Monday, 27 February 2012

Superdrug Tea Tree Range

I frequent in superdrug quite a say the least! A long while ago i stumbled across their tea tree range. 
As a big fan of using natural oils and products i thought to give it a go! I've also always loved tea tree oil, its benefits and uses are endless it also does wonders for blemishes.

I picked up another of my beloved foam face washes, along with the 100% pure essential oil and a new product i hadn't yet tried, the sensitive tea tree and camomile face wipes!

The essential oil i use for drying out individual spots as its so strong i use sparingly and it works super well, by morning the spot is flat and most of the redness has calmed down.
If you have a particularly bad breakout on any one part of your face you could apply the oil with a cotton ball to the whole are, but i wouldn't do that too often as the oil is so strong it can really dry out your skin if used regularly.

The sensitive wipes i have only used a handful of. 
They leave your face feeling very clean and fresh i wouldn't recommend using these around the eyes, i personally would use this after your make up remover just to be thorough with the removal of make up ,with the added benefits of having a little spot fighting tea tree there as wel!

The foaming face wash i actually use as a make up remover , it literally removes everything!

To remove my make up i firstly run the hot tap and gently wash my eyes ,slowly 'melting' away my mascara with the warm water until all mascara is off my lashes and im left with two very attractive panda eyes!
I next take the wash and pump around 3 times and then proceed to wash off all my make up.The wash effortlessly cleans all make up off my face with the one wash even all my mascara/eye make up! I sometimes repeat with one extra pump if i want to be extra thorough but now i have these wipes i will just use that to follow up instead!

The price for each product was £2.99 and i believe most if not all of the products under the tea tree line are at this price. It is super affordable and effective i am a fan of the range and these products have had a permanent place on my beauty shelf for a long while now so would definitely recommend it!

Have any of you tried this range? Do you have any favourites ? Please share any thoughts in the comments below!
Once again thank you for visiting, i hope you enjoyed the post!

With Love

Monday, 20 February 2012

My Massive Illamasqua Haul!

So illamasqua held a craaaazy colour pop shop sale the other weekend in their beak street shop, with unbelievable prices, at 80% off i literally squealed with excitement! 

I spent just over £200 but regret nothing as the quality of the products is outstanding and an opportunity like this never comes around often so thought to make the most of it! It was a fab place to start with a kit for professional use, or for just extending your own personal collection !

Beware this post will be super long and picture heavy iv taken pictures of all products individually and swatched them all. I know a few people have been waiting for my post on this haul so i hope you enjoy!

The bags i proudly came home with:

...and lets see whats inside!

Firstly let me talk about the foundations , when i got to the sale they had bags of both the light fluid liquid foundation and the cream compact foundation at a bundle price.So i grabbed the opportunity as i thought it was a great way to start up my professional kit with a great variety of high quality foundations.

The Light Fluid bag came with all the 14 shades available: 115,120,133,135,140,150,200,210,215,233,240,320,325,335.

The Cream Foundation bag came with 8 out of the 20 shades available:

Combined price for both the foundations was £120.

'Light Fluid' Liquid Foundation
First up is the light fluid liquid foundation, this has a lovely light creamy consistency i have tried this myself over the course of two days and really really like this foundation. It's lightweight and blends seamlessly into the skin, it is comparable to mac's face and body but in my opinion better as it doesn't leave my face shiny and isn't as runny!

Here is the foundation swatched and blended.
As you can see its literally untraceable in the second picture yet still gives sufficient coverage and evens out skin tone well!

Compact Cream Foundation
Next up is the Cream Foundation, this foundation comes in a gorgeous black compact with an illamasqua logo engraved onto the top , the product itself is gorgeous i would be happy whipping this out of my make up bag!

I would personally describe this foundation as more of a concealer/foundation as the consistency is more rich and creamy/velvety. The coverage i would say is medium leaning more to full, ideal for those ladies who need more coverage and who may have scarring or particularly bad pigmentation/skin problems. 
It covers so well i would apply this sparingly as like i mentioned the coverage is high so a little definitely goes a long way with this product!

Gorgeous angular design and sleek black casing making the product look in my opinion 
very chic and luxurious. 

The foundation comes boxed with a separate branded sponge, however there is no compartment for it to be stored which has both its advantages and disadvantages ; being the lack of extra compartment keeps the product thin and portable adding to its sleek design however if you want to use this on the go it would come in handy having a little click up compartment to store your sponge and keep it clean! Maybe a point for illamasqua to ponder on!

