Content’s Latest Facial Offer for August

Facial_Massage_1

I’ve raved about how much I’ve loved the facial treatments at Being Content before. I adore all of their gorgeously organic and natural products and their treatments are just as wonderful.

I was very excited when I saw this email arrive with a brilliant and bargainous facial offer for August! Their new Natural Lift Facial Massage sounds divine and is on offer all month. If you book a treatment for you and a friend during August it’s just £70 for both treatments instead of £55 each! Yay!

The experience sounds like 45 minutes of bliss. There is ayurvedic massage, acupressure, facial reflexology and lymphatic drainage all using products from Lotus Wei. I felt more relaxed just reading about it. I’m a firm believer in facial massage being a brilliant alternative to going under the knife and I’m certain this treatment would leave you feeling younger and ready to take on the world!

Being Content is in Marylebone and you can book your spot by calling 020 3075 1006 and quoting NLFM OFFER to ensure you get the special deal.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Superdrug Christmas Set





It's that time of year. We're getting all the Christmas previews already. I've cracked this one open as I was feeling a bit extra Aussie and the sound of the Eucalyptus tickled my fancy.

I think the Green Mint and Eucalyptus combination creates a very unisex feel. It's a bit more boyish than I would usually use but it's lovely and fresh for summer time weather.

As part of the Three For Two Christmas gift sets at Superdrug it would be a great stocking filler. There is a shower gel, a two in one shampoo and a shower puffy ball.

Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

PS, I received this free of charge for review purposes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Waste Not Want Not

aofm2

Waste. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all landfill.

What’s that? A hateful mob coming after me with flames and pitchforks wanting my blood for butchering sacred literature? Fair enough.

I do hate waste, though. I really do. I’m guessing everyone like me has failed cosmetic purchases they’ve made at some point at one time or another. What do you do with those wasted purchases? Please tell me you don’t just toss them out. That would really bug me.

Here are a few of my favourite things to ensure I get use out of things that didn’t suit me for one reason or another.

  • conditioner makes a brilliant shaving cream
  • face wash doesn’t suit your skin? Use it as a body wash.
  • shampoo is the only thing I’ll wash my makeup brushes with.
  • try mixing nail varnishes together to come up with new colours rather than buying new ones.
  • same goes for lip colours

If you still have failed cosmetic purchases that you can’t think of ways to get use out of it then there is an amazing organisation called Give and Makeup. They take any and all unwanted cosmetics then pass them on to Refuge and Womens Aid. These are charities that help women trying to get out of violent relationships. It’s a little known fact that some of the things these charities recommend women take with them is basic cosmetics. I think we can all agree that packing toothpaste and deodorant is probably the last thing on someone’s mind when they’re trying to pack them and their children up to escape. These are women that are starting their lives from scratch. They need to find homes, jobs, schools for their children, everything.

Definitely stop by the website and see if there is anything you can help them out with.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Friday, 22 July 2011

Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Divine




I'm loving this gloss. It's giving me the bright lip colour that I love but it's sheer and glossy so it has a more casual feel than my usual look.

It has a creamy texture for a gloss and a slightly milky tone to it. It's sticky enough to have great staying power but not so gloopy that your lips will stick together.

The packaging is nice and it's not something you'd be embarrassed to pull out of your handbag. It's slim, sleek and stylish. All in all, it gets the thumbs up.





Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

PS, this was provided to me for review free of charge.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Makeup Artist Training

aofm2

I’m going to make a really big effort to keep this post shorter rather than longer. It’s a subject I could pontificate about for hours!

I was recently invited to have a look around the AOFM studios and meet some of the people there. I didn’t really know much about the academy before I went there. The setup was very plush and is right in the heart of Soho. They have all sorts of courses ranging from just three days up to several weeks. We heard all about how you get a different tutor each day of your training so you get a feel for working with different people and all the opportunities you get for work once you graduate. That was what impressed me the most – the after care the academy offered as far as assisting opportunities and free workshops.

