Tuesday, 17 December 2013

BareMinerals Original Mineral Veil VS Mineral Veil SPF 25

Which bareMinerals Mineral veil is best? The Original Mineral veil or the SPF25 one? Read more to find out.

bareMinerals Mineral veils are lightweight mineral finishing powders to lock in your makeup. They differentiate from most loose powders because they contain fewer, simpler and more natural ingredients like for example corn starch.
Original Mineral Veil ingredients: Zea Mays (Corn Starch), Corn Starch Modified, Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Stearate. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

bareMinerals Minerals veils do a good job at absorbing oils and softening your completion like most loose powders can do but I do not find them essential to use on top of a powder foundation, which is in fact already absorbent. 

My favourite Mineral Veil is the Original one for the translucent and almost airbrushed finish that it imparts. Mineral Veil SPF 25  is not as light as the original one and can look a bit whitish and cakey because of the SPF ingredient Titanium Dioxide.
Mineral Veil SPF 25 ingredients: Zea Mays(Corn) Starch, Corn Starch Modified, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Stearate, Silica, Magnesium Stearate. (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

For a totally invisible, longlasting and truly airbrushed finish I prefer using Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder (review here).

Friday, 15 November 2013

BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF15 review, photos, swatches

After getting into mineral makeup a few months ago with Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base and enjoying using it, I could not help trying the first and most famous mineral makeup of them all bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF15 and here are my thoughts.

One of the reason why I had not tried bareMinerals Original Foundation before is that it is a loose powder which I thought it would have been messy to use and store, but this has not been the case with the 'click, lock, go' system of the present packaging which allows to better control the amount of powder dispensed and to prevent spillage.

bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF15  click, lock, go

I love the simple formulation and unique coverage of this foundation, even though I found it a little bit trickier to apply and blend than Jane Iredale's Pure Pressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF20 (review here). I also love that it is more affordable than Jane Iredale's foundations.
The best way for me to apply it is to use about 'half a hole of powder (tapped twice into the lid)' per side of my face for a light to medium coverage and take time to buff and blend it properly with the right brush, in order to achieve a natural, luminous coverage, with a 'creamy' finish rather than a powdery one. If I want more coverage I just apply a second layer of powder.  
In my opinion the best bareMinerals brushes for applying their loose powder foundations are the Full Flawless Brush (made of not so soft but bearable goat hairs) and/or the retractable Buff & Go Brush (made of very soft synthetic bristles).
I personally find that the Full Flawless Brush gives a fuller and more matte coverage but it also feels a bit scratchy. Edit 16/12/13: after washing the brush a few times it has become softer.   
The Buff & Go Brush gives a natural and luminous finish and it feels soft on my skin.
When I use the Full Flawless Brush I buff the foundation onto my skin in SLOW swirling, circular motion. If I buff it in fast motion I end up with irritated skin. When I use the Buff & Go brush instead I apply the foundation in gentle semi-circular strokes. 

bareMinerals Full Flawless and Buff and Go brushes

Shade wise I am currently using Fairly Light a neutral light shade, which is a tad paler than my skin tone but good for winter.

bareMinerals Original Foundation in Fairly Light

bareMinerals Original Foundation in Fairly Light swatch

The shade 'Light' (a warm light shade) would be a great match for summer.
Before applying this foundation I need to prep my skin with a touch of moisturizer and one pump of bareMinerals Prime Time primer. At present I do not feel the need to set the foundation with any extra finish powder, because the Original Foundation is mattifying enough for me.
So far I have not had any issue with the 'infamous' bismuth oxychloride ingredient in bareMinerals Original Foundation, even though I have noticed that if I sweat my skin gets a little bit itchy. If you know that you are sensitive to this ingredient but you still fancy trying bareMinerals, you can opt for their Matte Foundation, which does not contain it or try Jane Iredale's.

wearing bareMinerals Original foundation in Fairly Light

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Beauty rules: DOs and DON'Ts

How would you like your skin to look and feel? Healthy, clear, radiant, young looking? Then try to stick to a few simple rules and you will soon see the difference.