Here is the product swatched and blended i deliberately chose a colour too light for me as the flash can sometimes wash out the colour and not pick it up well, hopefully this helps you see better and get a true picture and idea of what the product actually looks like.

As you can see from the swatch, the foundation is very pigmented and creamy. When blended, it covers and conceals significantly well which is great if you want an all product thats quick and easy to apply.

Foundation Shade Guide
Now just incase any of you are interested in purchasing or trying out either of these foundations i took it upon myself to swatch all the colours i have so you can get a better idea of what the colouring is like!

I love the wide range of colours that illamasqua offers they cover a wide range of neutrals, cools and warm tones so your sure to find a foundation that suits you and is true to real skin tones without looking like a mask.

First pic - Cream Foundation
Second pic - Light Fluid Foundation

Next up to show you guys i have the rest of my haul which consists of glosses, pigments, eyeshadows and creams, blushes, nail polishes and pencils!...yes i may have got a little carried away :D

Metallic Eye Creams/Pigments
First ill show you the 'Liquid Metal' metallic shimmery eye creams. Oh my these are true beauties they are so pigmented and gorgeous i had to stop myself from just picking them all up!..i managed..barely to settle at 3! I also picked up the gorgeous pure pigment 'breathe' which i was told was going to sadly be discontinued so had to grab it!

The colours i picked up (in order) are as follows:

  • Breathe (pigment)
  • Stoic
  • Surge
  • Superior
They are all beautiful in their own right and so versatile you can apply lightly over a cream to add depth and shimmer or pack on for intense colour, they are highly pigmented as you can see in the swatches and effortless to apply!

Breathe is a pure pigment that when i first saw, the word angelic came to mind, its gorgeous yet subtle. However, its super versatile as it can be used anywhere from highlighting cheeks and brows to adding shimmer to an eye colour or even mixing with blush for an intense effect..the possibilities are endless with this! so sad its being discontinued :(

The only cream blusher i bought which also happens to also be my first as i've always really stuck to powders however thought this would give a beautiful dewy fresh faced look. 
The shade i got was 'Sob' its a beautifully delicate pastel pink, when applied lightly gives a gorgeous little pop of innocent colour to the cheeks. I would use this when aiming for a light dewy natural look as it not only adds colour but a lovely glow to the cheeks!

This product along side all of the other colours is so versatile, the blush itself is rich and creamy and could even be used as a lip colour or even a cream shadow! Its an all round great buy and can be used for so much more then its primary intention.

Loose Powder
Next up is a loose 'Powdered Metal' in colour 'Erzule'.

This is an all over loose powder meant for adding an intense radiance or a summery glow. 

I can see this being a great product to use on a beach shoot to add a lovely sheen to a golden tan. I bought this with the intention of also using it as an eyeshadow/pigment as if applied heavily can create intense colour in a metallic finish which i thought would look lovely with a brown/neutral smokey eye.

I swatched the product both applied sparingly and well blended, along side an intense swatch to show just how pigmented and versatile this product can be! and with a massive 15g pot this will literally last a lifetime!

Up next is one of my favourite purchases from the haul its the illamasqua concealer in shade cc 200.

This product my opinion perfect.
It is by far the best concealer i have ever used i am just so upset i didn't buy more of it! 
This product is so rich and creamy yet not as 'wet' as most concealers, it covers effortlessly and is super super pigmented i dont need to layer this at all! I cant recommend this highly enough it also great for the eye area and covers dark circles like a dream! It is now my HG concealer, I am in love!

Powder/Cream Eyeshadows

Crumble is a lovely soft cream eyeshadow similar to Sob yet slightly darker,perfect for a fresh faced natural look.

Debauch i picked up and put in my basket at first sight, another cream, its a beautiful deep purple/plum i instantly saw its potential as a great twist for my signature smokey eye where i usually would just stick to browns however i could see this and crumble working together beautifully and looking a lot fresher and softer then my usual browns which would be great for spring/summer. 

Both creams could easily double up as lip colours/glosses ,these two were my favourite cream shadows out of the lot.

Next are the two powder shadows i picked up.

Boomerang another fav..well they're all my favs, but this one is special this is pigmented beyond imagination and can double up as an eyebrow fill in colour its perfect for an everyday wash of colour on the lids and lower lash line,is subtle, yet effective and great for framing your eyes without looking too bold or overdone.

Lastly its Vision this is a lovely subtle shimmery silvery/golden shadow ,perfect for using as a brow and cheek highlighter!

Now onto the multi use pencils!...( still not done haha) these pencils are great as they are meant for use on not only eyes but lips aswel!

In order the colours i bought are:
  • Sorceress a classic black, an item that every girl needs, its a staple piece in your make up bag.
  • Manic a bright bold statement light pink.
  • Feisty the perfect classic hollywood red lip
  • and lastly Rowdy a versatile one, used lightly can be used to just define the natural colour of your lips, if used with a heavier hand reveals a more bold copper/nude colour.
These pencils are great quality i used feisty the other day to fill in and line my lips not only did it last all day but when the time came to remove it not only didn't budge for a good while but also had stained my lips! So clearly great staying power which is always a plus!

Lip Glosses 
I picked up 3 , 2 Intense's and one sheer gloss.

  • Provoke is a lovely bronze,this gloss gives you a light wash of sheer colour with added shimmer as wel, its a perfect subtle everyday colour and would also work well with a nude lipstick.
  • Femme is an intense rich red,which works perfectly with the Feisty pencil .
  • and lastly Mistress which at first i didn't pick up in fear of its bold appearance but after a quick testing in store i found that if used sparingly gives a gorgeous super glossy light pop of coral colour to lips, which would be perfect for the upcoming summer season.
Nail Polish
Lastly but definitely not least here are the two nail varnishes i picked up.

Two classic colours that instantly appealed to me both feminine and bold, these varnishes are fab they dont need endless layers to get an opaque finish and dry fast which is great and convenient if you want your nails done in a flash!

And that my lovelies concludes this mahoosive post about my now extensive Illamasqua collection! 

The beauty about Illamasqua products is that they are such amazing quality and are so pigmented and versatile, you are in full control, the possibilities are literally endless!

Words cant describe how pleased i am with this haul ,its so rare that such a great brand offers an opportunity like this and i sincerely hope some of you got to attend!

I hope you enjoy this post i know many of you have been eagerly awaiting it! 
I apologize in advance for its length if you think it would be better if i maybe split this into separate posts let me know!

As always hope to see you here again soon
With Love
Gina xox

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Growing out Your Eyebrows

I've been asked to do this post a few times and have finally got around to getting it typed up!

Eyebrows in my opinion are a fundamental feature to look after and maintain. 
As getting the right shape width and arch can do wonders for your face ,the same way wrong shape can do equal amounts of damage.
Getting it right balances out the proportions of your face, really frames and opens up your eyes and in turn can alter the look of your face as a whole. 
The slightest alteration in shape,positioning and arch can alter your face completely and even affect how you and your mood is perceived..i think we're all too familiar with the over plucked surprise look!

Here is an example of the effects different shapes can have, both good and bad on christina aguilera (i thought she would be the perfect example as she has gone from one extreme to another being hair strand thin eyebrows to full arches)

As you can see this wasn't the most flattering of choices for christina , her eyebrows are far to thin and in turn (in my opinion) makes her face look wider and unbalances the proportions of her face making the bottom half of her face in terms of features look larger, where as her forehead looks tiny!

Moving on from her dirty days onto her gorgeous pin up/marilyn monroe-esque phase ,which was my favourite! I thought she looked her best with this particular look:

As you can see she has let her eyebrows grow back a lot thicker and arched them quite high (maybe a little too high) which gives her that trademark marilyn look which is really feminine and seductive.
The added thickness to her brows balances out her features and even makes her face look slimmer!
In the top picture her eyebrows are penciled in a little too angular at the top but other then that i love these brows!

If you find yourself in the situation where you feel you have over plucked your brows ..dont worry we have all been there! all is not lost! My methods may be some what controversial but none the less they have worked for me and it doesn't include letting them just grow out wildly.

Firstly...and most importantly, step away from the tweezers. For the next few months you will not touch your brows least in terms of plucking!

I am actually currently growing out my eyebrows, my eyebrows are thick but i want them fuller to look more natural!
I have left them to grow out and i use the 'concealer trick'* for as long as i can bare, which is usually a week.

Then comes the controversial part..i shave..yes shave the hairs that i know i dont need in my future desired shape,this is usually the hairs quite low down right on the brow bone. I am fully aware that shaving your eyebrows is like stepping onto forbidden land and is against all eyebrow grooming laws,but, it works for me.Let me explain...

The eyebrows will still look neat and they will grow back quickly letting you pick which hairs you need and dont for the new shape.

The idea is that: because with plucking, all of your hairs are never growing at the same rate, regrowth is always sparse and random, the logic behind my method is that you shave the hairs starting to grow until u see that your whole eyebrow is growing at the same rate.

I produced a diagram to demonstrate what i mean, hopefully it'll make more sense actually seeing what im trying (and failing lol) to explain in words...

Here i have tried to clearly label the different parts, the pink being your current thin brow, the larger stencil obviously being your thicker desired shape and the dark purple lines being your regrowth.

My idea is that you shave any hairs that come outside of the stenciled area and you slowly start penciling/shading your eyebrows in thicker as they start to grow out using the concealer trick* to hide any hairs that particularly stand out.

Now you get the gist of the method ,you keep doing this until you have enough regrowth to fill your desired stencil shape...

Keep this stage up until the regrowth (purple) is as long as or almost as long as the rest of your eyebrow hairs.

Keeping the light blue shaded area shaved until you have enough regrowth to feel comfortable to completely pencil in your desired shape, as if you dont have enough hair penciling it in thick straight away will look fake. 

NOW!  once you finally have your new fuller brows grown out ,this is the not so fun part, you now must leave the previously shaved regrowth to grow out for as long as is needed be able to have them plucked/waxed/threaded <my favourite, professionally. (I would say approx 1-2 weeks depending on how fast your eyebrows grow as everyone varies, approx 2 mm is usually enough)

When you go to the salon be sure to pencil in your desired shape prior to your visit so the beautician can have a clear guideline of how you want your eyebrows. Otherwise they will shape them how they want which is sometimes thinner then my liking! :(

During the Growth process i apply Castor Oil to my brows (and lashes) as it helps condition the hair and speed up growth. I apply this with a clean mascara wand. The Oil is very thick so a little goes a long way!

That is it! i mostly just hope this all made sense haha!!  and hope it helps any of you interested in this!

As always i hope you enjoyed the post and see you here soon!

With Love

*Concealer Method : For those who aren't aware of what this is, this is simply when you pencil in your brows and disguise regrowth by applying generous amounts of concealer (usually a shade or two lighter then your foundation with a flat brush) to the area with the unwanted hair.
This is a great way to hide regrowth in the early stages .It also really helps your eyebrow shape look clean and precise, even on normal days!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

HRI Skin Complexion Tablets

For those of you who read my skincare post ( here ) you would have already seen my mention of this brand and after practically a year on them i thought they deserved a post in their own right.

These are the tablets in question..
Now i have had two separate experiences with this product once back when i was around 15, i did not stick to the dosage recommendation it was something i only took when i remembered and never got into a routine of taking them regularly so inevitably they had no  effect on me, i then gave them up, casting them aside as a waste of money.

..Up until last year where for some wild reason i decided to pick them up again and give them a go after a bit of research online into reviews and such with a lot of positive feedback i decided to give them another shot .

I read in a forum somewhere about someone who took double the dosage 
2 tablets in the morning 
2 at lunch &
2 at night 

They noticed a significant improvement within only 2 weeks! so...yes i know its bad but i decided to do the same and...i was astonished to say the least,in a positive way.
My skin was not only clear but it looked more even toned as wel.I naughtily proceeded to finish my first box at double the dosage.

However of course i never intended to continue on this dose as i know recommendations are there for a reason my methods were as follows...
Double dose until my skin was 80-100% clear then continue with normal dose to maintain the clear skin and that is what i have done ever since.

Im sure they work at the recommended dose but for something like supplements which are already looked at with a sceptical eye i think fast results are needed when trying it out to convince a person they are worth it. As unless im mistaken on the regular dose it would take up to3 months to see any results which..for most people results in them giving up before they've even completed a third of that time frame.

Just to give you an idea of my skin type i have very oily skin and prone to breakouts,although i have none that is purely down to my strict regime and discipline when it comes to taking care of my skin.
If i do not stick to my regime i will break out easier then most people. I also have to use a oil controlling moisturiser and primer to keep my skin under control!

Skincare is one of the most important things to me as in my early teen years i tackled bad skin ,its something that does stay with you mentally ,thats probably why im so strict with myself now, so for me to be recommending anything to do with skincare means i truly whole heatedly believe in it!

Now im not recommending you all go out and buy this and take the double dose method but its what works for me, if you have skin that only breaks out every once in a while your regular topical skin care products will suffice, i would only recommend this for those who truly tackle with keeping their skin in check.

The box retails at £2.20 in boots the last time i went, it used to cost £3.50ish so its super affordable ,if you are interested in purchasing them at the moment boots has a 3 for 2 offer on vitamins at the moment so i got 3 boxes for under £5!!
Each box has 50 tablets inside.
They also sell these at holland and barret but its around the £4 mark so i would stick with boots, superdrug don't stock them as of yet, ive checked quite a few times.

I hope you found this insightful if you have any questions regarding the tabets feel free to comment bellow

As always hope to see you here again soon
With Love