I’m not as convinced about the different tutor each day. I can see the point of it but I also think it’s important to have some continuity in your training as well as someone around that sees your progress and can tell when you’re doing better or any consistent areas you need to focus on for improvement.

Meanwhile, the bigger question for me about private training courses is the quality of artists making their way onto the scene and the availability of work for everyone regardless of how much money you had to spend on said training. I went to West Thames College for the large chunk of my training. Before I committed to the full year there I had done nearly 18 consistent months of part time courses at London College of Fashion. I tried a part time course to see if I liked it and got hooked. That’s when I knew this was the career for me. I couldn’t afford to give up working so I opted for part time training. The thing I really felt was important was that I come out with a recognised qualification that had been graded and assessed as if I had been able to pursue a degree.

West Thames gave me all of that. It wasn’t quite as glamorous as the private set ups but I feel confident that I haven’t simply purchased my training attendance certificate. I had projects and “exams” that I was graded on and had to pass in order to achieve my final qualification. I had the same tutor most days of my course with a few others thrown in for specific areas like air brushing, etc. It was substantially cheaper than a private course but I don’t feel at all like I got any less attention from my tutors or that the quality of training was any different. In fact, West Thames and LCF have an amazing reputation within the industry.

When it comes to training I’d recommend having a think about what you’re really after, what you can spend and the time you’ve got to spend on it. Some people don’t feel they can spend years on training – be it part time or full time. Other people don’t have the money to throw at private college. The thing for me was feeling confident that I had a talent and that I wasn’t just being told I was good because I’d spent the money on the course.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

PS, just because I enjoy bragging about it, I got all distinctions in my course! Yayyyyy!!!!!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Strivectin-SD Intensive Concentrate

Strivectin has a cult following for a very good reason. It’s one of those products that absolutely works. As long as you’ve been inclined to put it on three times a day you will absolutely see a substantial reduction in stretch marks, wrinkles and scarring. Another little known fact about Strivectin is that it’s had great results with hyper-pigmentation!

I was pretty excited when I heard that there was a new, concentrated version of the product coming out. I was given the opportunity to be sent a small tube for review purposes and I jumped at the chance. One of the initial draw backs to Strivectin has always been it’s price point. At around £90 for a tube you have to really WANT to treat those marks and wrinkles!

The very first thing to be excited about here is the fact that you only need to massage it into affected areas twice a day, not three like with the original formula. Second, they’ve managed to reformulate the active ingredients so they’re more potent and should encourage collagen production at an even faster rate.

I’m so pale that I don’t really worry too much about my stretch marks. Sure, I’ve got some. I’m human, after all but they’re not my main concern. I have a few wrinkles but, frankly, I’ve been pretty lucky on the ageing front thus far. What I really wanted to try it for was some scarring on my legs from a really bad reaction I get at times and to try even out the skin tone on my face. I have some scars from blemishes, this and that and I feel that’s really making me look older than I need to.

As far as the scarring goes, it’s been amazing! I’ve been using the product twice a day, most every day over the last few weeks. I’m a very slow healer (possibly because I’m so pale?) and the marks on my legs are fading away really nicely. It’s a little harder to tell on my face. I think it’s been doing a good job but for some reason I’m suffering from another breakout. I haven’t pinned down the cause yet but I’m cutting back on products with active ingredients one by one. The Strivectin does sting the skin on my face sometimes but it’s not that bad and I honestly think it’s because I’m going through a sensitive phase at the moment.

One thing I will say, the peppermint fragrance is still there. I know it was in the original formula because it was never intended as a product for the face. However, I’m surprised it’s still being included now that it’s a firm favourite for people wanting to diminish lines and wrinkles.

The other thing I should mention with this product is that it’s not suitable for surgery style scars that go bobbly and create raised skin. Essentially, what Strivectin does is thicken the skin so it will just make that type of scar even worse.