1) Do clean your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser.

REWARD: your skin will be healthier.

2) Do apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 every day in the form of a moisturizer or makeup or both. 

REWARD: your skin will keep young for longer.

3) Do exfoliate your skin every now and then with either a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) product like Salicylic Acid at 1% or 2% to exfoliate inside the pores or a AHA (Alfa Hydroxy Acid) product like Glycolic Acid  or a scrub to exfoliate the skin surface.

REWARD: your pores will be clear and your skin will feel smoother and look younger. You should experience less breakouts as well.

P.S. My favourite BHA product is Paula Choice Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Gel Exfoliant. My favourite scrub is Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with Orange Extract.

4) Do opt for products containing a good array of antioxidants (see related post here).
REWARD: Your skin will behave better, look healthier and younger.

P.S. My favourite antioxidant serum is Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement (review here)


1) Do not go to bed with your makeup on (especially eye makeup)
OR you may wake up with an irritation and breakouts.

2) Do not go in the sun without wearing a sun screen 
OR your skin will age more quickly and you will put it at risk of developing skin cancer.

3) Do not use too many products at a time: the simplest your skincare routine the better 
OR your skin may become over-reactive and irritated.
For example if your skin is combination you may need to use only one product like a serum or a light moisturizer or a primer under your foundation (if you wear any) or just use a tinted moisturizer. 

4) Do not use harsh products, e.g products containing irritating ingredients like alcohol (list of irritants here)
OR your skin will become irritated and inflamed.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

My current skincare favourites: DHC deep cleansing oil, bareMinerals cleanser, moisturizer, primer, La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I.

I am always curious about other women's skincare routines to the point that I may dare peep in your bathroom cabinet, if you give me the chance, or you can have a peep at my beauty cabinet first and find out about my current favourite products.

DHC cleansing oil, bareMinerals purifying cleanser, moisturizer, oil control primer & Effaclar A.I.

In the evening I love the pampering feeling of a cleansing oil to remove my makeup and my current favourite product is DHC deep cleansing oil because it includes olive oil, does a good job at removing makeup and rinses well with water.
In order to make it sure that I do not leave any oil residue on my clog-prone skin I wash my face a second time using a gel type cleanser like bareMinerals Purifying Facial Cleanser. I love how this product cleans my skin thoroughly without stripping it thanks to its soothing ingredients and makes my mind feel relaxed thanks to its mild lavender scent. 
I also use bareMinerals Purifying Facial Cleanser on its own in the morning to help refresh my skin and wake me up.

In the morning I moisturize my skin with a light but effective moisturizer like bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer for Combination Skin, which is rich in antioxidants and lightly smells of soothing lavender too. This moisturizer is easily absorbed into the skin and a small amount (think of a petit pois size) goes a long way. After that I prep my skin with an oil control primer like bareMinerals Prime Time Oil Control to create an ideal canvas for my powder foundation (Jane Iredale foundation- review here). Even in this case a little goes a long way and I need to use only one pump, which I apply in dots over my forehead, cheeks, chin and nose and then I spread evenly all over my face. This primer dries quickly and allows my powder foundation to go on smoothly and last longer. 

The only product I may use at night is  La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I., a targeted breakout corrector with salicylic acid, which I apply locally on imperfections. 

I have been using the above mentioned products for over a month now and my skin is looking clearer, more hydrated and healthier. 

If you are concerned about lavender oil as a potential irritant have a look at the article 'Lavender oil - skin savior or skin irritant?' by Robert Tisserand (here)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

BareMinerals The Secret's Out Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

As you may have noticed in the past three months I have been experimenting with some lovely mineral makeup products. After using up my Jane Iredale's blush in Cotton Candy (post here) in less than two months (it is only 2.8 gr), I decided to try a blush from the bareMinerals Ready range and I picked up The Secret's Out.
Here is my review.

BareMinerals The Secret's Out Blush

The Secret's Out is described as a soft violet. It is a rosy pink with subtle plum undertones, perfect for brightening up my warm pale completion in a natural way (think of lightly blushing after having been revealed a secret) and perfect for Autumn/Winter.

