Wardrobe Update

23 Mar 2015

Superfacialist By Una Brennan: Micro Polish Wash Review

I have been interested in trying the Una Brennan range for some time, hearing good things about them, and also thinking that it's quite a big claim to say it feels like you've had a facial after every use! I picked up the Micro Polish Wash in Boots for £9.99. It claims to unveil radiant skin with the pro-collagen Vitamin C it contains, as well as the infusion of micro-beads which gently remove dead skin cells. This seems to be a winning combination as it is like an exfoliator and cleanser in one - good for those who have sensitive skin and don't like to use harsh exfoliators. 


The smell of the product is amazing - very orangey and fresh, perfect if you want to use it every morning. It is a clear consistency, and you only need a small amount for your whole face. I really like the texture of the product, the micro-beads are really gentle but you can feel them doing the job. Sometimes I'm tempted to exfoliate everyday but deep-down know that it's probably too harsh on my skin, so this is a great compromise. My skin felt soft after use - I'm not sure that I'd go as far as saying I felt as though I had just had a facial but for the price it is pretty good! I'm keen to try the rest of the Una Brennan range, especially the rose products!


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21 Mar 2015

Makeup Revolution: Fluid Blusher and Iconic Palette 1 Review

Makeup Revolution is quickly becoming a very sought after brand, after bringing out eye-shadow palettes to rival the Naked ones by Urban Decay at a fraction of the price - a very good move on their behalf. As a lover of bargains I thought I would try out a few of their products to see if they were actually any good. I ordered both from Superdrug.

The first product I ordered was the Fluid Blusher in the shade Rush Me, as it was the peachiest tone they offer. There are five shades in total, most are very pinky apart from one tan shade. First impressions of the product were beyond expectations. It comes in a smart little box and it is packaged in a small pretty bottle, similar to the popular Daniel Sandler Watercolour blushers. It is a little smaller than I thought (14.4g) but I'm hoping it will last a long time as you only need a tiny bit when you apply. This doesn't matter too much anyway as it was only £3 (!!!!),

The box advises you to apply a drop on the back of your hand, then apply it to your cheeks and blend. Applying it this way was fine, but next time I will probably use a blending sponge as I'm not keen on blending products with my hand; it is never quite as effective. Using a liquid blusher is a bit of a first for me, but once you start blending, it turns to a powdery texture that is easy to apply. It is a lovely, subtle shade that compliments bronzer - I would definitely re-purchase this when it runs out. Overall, it's an amazing product for the price! (and it looks very pretty in my makeup bag...) 




The second thing I ordered was the Redemption Palette Iconic 1 (it is hard to not buy these palettes when they are only £4). I was interesting in buying this as I'd heard it was a close dupe to the Urban Decay Naked palette 1, so much so that the shades were even in identical order. When it arrived, I was surprised at how big the palette was, expecting a smaller one for the price, but it is full size with a decent amount of each shade (12 shades in total of 14g each). It comes with a double-ended sponge brush, but I would recommend using alternative eye-shadow brushes as I don't find these sponge brushes very easy to use. The variety of shades is really good - a mixture of shimmer and matte (mostly shimmer) - perfect for experimenting with daytime and evening looks. The best bit is how long the shadows actually stay on, they are really pigmented and long-lasting. I've started wearing the subtler shades in the day (something I wouldn't usually do), and I'm planning on conjuring up the courage to attempt a smokey-eye on a night out. I love this product and I am already thinking about buying the other ones. I would definitely recommend these palettes if you are debating over buying the Urban Decay Naked ones, as you can experiment with which colours you are suited to most before investing in them.



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18 Mar 2015

Urban Decay Naked Flushed: review and swatches

In the January sales, Feel Unique were discounting a lot of the popular make-up brands like Urban Decay, and having not tried many of their products I thought I'd give the Naked Flushed a go. I ordered the product in the shade 'Strip', as the other shades were slightly bolder - I wanted something that I could use everyday. It contains a bronzer, highlighter and blush in a considerably sized compact, with a mirror. I liked the idea of having a compact that contains a trio like this, as you can blend them together or use individually, ideal for when you have restricted space in a make-up bag. 