Would I recommend it? Yes and no. If you have hyper-pigmentation, scars or very noticeable stretch marks it’s great. If you’re really worried about visible lines and wrinkles, yes. If you’re starting to notice the beginning of the ageing process then I think there are far more appropriate products out there for you. One of the reasons I don’t go around recommending this willy nilly is the price point. At £115 for a 150ml tube I definitely class it as a “luxury” item. If that hasn’t put you off then pop into your nearest Space NK or order online here.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Monday, 18 July 2011

Inspiration




I find it really difficult to sit down and just do one thing at a time. It's a problem that is getting worse and worse. I fully blame the digital age. Not that I'm at all technically minded but it, obviously, permeates my life and has an effect on how I operate.

This has really changed the way I spend my spare time at home. Gone are the days where I could just sit and look at a magazine or quietly read a book. Now I need to have music playing, the tv on mute and several pages open on my laptop. Don't even get me started on the iPhone situation.

One thing that frequently puts me into a state of calm is flicking through my makeup books or looking at beautiful ad campaign images in magazines. It's almost like a meditation where I need to have everything a little more quiet and it absorbs my full attention. This could be viewed as an addiction to the work I do but I'm going to take an optimistic view and say it's because creating beautiful faces is my passion.

I'm really feeling the 90's again lately. Musically as well as makeup wise. The obvious choice for my references have been my Kevyn Aucoin books. They're all books I bought in Australia when they originally became available and I've moved them around with me over the years. I made the mistake of lending one to a friend for a work presentation years ago. It didn't come back in an acceptable condition. I won't be doing that again! These books are my treasures! All of my reference books are! I've sold some, lost some, permanently leant some out over the years. These are three of about eight reference books that will never leave my collection, though.

Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Avon True Colour Quad in Mocha Latte

avon mocha latte

I really should have posted about this a long time ago. As you can see, it’s a much loved quad. I’ve had it for ages and it’s ace. This is one of those colour combinations that you could use for any occasion. For £8.50 it’s a bargain as well!

The colours are showing up a lot warmer in this photo than they look to me in real life. As you can see I’ve managed to drop this and do some damage to the pale pink at the top and a piece of it has come out. My favourite thing is to just use the flat brown all over the lid with some eyeliner and mascara. I also use the darker brown with a wet liner brush to create some extra definition sometimes.

I guess the one I use the least is the metallic rose colour. That’s just a personal thing. I have been known to put it either through the crease or the inner corner if I want to zush things up a little.

The textures are so lovely and smooth and I don’t even need a primer to know that it’s going to last all day long. I really need to get some more of these quads in my life at some stage.

You can get yours from Avon online.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

NOTD–OPI and Barbara Daly for Tesco

notd

I have a new rust coloured top that I wanted to wear for some drinks in a friend’s garden over the weekend. I was looking for a nail colour that would go with it and clash in the right way at the same time. I found a bottle of OPI Suzie Loves Sydney. I really liked the metallic colour but it wasn’t quite right for my top. I decided a few drops of creamy purple would look perfect so my Tesco Purpleicious came out again. I mixed the two together and came up with a gorgeous colour.

I think the combination of nails and outfit went pretty well together.

ootd

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Karin Herzog Professional Cleanser