BareMinerals The Secret's Out Blush

The texture is slightly powdery but very finely-milled and velvety to the touch. It is also easy to blend and build up to the desired intensity with a soft brush. The small brush included is a tad too soft and if on the one hand it allows for a foolproof application, on the other hand it takes quite a few strokes to build up the colour. In fact I prefer using my Bobbi Brown Blush brush to apply this cheek powder. On me this blush lasted for about 8 hours as claimed by bareMinerals. Overall I am quite pleased with this blush and I would recommend it.

BareMinerals The Secret's Out Blush

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Mood boosting perfume: Kenzo Flower In The Air

A couple of weeks ago I was so happy because I was in the company of my sister who had come to stay with me from abroad for a few days. My sister and I were browsing in a shop when our attention was caught by a clear glass bottle of perfume with a bright red poppy on the lid and as soon as we discovered its scent we both fell in love with it...it was Kenzo Flower In The Air Eau De Parfume.

Kenzo Flower In The Air Eau De Parfume.

To me Kenzo Flower In The Air Eau De Parfume smells floral (Rose Essence, Rose Oxide, Rose Infusion) and musky (Cedarwood, Musks), fresh (Bergamot) and sensual (Pink Pepper), happy and nostalgic like a glorious end of summer day, modern and decadent at the same time. To me it is the perfect pick me up for Autumn especially because it reminds me of that precious though fleeting moment, one glorious end of summer day, when I was with my sister... 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Bare Minerals Precision Brush vs Jane Iredale The Handi

Both the Jane Iredale The Handi (full review here) and the Bare Minerals Precision Brush are advertised as must-have brushes for applying compact powder foundation. What are the similarities and the differences between the two brushes and which one is best? Here are my thoughts. 

Bare Minerals Precision Brush vs Jane Iredale Handi Brush

The heads of both brushes are similar in size, flat shaped and densely packed with soft bristles to allow full and precise coverage in few simple strokes, not only all over the face but also in tricky areas like under the eyes and around the nose.
The Handi Brush's bristles are cut across straight whereas the precision brush's ones are slightly slanted but this difference does not really matter.
The main difference between the two brushes is that Jane Iredale The Handi's bristles are made of goat hair and tend to splay after washing, whereas Bare Minerals precision brush's bristles are synthetic and never lose their shape thus offering a perfect application every time.

Bare Minerals Precision Brush vs Jane Iredale The Handi

Both brushes' bristles are very soft and comfortable on the skin.
As mentioned above both brushes' bristles are densely packed and tend to pick up and retain a lot of powder, so that you need to be light handed when swirling this type of brush on your compact powder in order to avoid wasting too much product. 
Even though the performance of the two brushes is very similar I find the Bare Minerals Precision Brush to be more reliable and straightforward to use.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Review: Jane Iredale Handi Brush

Jane Iredale Handi Brush, with its compact size, is useful to apply all of Jane Iredale's powders but it is not a must have in my opinion, since many other good quality natural or synthetic brushes can do the same job as well.

Jane Iredale Handi Brush

When I used this brush for the first time, before washing it, it felt quite compact and firm, though soft and I ended up picking up too much product from the pan and depositing a thick layer on my skin because of its cut straight across shape. After I washed it, it splayed a little bit and became softer, thus applying powder more sparingly but also less precisely to small areas (under my eyes and around my nose).

To tell the truth I find that my Bobbi Brown bronzer brush, which is bigger and slightly domed, or even my Bobbi Brown Blush Brush, which is flatter, apply Jane Iredale's PurePressed Minerale Base more easily and evenly all over my face. To reach the small areas of my face I just use a smaller brush like Nars Large Dome Eye Brush (under my eyes, around my nose and on critical spots) and any blush brush for blush.  

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Summer minimalistic makeup look

This summer I am into minimalistic makeup for three reasons: warm weather, lack of time and a bit of laziness...and here is my latest quick look.

Summer minimalistic makeup look

I first prepped my skin with Jane Iredale Dream Tint SPF 15 in Medium Light, which is very very sheer and lightweight and works better as a primer rather than a tinted moisturizer on its own. 

I followed with a dusting of Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Base Foundation in Radiant and Amber (review here)

Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Base Foundation in Radiant and Amber

Then I applied Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush in Cotton Candy, a slightly shimmery sheer pink to my cheeks, for a glow from within effect

Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush in Cotton Candy

and I sprayed my face with Avene Thermal Water Spray in order to fix my base and make it look more dewy.

Then I swiped my eyelashes with Rituals Volume Mascara in black, which I got as a sample in a magazine and I am enjoying using because it adds volume to my eyelashes without clumping, it is smudge proof but comes off easily with a standard cleanser at the end of the day.

I finished my look with Chanel Rouge Coco in 09 Organdi Rose, a warm rosy shade which is one of my favourite lip colours.

Chanel Rouge Coco in 09 Organdi Rose

Review and swatches: Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20

This summer I have been rediscovering powder foundation: first with Laura Geller Balance N Brighten and now with Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Powder SPF 20, which I find superior in terms of shade range and comfort of wear.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20

Even though I liked Laura Geller Balance N Brighten (review here) I found that the shade Fair was too dark and Porcelain too pale and cool toned. Moreover when I wear Balance N Brighten as a foundation my skin feels a bit dry and tight, even though I do not have any problem wearing it as a finishing powder on top of a tinted moisturizer. For this reason I kept looking around for a better shade and more comfortable wear and I picked up Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Powder SPF 20 in Radiant.

 Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation SPF 20 in Radiant (a neutral fair shade) is a very good match for my warm fair skin tone and it is very kind to my skin, also around my super sensitive eye area (see my post about Blepharitis) thanks to its few gentle ingredients (see list below).  It is very easy to apply and build up to the desired coverage with any brush and it looks best applied over a primer like Laura Geller's Spackle Under Make-Up Primer (review here), otherwise it may enhance pores and fine lines like any powder can do. On me it wears well for at least six hours before I need touching up but only if I am bothered about looking particularly polished. I like the fact that it provides reliable though gentle sun protection through pure Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. 

Titanium Dioxide 14%, Zinc Oxide 3%. Ingredients: Mica, Boron Nitride, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Plankton Extract, Algae Extract, Pinus Strobus (Pine) Bark Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxide Greens

In the picture below you can see 5 shades suitable for fair skin tones: Bisque, a very fair yellow based shade; Radiant, a fair neutral shade; Satin, a fair to medium neutral (though more pinkish than Radiant) shade; Warm Silk, a fair warm shade; Amber, a fair/medium peachy shade. 
My favourite shades are Radiant, the perfect neutral, but not ashy, base for every fair skin tone and Amber, a warm but not too yellow shade for summer.  

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SWATCHES

Monday, 29 July 2013

Review: Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer

As I was saying in my previous post about Nars Pro-Prime (here), I have recently been experimenting with primers to create the perfect base layer for powder foundation and I am really impressed with the performance of Laura Geller SPACKLE Under Make-Up Primer and here is the reason why.

 Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer

When I apply Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer on my bare skin (no need for extra moisture), my skin looks instantly smoother and more luminous.
Most important I find that my powder foundation glides on my face beautifully, instead of sinking into pores and fine lines, does not change colour at all and stays fresh for at least six hours before I need touching it up.
Even though this primer, like most primers, is silicone based and it is slightly thicker than e.g. Nars Pro-Prime or Jane Iredale Smooth Affair, it does not feel heavy or tacky. It is also quite affordable compared to Nars or Jane Iredale's primers.

 Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer

My only criticism is that the European  formula is a watered down version of the American one, that is to say that even though the ingredients are the same they do not appear in the same order and they are not included in the same amount. For example a couple of nice antioxidants like Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract and Centella Asiatica, which appear quite high up in the US ingredients list,  are found at the very bottom of the EU ingredients list. See lists of ingredients below. Why?

 Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer INGREDIENTS

Review: Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protect primer SPF30

I am not usually a primer person but I have recently been experimenting with primers in order to create the ideal base for powder foundation, which otherwise tends to set into pores and fine lines if worn on top of a standard moisturizer. One of the primer I have been enjoying using is Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protect Primer SPF30 and here are my thoughts.

Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protect Primer SPF30

One of the reasons why I chose this primer is that it contains SPF but when I went to check Paula Choice's review (here) I found out that its active ingredients do not seem to provide sufficient protection against UVA because she says that 'they do not include UVA sunscreens like avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb'.
In fact  Nars Pro-Prime sunscreen ingredients are:  ethylexyl methoxycinnamate also known as octinoxate which protects against UVB, Benzophenone-3 also known as Oxybenzone which protects against both UVB and short UVA, phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid also known as ensulizole (against UVB), octocrylene (against UVB and short UVA). That is to say that this prime provides some protection against both UVB and UVA, at least the short wave UVA. 

Nars Pro-Prime List of IngredientsNars Pro-Prime Multi Protect primer SPF30

I love how this creamy primer feels lightweight on my skin and effectively blurs pores and fine lines and helps any foundation go on smoothly and last longer. I find that it works best under liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer whereas it is a tad too light in texture, but better than nothing, as a base for powder foundation. In fact I think that a primer like Laura Geller Spackle (review here), which is slightly more silicony, may work better under powders.
I also love how Nars Pro-Prime makes my skin feel hydrated so that I can skip moisturizer. Even though it makes my makeup last longer I cannot say that it controls oils as such and in fact I still need to blot my nose after a few hours at least in this hot summer weather but I do not mind. Moreover I have not experienced any pore clogging or breakouts. My only criticism is that it is quite expensive at £25 for 30 ml. Overall it is a nice primer which I can used in place of moisturizer when I fancy a more polished look. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

No-makeup makeup look with Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Another way of creating an easy makeup look in summer is to wear a tinted moisturizer and few key products like blush, mascara and lipstick or whatever your favourite cosmetic pieces are.
My favourite Tinted Moisturizer is usually Bobbi Brown Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 but I was recently given a sample of Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer by a nice beauty advisor in SpaceNK and here is a no-makeup makeup look I created with it.

Products used:

Nars Pro Prime Primer SPF 30 Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in St Moritz Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder Laura Geller Baked Blush in Bora Bora Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipstick 2-in-1 Lip Color in Caribbean Kiss (bronzy side) Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara in BlackNars Pro Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in St Moritz
Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Laura Geller Baked Blush in Bora Bora
Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipstick 2-in-1 Lip Color in Caribbean Kiss (bronzy side)
Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara in Black

Natural summer makeup look with Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

In order to increase the sun protection and the longevity of my makeup I first applied Nars Pro Prime Multi-Protect Primer with SPF 30 (review here) followed by Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in St Moritz, a medium shade which is a bit darker than my fair skin tone but still wearable. Even though this tinted moisturizer does not offer the same coverage and it is not as long-lasting as my favourite Bobbi Brown Oil Free Tinted moisturizer (review here), I love how radiant it makes my skin look. 
Then I set my base with Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder (review here), an exceptionally lightweight, luminous and oil controlling setting powder which I am running out of but which seems to have disappeared from the market (except for the pressed version), does anybody knows what is going on? EDIT 31st July: it is now back on Nars website!
To lift my completion I swiped my cheeks with Laura Geller Baked Blush in Bora Bora, a perlescent peach-pink that works rather like an illuminating powder (think of Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Antigua) than a proper blush because it is only lightly pigmented (Nars Orgasm is more pigmented and leaves a more visible pop of colour).
To complete my look I coloured my lips with the bronzy side of Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipstick in Caribbean Kiss and I accentuated my eyelashes with Max Factor Mascara. 


Friday, 5 July 2013

Summer makeup look in 5 minutes: primer with SPF, powder foundation and a pop of colour

As a busy mum of three I am always looking for ways and products to speed up my makeup routine and the latest solution I have come up with is applying a primer with SPF and a powder foundation to create a lightweight but long-wear base, perfect for summer, followed by a pop of blush, a swipe of eye enhancing mascara and a touch of brightening lipstick...all in 5 minutes! 

Here are the products I have used to create my quick summer look:

Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protective Primer SPF 30, which I chose in place of a standard moisturizer with SPF because it prevents the powder foundation from sinking into pores better than a moisturizer does. (Review here)
Laura Geller Balance N Brighten powder foundation in Fair, which I chose for its buildable coverage and luminosity (review here)
Laura Geller Blush N Brighten Blush in Roseberry, which I chose for its beautiful rosy shade (review here)
Laura Geller Double-Dipped Lipstick in Carribean Kiss (pink side), which I chose for its brightening colour
Benefit They Are Real Mascara, which I chose for its smudge proof quality (review here)

Nars Primer SPF 30, Laura Geller Balance N Brighten in Fair, Blush in Roseberry, Lipstick in Carribean Kiss, Benefit Mascara

Here is a picture of my summer look:

Summer makeup look in 5 minutes: primer with SPF and powder foundation

What do you wear in summer?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Cleansing routine with Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk and Mild Clarifying lotion

Cleansing routine may sound a bit boring and that is why every now and then I like to change it! Last month I started using a heavy duty sunscreen and I was looking for a cleanser able to remove it properly but gently at the end of the day and I purchase Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk. In order to tone and exfoliate my skin I also bought an old favourite toner of mine Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion.

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk
Clinique Mild Clarifying lotion

Here are my views on these two products:

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk is a gentle fragrance free milky cleanser rich in Shea Butter and other skin beneficial ingredients like Vitamin E, Chamomile,  Soy Sterol, Jojoba, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate and Linoleic Acid.
The instructions on the bottle suggest massaging it over dry face with fingertips and then rinsing or tissuing off, but I find that it removes makeup better if sweeped over with a cotton pad and then rinsed. Even though it does an excellent job at removing sunscreen and longwear makeup it tends to leave a bit of residue (it is not makeup but the milk itself) so that I feel the need to rinse it with a tiny amount of gel cleanser (like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel - review here) and water especially because my skin is combination to oily.
If your skin is dry you may not feel the need to rinse at all. Even though it is very gentle unfortunately I cannot use it on my eyes because it stings.

I usually love following any cleanser with toner and one of my favourite ones is:

Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

This is the only Clinique toner which I like because it does not contain alcohol and it is very gentle indeed!
Another reason why I love this toner is because it contains 0.5% Salicylic Acid at an effective PH of 2.9 to exfoliate inside the pores. It also includes other skin identical ingredients like Millet Plant Protein, Aloe, Arginine and Soy Sterol. Inspite of its ever so slightly gel like, though still liquid, consistency it does not feel tacky on the skin, it absorbs easily and leaves skin clear and comfortable.  

Products available from www.clinique.co.uk   

Ingredients Lists 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Laura Geller Blush - N - Brighten in Roseberry review and pictures

Laura Geller's Blush - N - Brighten blushes are so tempting with their baked formula and marbled pattern. Here are my impressions on Roseberry.

Laura Geller Blush - N - Brighten in Roseberry

Shade Roseberry is a melange of satin light berry and shimmery golden rose which translates into a natural luminous (not sparkly) rosy flush on my cheeks and which works well with both cool and warm makeup looks.
The texture is dry but smooth. I find it easy to apply without overdoing it, even though it is quite pigmented and buildable. On my cheeks it last for about 8 hours.
Overall I am quite impressed with the shade, finish and performance of this blush. 

Laura Geller Blush - N - Brighten in Roseberry

For the ingredients list check out Laura Geller website www.laurageller.com
Laura Geller is sold in the UK by QVC or Umera Cosmetics

Monday, 17 June 2013


Homemade Volcanic Bath Fizzers


Volcanic bath fizzers

Coconut Cleansing Milk
Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover 

Camomile Toner


Lip Balm

Laura Geller Balance - N - Brighten in Fair review and pictures

I have never been a great fan of powder foundation, which I tend to find a bit cakey, but let us see if Laura Geller Balance - N- Brighten has changed my mind...

Laura Geller Balance - N - Brighten in fair and Blush - N - Brighten in roseberry

I had wanted to try Laura Geller baked products for a while both because of the raves about them and because of their beautiful marbled patterns, so that I ended up getting a couple of products: Balance - N - Brighten powder foundation in Fair and  Blush - N - Brighten blush in Roseberry (review here).

Laura Geller Balance - N - Brighten in Fair

The Balance - N - Brighten I bought  from QVC UK includes a retractable brush made of synthetic bristles, which is very useful to carry in your bag for touch-ups or to apply powder in small areas and for putting on blusher, but which is a bit too small to cover your whole face quickly and effectively.

Shade Fair consists of a marbled pattern of beige, yellow and tan which once applied to my face results in a translucent beige, which looks ever so slightly darker than my skin tone. The powder has a smooth but dry texture that applies sheer but builds well to cover critical areas, even though it takes a few layers to achieve such effect and the more I build it up the more made-up and less natural I look. Even though it feels matte and a bit dry, it leaves a soft glow on skin.
If I apply it without primer it tends to pool into my pores and enhance my few wrinkles just like any powder foundation can do, but if I apply it with a primer it seems to glide over my skin rather then sink into my pores and it looks more natural.
After using it for a week I have also experienced few extra breakouts. 

Overall I think that this is a good powder foundation, even though it does not wow me or make me change my mind on powder foundations and I still prefer using a tinted moisturizer or a liquid foundation for a more flattering and natural look, at least on my ageing skin.  In my opinion this powder may work well on younger combination to oily skin, not prone to breakouts.

For the ingredients list check out Laura Geller website www.laurageller.com
Laura Geller is sold in the UK by QVC or Umera Cosmetics.
Have you ever tried this product? What do you think?

Make your own Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover

What about making your own gentle, effective and economic eye makeup remover? Follow this recipe...

Homemade Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover Ingredients

150 ml Deionised Water (or tab water) to make 70 ml camomile tea
1 Camomile tea bag
25 g Rice Bran Oil or Sweet Almond Oil 
5 g or 1 tsp gentle and tear free baby shampoo
5 g or 1 tsp Glycerin
0.5 g Phenonip preservative (optional) 
small bottle

After shaking your home made Two Phase Eye Makeup RemoverBefore shaking your home made Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover

How to make it:
First of all wash the bottle that you are going to use as your container with some hot soapy water, boil it for a few minutes so that it will be clean and disinfected and let it cool down .  
Boil 150 ml deionised or tab water and infuse one Camomile tea bag in it for a few minutes.
Once your Camomile tea has cooled down pour 70 ml (or 65 g) of it in your bottle, put it on an electronic scale (if you have got one) and add 25 g Rice Bran Oil (£1.50 from Saynsbury) or another oil like Sweet Almond Oil which should not sting your eyes (I also tried Jojoba Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil but I found that they stung my eyes).
Then add 5 g of a gentle, fragrance and tear-free baby Shampoo such as Nature Babycare ECO Shampoo By Naty (£2.50 from Waitrose)  and 5 g of Glycerin. 
Ideally you may want to add a preservative like Phenonip (0.5 g) that you can buy on line in the UK from e.g.  The Soap Kitchen but if you do not have it, make it sure to store your makeup remover in the fridge for  max a week. 
How to use:
Shake bottle well, pour liquid on a cotton pad/ball and gently swipe on your eyes to remove all your eye makeup in a whim. Rinse with water.

Store in the fridge for a week if preservative free or for a bit longer if you have added preservative

Enjoy and let me know if you make it!

Recipe adapted from 'Lo struccante piu' efficace e naturale al mondo?'  by carlita dolce

Friday, 14 June 2013

How to make your own Camomile toner

The best complement to cleansing milk is toner and here you are a super easy recipe to make your own Camomile toner to use in combination with your homemade Coconut cleansing milk (see previous post here)!