The compact is really sturdy and well-designed, but the best bit is the mirror which is great for when you are out, as its big enough to see your whole face. The bronzer is definitely the winning trio in this combination. I apply it with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, it is a lovely subtle shade which you can wear in the day but it is pigmented enough to last into the evening. The highlighter is the opposite - although it works well with the bronzer to add a slight shimmer, it barely shows up when it is used individually unless you use a lot of it. I prefer to use liquid highlighters as I find they create a much more noticeable, glowing effect. The blusher is another strength of the trio. I use it on the cheekbone above the bronzer, and it is a lovely shade which can also be worn in the day and evening. There is a slight shimmer to the palette but I find it is barely visible on application, and mostly comes from the highlighter, as the blush especially is a lot more matte. 


Swatches of the trio (left to right: bronzer, highlighter and blusher)
It retails at £22.50 but Feel Unique often have 10-20% discount codes that you can use to reduce it a bit!
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17 Mar 2015

bareMinerals Original Foundation review

A few weeks ago I was wondering what to do with a Feel Unique voucher i'd recently bought, not sure whether to invest in an expensive product or buy a few smaller ones (the latter usually wins). But I thought I'd take the plunge and invest in something I wouldn't usually buy, and it had to be something that I'd use everyday. So buying a new foundation was the obvious choice, as it's the staple to any good make-up day. The bareMinerals foundation was at the top of the Bestselling foundations and it is constantly trending on the website, so I ordered the Original foundation in the shade Fairly Light N10. 



After taking forever to open the actual pot (eventually had to resort to a YouTube tutorial to remove the lockable sifter), it took me a while to get used to the foundation too as I wasn't certain about how much to apply. After getting used to applying the powder, having been using liquid foundations for however long, I am definitely a convert. It leaves a lovely sheen on your skin, it looks natural but also gives great coverage. One application lasts all day, I rarely have to reapply it, and the colour is really natural (anti-orange), I apply it with the Real Techniques foundation brush on top of the No7 Match Made concealer. 

 


I have just seen that Feel Unique are selling the foundation for a discount price of £20.30 as well as including a Flawless Application Face Brush (altogether worth £44!) - I am gutted that I missed this offer, especially as a sturdy face brush is essential when applying this foundation due to the light, powdery formula. 
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Balance Me Products with April Glamour

With this months Glamour magazine (RRP £2) the freebie on the front is definitely worth a look. The products Glamour are offering are: 

Balance Me Tinted Lip Balm (worth £12)
Balance Me Radiance Face Mask 30ml (worth £12)
Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash 50ml (worth £6)
Balance Me Super Moisturizing Body Wash 100ml (worth £6)



This is a great offer, as all of the products have four-five star customer reviews on lookfantastic.com. The radiance face mask in particular has won a lot of beauty awards, and it is the one I picked up when I bought the magazine as I love applying face masks in the evening to freshen up my skin. It claims to be a triple-action face mask, due to the kaolin clay, walnut shells which gently exfoliate the skin and fruit acids which cleanse and brighten. You only need to leave it on for 5 minutes before washing off, but it hardens quickly and feels as though it is working into the skin. A little bit goes a long way - especially if you restrict it to problem areas like the T zone. It is suitable for all skintypes, and a lot of the ingredients are naturally sourced (98%). A bargain for the price of a magazine. 


Also, if you are a student with an NUS card, buy the magazine from Co-op to receive your 10% off - so the face mask is only £1.80!



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16 Mar 2015

Real Techniques brushes

Before I tried these brushes I was convinced that it was a fad and they would be just as good as any others. I very much hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong - these brushes are amazing. It is unusual to find a brush that feels (literally) as good as new after washing, they feel really professional and just make putting make-up on a lot easier. However, you pay for what you get, and these brushes come with a hefty price tag. On a student budget, it is not feasible to own the whole collection (especially the new Bold Metals collection..!). So, after searching around online, I found that most of the brushes were considerably cheaper on Amazon - up to half the price in fact. 