KH Professional Cleanse Unpackaged
I’ve been wanting to try Karin Herzog’s products for ages. I finally went ahead and made an order at the end of April. I saw a discount code and I’d run out of cleanser so thought it was the perfect time to take the plunge.
I decided to go for the Cleansing Cream. On the tube it’s described as a “gel” but it’s more of a balm, in my opinion. This is perfect as I prefer a balm or a oil when it comes to cleansing. Traditional gels or washes leave my skin broken out, congested and messy in general. A little bit of this goes a long way. That’s a good thing here as the tube is only 50ml and at £33 plus P&P it’s not the cheapest cleanser on the block. When did cleanser get so expensive? It seems that all the ones I like these days cost an arm and a leg!
The literature says that the product creates a “vacuum” effect and “sucks out” all the nasties from your pores. After a few weeks of using it I’m not sure if I’ve noticed anything like that happening. What I will say that it is lovely to use and my skin is a lot calmer than when I was using a more traditional cleanser. It’s one of those cleansers that you need to use with dry hands and face or it’s just going to skate across the surface of your skin and not actually do anything. It also melts through any makeup you’re wearing if you leave it for a few minutes before washing it off. It’s not massively effective on waterproof mascara. In saying that, I’ve been using a particularly budge proof one that is tricky to get off with any remover I’ve been trying.
The directions suggest using damp cotton pads to take the cleanser off but I like to use a hot cloth. It means you get a gentle exfoliation with it and involves less waste and landfill from using disposables. This isn’t a cleanser you can just wash off with your hands. No matter how many splashes you give it, you’ll have a residual that will feel icky and waxy.
The customer service involved with my order left quite a lot to be desired. The website did say they were experiencing delays and orders could take up to two weeks to be dispatched. However, when five weeks had passed I finally got around to sending them an email to see where my order was. I hadn’t heard a word since I got my order confirmation! A week later I got a two line email saying my order had been processed and would be dispatched shortly with a small line apologising for the delay at the end. A week later my product showed up. I did think that could have been handled slightly better and maybe a deluxe sample or two could have been thrown in for my patience.
The other thing I didn’t love about my order was the packaging. I hate over packaging! This is a squishy tube of product that would have been very difficult to break. First of all, it was in this GIANT box!KH Pro Cleanse box It did come with a large booklet about the product range but surely there is a way to send that with an appropriately padded envelope or some such? Then it was also in that plastic box around the tube. That just felt unnecessary.
Overall, I do really like this cleanser. I’d possibly get it again and I’m very keen to try more of the product range. They have some bits and pieces that sound very exciting. I think it’s possible to get a cleanser that does a similar job for cheaper, though and you’d probably have a much smoother customer service experience as well.
If you’d like to try this cleanser, you can order one from The Karin Herzog website here.
Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask

Catastrophe Cosmetic Mask

When I went in to Lush last week I also took five empty black pots with me. They have this great idea in Lush that when you take five empty pots in, you get a free face mask! Yay! My skin has been coming up with some new red patches lately and it’s been unhappy with a breakout that is partly stress and partly left over from me not being well a couple weeks ago. I asked the sales assistant for some advice and she recommended the Catastrophe Cosmetic mask. It smelt and sounded perfect.

It’s a mixture of fresh blueberries, chamomile, Irish moss and almond oil. It also has some calamine in it to give the skin a nice cleanse. When I put it on the consistency was like a light mousse and because it had been in the fridge it was really soothing. I kept it on for about ten minutes. It dries in a similar way to a mud mask but without tightening on the skin. I gently removed it with a warm wash cloth and massaged in some Gorgeous moisturiser that the sales assistant had given me in a sample tub.

All in all my skin felt replenished and relaxed. More so than it has in quite a while. I think I’ll give it another go with the mask in a couple of days. At £5.50 it’s a bargain. You get 75g of product but it is one that’s packed with fresh ingredients and needs to be kept in the fridge. It would be a great one to share with a friend so you use it all up.

You can either go into any Lush store or order one online here.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Friday, 8 July 2011

Lush Sugar Babe

Sugar Babe Scrub

This is my favourite body scrub of the moment. It’s gentle enough for my ridiculously fragile skin but gets the job done at the same time. Plus, I love having a guilt free bath time and Lush ticks all the boxes as far as planet friendly, ethical products go. Best of all, it’s nice and cheap at just £2.65 each.

I find I get around three or four uses out of each one. The trick to remember is that it’s not going to hold it’s shape and will need to be put in a tub or some such after the first go. It starts to “melt” once it’s been in contact with water. This isn’t to say that it won’t be as effective, it just loses it’s shape. Whenever I repurchase a Sugar Babe the sales assistant always asks me if I’d like a tub for it. In fact, the friendly, helpful staff at Lush are yet another reason why I love it there so much. Sometimes I say yes, sometimes I know I’ve got a dish at home that I can use.

So what do I love so much about the Sugar Babe? The sugar granules slough off the dead skin beautifully and the infusion of coconut oil keeps the condition in my skin without being too harsh. Then the ylang flowers and mimosa blossom leave behind a lovely fragrance that keeps me feeling happy and uplifted for the rest of the day. It makes scrubbing a generally happy experience and my skin isn’t left with any gaping holes or icky reactions.