150 ml Deionised water (or tap water) makes 50 ml toner
2 Camomile tea bags
3 drops or up to 1/2 tsp Cider Vinegar
1 drop Glycerin
small bottle  

Home made Camomile toner ingredients

How to make it:
Boil 150 ml of deionised water, which is limescale free and add 2 Camomile tea bags. Let the Camomile infuse for a few minutes or till the liquid has cooled down. Remove the Camomile tea bags and add 3 drops of Cider Vinegar if your skin is dry and sensitive or 1/2 tsp of Cider vinegar if your skin is combination.  Add 1 drop of Glycerin to make the toner moisturizing (if you add more then 1 drop you may end up with a sticky toner!).
Pour in a small bottle (I got mine from Boots) and it is ready!
Make a small amount at a time so that you will be able to finish it before it goes off!

You can also add 1/2 tsp of honey if your skin is dry or 1 drop Tea Tree if your skin is prone to breakouts.

Home made Camomile Toner

How to use it:
Pour a few drops on a cotton pad/ball and apply in outwards and upwards strokes over your face after cleansing, in order to remove the last traces of makeup and tone your skin.

How to store it:
Store in the fridge for about 3 days 

COMING SOON: How to make your own Two Phase Eye Makeup Remover (click here to see post)!

Recipe adapted from 'Ricetta tonico alla camomilla semplicissimo', by Carlitadolce

Make your own Coconut cleansing milk

Have you run out of your cleansing milk? Why do you not have fun making your own with this super easy, super fast and economic recipe?

Home made Coconut cleansing milk ingredients

10 tbsp Coconut milk or coconut cream
5 or 10 tsp Corn Flour 
70 ml or small bottle 

I used Coconut Cream because that was what I found in my cupboard! Coconut Cream (68% Coconut) is slightly thicker than Coconut Milk (60% Coconut). 

How to make it:
Open the Coconut Milk or Cream can and stir it well with a spoon in order to blend the coconut part and the water part back together if separated. Pour 10 tablespoons in a clean bowl, add 5 to 10 teaspoons of Corn Flour, depending whether you want it to be runnier or thicker and blend with an electric blender for a few seconds. Transfer the mixture in a small bottle (I got mine from Boots) and it is ready! 
Make a small quantity at a time so that you are able to use it all before it goes off.

Home made Coconut cleansing milk

How to use it:
Pour a few drops on a cotton pad/ball and massage into your skin, upwards and outwards in gentle circular motions. Splash your face with water and pat dry with a clean towel. You will be amazed on how well this homemade cleansing milk removes makeup. If you have oily skin you may wish to follow with a gel cleanser to remove any residue or follow with toner. 

How to store it:
Store in the fridge for about a week 
The Coconut Cream I used contains the antioxidant sodium metabisulphite to preserve the product. Bear in mind that if you use organic Coconut Milk or Cream it will not contain any preservative and it will probably go off more quickly.

Enjoy and let me know if you make it!

COMING SOON: How to make your own Camomile toner! (Click here to see post)

Recipe adapted from: 'Fare il Latte detergente al Cocco Viso vellutato e profumato! (ricetta semplicissima)' by carlitadolce 
P.S Carlita uses Rice Starch or Rice Flour instead of Corn Flour


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Unsung hero: Sephora Classic Angled Blush Brush no. 40

I own a few expensive blush brushes by Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Nars, etc. but my favourite one is  the cheeper Sephora angled blush brush.

Classic Angled Blush Brush 40

To start with this brush is the perfect size for my cheeks, whereas I often find professional blush brushes to be on the big size and to cover a larger area of my cheek than I want.
It has also got the right thickness and shape to apply colour to the apples of my cheeks or to contour them or apply highlighter with the angled side.
Its goat bristles are firm enough to pick up the right amount of product but also soft enough to feel comfortable on the skin.
Last but not least at €17,00 ($28) it is not expensive either.

I know that Sephora is not available in the UK (pity!) but should you travel to other European countries or to the USA do not miss the opportunity to get this magic brush!