Last week, the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush was about £6.70 when it usually retails at around £10. On top of that, Amazon offer 5% student discount on products sold by amazon.co.uk, which you can get through the NUS website. A bargain at the moment is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, priced at £2.85 at the moment (where it is usually sold for £5.99 on the high street). However, an advantage and disadvantage of amazon prices is that they change all the time - if you see a bargain, it is likely that the price will be back to normal the next day. The Beauty Deals of the Week is also worth checking out every so often, as sometimes the Real Techniques sets are heavily reduced.

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Bumble and Bumble

Bumble and Bumble is a premium haircare brand that is used in high-end hairdressers, and has recently found its place in the highstreet, in shops such as Boots. After getting their signature hairspray as a freebie in a magazine last year, I have developed a big soft spot for this brand, which is not-so-good due to the premium price tag. But - having spent a lot of time lusting over the website - I have found a few ways to get your hands on this brand without spending a fortune. 



First of all, look for the small size products. Some of the more popular products come in 50ml - 60ml bottles on the website and in shops, so you can give the product a go before investing in the full size ones. As some of the shampoos and conditioners can reach about £25 full size (jaw-dropping if you are like me and are very comfortable with spending about £2 on shampoo each month), I would say that the styling products are more purse friendly and would last a lot longer. The Styling Creme is something I have started to use every time I wash my hair - the 50ml bottle is £8 (not too bad if you are getting samples along with it), and you only need a pea-sized amount to make an impact on your hair - it gives hair a bit more shine and defined waves. The Surf Spray is also one their cult products, I saw it last month recommended by a model in Elle magazine, and it helps to add some texture and beach-ness to hair. Make sure you don't spray it too near your roots though as it can give a frizzy, greasy look if overused! 

Secondly, with any order you place on the Bumble and Bumble website, you are guaranteed some samples along with your purchase. They reguarly have offers and voucher codes - at the moment you will recieve a free Thickening Hairspray (30ml) as well as some 7ml shampoo and conditioner samples with any order.  

Also, if you are in store and find yourself browsing at their different ranges, ask the woman at the counter for a sample. As you can see in the picture, I got a trio of three samples (the seaweed shampoo, conditioner and all style blow dry) at my local boots. 





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No7 Vouchers are back!

When you are at the checkout in Boots, and find your hands full of paper and receipts, keep your eyes open for the pink No7 Vouchers. I never thought much of these until I used one out the blue last year, and realised that it is actually a really good deal if used in the right way! Before I go into Boots to  use them, I usually browse the website in advance to get an idea of the products I am interested in, and look at the customer reviews. The vouchers are usually valid for about a month (the current one ends 29th March 2015) - it offers £5 off skincare and £3 off make-up. The skincare vouchers are especially good as you can get products for as little as £3 each. These are some of my recent No7 purchases: 



(left to right) No7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Cleanser (£3 with voucher); No7 Soft & Soothed Gentle Toner (£3 with voucher); No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser (£4.95 with voucher).

I bought the Hot Cloth Cleanser after reading lots of reviews that it is similar to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (which I love), and I was really impressed - it is great value for 200ml and it comes in a lovely baby blue box. The gentle toner is exactly that; I usually use it when I've taken off my make-up with a facewipe, alternating it between the Garnier Micellar water. Similarly, the cleanser is just as gentle. These products would be great for sensitive skin, and for £3 you can't really go wrong. 



(left to right) No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation in Calico (£10.50 with voucher); No7 Match Made Concealer in Calico (£4.50 with voucher).

I bought the Beautifully Matte Foundation when I was in search of a new foundation, as I have found it really hard in the past to find one that suits my skintone and gives enough coverage without being too thick. As you can see from the picture - I use it every day now, it has become a staple in my make-up bag. The matching concealer is also great (available in 17 different shades now), I use it mainly for under-eye coverage. I really like the new No7 Match Made service, as I have finally found a shade that suits my skintone - everyone should take advantage of this free service! 

Also, at the moment No7 are offering another deal - if you buy atleast two make-up products you'll receive a free In Bloom No7 Blossom Box which is meant to be worth £24. If you use the voucher with this offer, the cheapest you could get it is if you buy two nail varnishes (£6 each), so it would be £9 in total and you get the box free!

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