You can get yours here or you can pop into your nearest Lush store.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Thursday, 7 July 2011

NOTD–NailEase Metallic Silver

nailease

I was given these nail stickers some time ago but hadn’t gotten around to giving them a try. I finally took the plunge last week. Each pack includes 20 stickers and a nail file/buffer. I had thought that the 20 stickers would mean I’d get two sets of nails out of them but it turns out that once you open the sealed packet you need to use all twenty stickers up within 24 hours. Drats.

putting on nail ease

Putting the stickers on was a lot easier than I thought. You peel the sticker off the backing and hold it by the tab. Then you fit the curved end to the base of the nail, smooth the sticker over and fold the edge down over the tip of your nail. If you don’t get the placement quite right it’s really easy to lift it off and redo it. Once you’ve got it done just give the tip a file to neaten it up and you’re done.

I did find I had some issues getting a good fit with the stickers for my nails. I seem to fall in between most of their sizes. It was easy enough to sort it out, though. The time it takes to put the stickers on is longer than it is to whip some nail varnish on. You don’t have any drying time so it definitely turns out to be faster. Once the stickers are all on you can go about your daily business as usual.

finished nail ease

The finished result is really nice and looks like a professional manicure. No streaks here! I did only manage to keep mine on for one day, though as they started to peel at the tips and where I’d had to custom fit a few down the sides. At £5.99 a packet it’s an expensive one day manicure but it’s perfect for an emergency situation.

When I took them off they peel off in one piece and there isn’t any damage to the nails at all. That was another definite plus for NailEase. You can get yours here.

Kisses,

Rebecca

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sanex Zero Bath Foam




I bought this massive bottle of bath foam the other day. I've never bought a Sanex product before but it was a bargain at about £2.50 in the supermarket and I was grabbed by the fact that it was a planet friendly product. I love it when mainstream products are kind to the earth.

This bubble bath is free from any petrochemicals, colourants and a bunch of other nasties. One of the first ingredients listed is SLS, but it's a very brief list without anything too difficult to pronounce. That's always a good sign.

The foam itself is lovely and thick and produces really nice bubbles. It has a fresh, clean fragrance that I really like. Best of all, it's budget friendly and easy to get your hands on at any local grocery store.

Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 4 July 2011

Como Shambhala Invigorate Lotion

I was sent a bottle of this lotion in my GlossyBox and I also had another deluxe sample bottle from the front of a magazine ages ago that I hadn’t gotten around to trying. I figured I’d use both bottles and give it a really good go.

The smell of this is amazing! I absolutely love it! It’s a blend of Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lavender and Peppermint. It’s a truly luxe fragrance that is just divine. It’s great for making you feel like you can take on each day in the mornings and it puts me in the mood for a good sleep in the evenings.

The consistency is really light and it soaks in really quickly. Unfortunately for my stubbornly dry skin it wasn’t quite enough to keep me from feeling slightly tight and itchy. I do have extremely dry skin, though so I think most anyone would be safe to try it.

It’s perfect for all this lovely, warm weather we’re having and would be a delicious treat to take on a summer vacation. You can get yours from Cult Beauty for £20 for a 300ml bottle.

Kisses,

Rebecca xxx

Friday, 1 July 2011

NOTD - Domino Style Dots




I've had loads of compliments on my dotted nails this week so I thought I'd share what I did. It's a little heavy on the customisation but you could easily achieve the same look with any pair of nail varnishes.

To start I painted on a layer of Barry M Navy varnish and went over it with a layer of Eyeko Indigo Nails. I wanted a lovely navy colour that had a lot of depth and looked almost like liquid nails.

For the gold dots I mixed some Barry M pigment in Gold with a clear nail varnish. I then dipped the end of a makeup brush handle into it, dabbed the excess off and placed three diagonal dots on each nail. I wanted them to look similar to domino dots.

This was a quick photo before I tidied them up while they were still quite wet.



Kisses,
Rebecca xxx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone