Tuesday 19 March 2013

My Nail Art! #1

Hey guys a quick mobile upload here: just thought I'd give you guys a glimpse of the nail art I do! Hope you enjoy!

If you would like to see some other nail art click the links below:

Saturday 16 March 2013

My daily skin care routine!

So I thought I would talk about my daily Skin care routine, I plan on doing a review of a few of these products in the future but for now I thought I would talk about what I use on a daily basis! So to start with lets have a look at how I clean my skin!

These first three products I usually do either of a morning during my shower or in the evening in the shower (Depending on when I choose to have my shower!) The first product I use to ex-foliate my skin is St Ives Apricot scrub with a blemish fighting formula. I am usually very concious of developing acne due to a past of acne during high school - so any product claiming to help combat that is a must in my skin care products. This step is to keep my skin feeling and looking smooth.

Above: St Ives Apricot Scrub; Blemish fighting

To use this product I dampen my face in the shower and take a pea sized amount of the product and lightly, in a circular motion, rub it across my whole face. I then wash this off with water from the shower making sure all the ex-foliation beads have been removed from my skin.

Above: Neutogena Visibly Clear Oil free facial wash

The next step of my skin care routine, still in the shower, is to use a facial wash. The one which I'm loving at the moment is Neutrogena's Visibly clear oil free facial wash. Since I find I have an oily T zone and my skin is often at risk of going oily through the day I like to use product which have no extra added oil in them; so being oil free this product is a bonus. After ex-foliating I make sure my face is still damp then with a pea sized amount of the product I lather this facial wash into my skin. What's so great about this facial wash is that it has the most amazing lather ever that really makes you feel as though your skin is being cleaned right down to the pores - and only a little amount of product is needed to create the lather from this product. Once I am done I rinse the product off once again with water.

Above:  The Body Shop: Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash

This next and third step for my skin is optional depending on my skin. In all honesty I rarely use this unless (like this week) I have a blemish or spot in which case I add this in to combat any acne spots that may crop up. Since I only rarely get the occasional acne spot I keep this near by to combat it. Similarly if I feel a spot coming on I tend to whip this out to clean my face to get rid of the spot before it appears. Again, under the shower, I lather this into my skin with a pea sized amount of product and rinse of after it has been fully lathered into my skin. This is the last step I take in my shower for my skin and I find it effectively gets my skin smooth and clean!

Above: Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner

Once I'm out of the shower and my skin is fully cleansed it is time to do my toning portion of my skin care! The toner I am using and loving at the moment is the Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner. I apply this to a cotton pad or wool piece and wipe lightly around my face. I then usually give my skin around a minute to absorb this before moving on to the net step.

Above: Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Moisture Cream with SPF10

Now on to moisturising my skin! Again sticking with the Simple range I use Simple Kind to Skin protecting moisture cream which has an added SPF of 10. The next time I purchase this I will be purchasing one with a higher SPF but since this was purchased during winter it has been doing just the job! With this product I again take just over a pea sized amount on my pointing finger then lightly apply small dots of the product under my eyes, nose, cheeks, chin and forehead to indicate where I need to apply and rub the product in. Once I've indicated where I need to apply it I just rub it all in! Simple as that. The toning and moisturising I do all comes before my make-up so after this has been applied I give it at least 5 minutes to dry before I move on to make-up. (I usually give it much longer to dry before applying make-up as I do my hair first but five minutes I would say to anyone else is a good amount of time to wait for it to dry).

Above: Simple Kind To Eyes eye make-up remover

Now for once the day has finished! After I've applied my make-up after moisturising and gone about my day I use two products to remove my make-up from my skin before I have to begin my night routine and cleaning again!. I use Simple Kind to Eyes eye make-up remover as its fantastic for removing eye make-up and also amazing at removing any waterproof make-up. As I use a waterproof eye-liner gel to prime for my eye-liner this is perfect. On a cotton ball or pad I apply a bit of this product and place them over my eyes for about 5 or 10 seconds. After my eyes have been soaked I rub the eye make-up away. As simple as that!

Above: Neutrogena Oil free Make-up remover

Now on to my make-up remover for my face! I'm actually a bit upset as they don't seem to make this any-more or at least I can't find it so I will have to find a new make up remover for my face as I only have two containers of this left! However at the minute I am using Neutogena Oil Free Make-up Remover. Once again a product that is oil free and helps to fight blemishes. Since I am so concious of developing acne or even getting one spot I tend to love these products that help combat acne before its even begun. With this product again with a cotton pad I place a pea sized amount of the cream onto the pad and I rub this all over my face, it not only moistures as well it also removes the make-up completely.

Above: Simple Kind To Skin Night Cream

Now on to the final step of my skin care. After removing my make-up If I get a shower of the evening I will do steps one to three before my night cream. However if I choose to get a shower in the morning I will move on to my night cream by simple. I use this night cream in a similar way I use the day cream. I place a small pea sized amount on my pointing finger, indicate where it needs to go and rub away! And that is pretty much it for all of my skin care routine! This is pretty much every step I take each day to make sure my skin is clear and soft. There aren't really any more steps other than once a week I apply a face mask just as a little treat to my skin and to help keep it toned! 

Hopefully a review of a few of these products will be up soon! For now I hope you enjoyed reading about my skin care routine! In the future I may do a skin care routine for what I use on my actual body for skin care, so keep your eyes out for that!

Monday 11 March 2013

St Ives Body Scrub Review

St Ives is always a brand I've had a lot of confidence with. After hearing about it from friends I purchased their face exfoliant and their body exfoliant last year. This year I repurchased a new container of the product in time for summer as I only had about a 1/4 of my old tub left so I thought it best to write a review on it now! As you can see below on the left the old packaging was an orange colour but has now been changed to a clear cut white design; however the same high quality product stays the same.

Above: On the left, the old packaging of St Ives and on the Right the new packaging of the body scrub

So after using this product through the summer last year I continued to use it anyway as a weekly product after shaving to ensure that the skin was soft and all dead skin sells has been removed (doing this reduces any chance of ingrowing hairs). If you are intending to use this product as a help alongside trying to tan evenly the product does ensure that the skin is even and in the event that the skin gets burnt this product does help with the regeneration of new skin. This exfoliant does help to make the skin feel much smoother and has the pleasing scent of apricot alongside the product. There is also a large amount of product that is given (300ml) for a low cost (I purchased mine for £5.49). For such a high quality product at such a low price for so much product, there are no real negatives.

Above: The new packaging of the body scrub with the claim that the product instantly reveals ultra smooth and radiant skin

After a years use I still have a 1/4 of the tub left to use for the remainder of the spring until summer. I found myself buying a new tub as I bout my mum a tub of this for her upcoming holiday so she tans more evenly as she always complains of uneven tanning. To me this shows that the product can also be used along all age ranges which is a definite plus for me. I would definitely say that this product is a must for those going on holiday.

Above: The product inside the container - the little orange exfoliant beads can be easily seen

Overall since starting using the St Ives range both for my facial and body exfoliation I have never turned to another efoliant. Sometimes I feel some types of exfoliants can be aggravating to the skin especially if like me you have sensitive skin, however St Ives has never aggravated my skin. I would definitley say that those looking for a skin care range should definitely look into St Ives, its affordable, contains alot of natural products and is a really high quality drug store brand! Now to outline the positives and negatives of this product as always;

  • There is alot of product for such a low price
  • The smell of apricots is just right, not to subtle and not to overwhelming
  • It does not aggravate the skin
  • It exfoliates will to reveal smooth and soft skin which last for days
  • Great for those with sensitive skin
  • Sometimes can be hard to find in stores I find as it always tends to sell out when I'm repurchasing! One of those products which is best to order online if you want it guaranteed for a certain time.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer review

The Smashbox primer was something I was a little reluctant to buy at first, mainly because of its price. Since I have never used the product before and only have internet reviews to go off of I was a bit particular about investing £13 in a primer that was only 12ml or 0.4 fluid ounces or even more of an investment around £20 pound for 1 fluid ounce worth of product. Since I'd never used it and was unsure of how it would agree with my skin I decided to go for the smaller size. Luckily I got this primer free really with my saved up boots points but with £13 value I was still reluctant to use them, however for a while now I've been wanting to try the smashbox primers as they are often reviewed to be very high quality.

I'd just like to take a little time to rant about the cost to product amount ratio. Below you will see a picture of the box for the primer and the primer itself alongside a bobbypin for a size comparison. Now for such a tiny product I'd like to outline what I was hoping the product would do for me. I was hoping that for the cost I was expecting nothing less than a high quality product that would elongate the length and wear of my makeup and that may even help with the overall look of my make-up.

Above: A picture of the Smashbox box, the actual primer and a bobby pin for size comparison

On to the actual review of the product... I have used it for around about a week in place of my usual L'oreal primer which I have been using for around a year in order to see if it was an improvement on what I was already using as a primer. Since this primer is only intended to prime the face area however I continued to use a little bit of my L'oreal primer around the eyes to prime my eyeliner and eye make-up. The first thing I should say about the Smashbox photo finish primer is that a little of this product does goes a long way, a pea sized amount much like other primers is enough to make the face feel smoother and ready to apply product on. This does somehow make me feel a little better about the price however I also used around about the same amount of my L'oreal primer on my face. The product dries very quickly which can be both a positive and negative at times, when trying to apply make-up quickly it is a major benefit however I have sometimes found myself applying dots of the primer around my face to indicate where I need to apply it, then checking my phone then it drying in thin layers around the face. I would say it is best to well apply the primer and blend into the skin before leaving it to dry or leaving it on the face. When I began to apply my make-up on top of this primer I did feel that the primer itself helped me to apply foundation and concealer evenly around the face; with no product collecting around the face. The Smashbox primer allowed for my brush to easily glide over my face.

As for the actual affect of the primer after applying my make-up, my face and make-up did feel mattified and the oil-free formula also made me confident that it would not encourage my make-up to go oily during the day, particularly in the T zone. In my opinion the actual longevity of the make-up did seem to be elongated. Products such as blusher, bronzer and highlighting and contouring powder that I often find can easily come off pretty early into wear (within two hours) actually lasted longer (around three to four hours). 

However this left me comparing my Smashbox primer to my current primer, L'oreal Studio Secrets  anti-shine mattifying primer. Although this primer was always good with priming my face, in particular around the eye area, it did not help with shine control as much as I feel the Smashbox primer did. I also felt that the smashbox primer was slightly better with mattifying the skin and having this mattifying effect for longer than my previous L'oreal primer. My L'oreal primer when I purchased it was around £10 so for the little price difference of £3 I would probably sway more towards using the Smashbox primer, however if you are looking for a lower priced product then I would suggest that the L'oreal primer is a good primer and as my first primer I feel that is a good product to begin to learn how to apply and use primer with without breaking the bank. 

Above: L'oreal Studio Secrets anti shine Mattifying primer

After looking into primers I realised that the £13 price tag attached to the primer is actually around about the average for primers; however more product tends to come under that price tag (around 20ml total product). Therefore I would outline that as a negative of the product, however for the quality of the product it arguably is worth the cost for the amount.

Now to outline the positives and negatives of this Smashbox primer;

  • The product it oil free, no extra oil is added to the skin and is ideal for those with naturally oily skin
  • The primer helps to mattify the skin and reduce shine in all areas of the skin
  • After being applied to the skin the  primer helps the skin feel much smoother and much more even to apply make-up on
  • There is no scent to the product
  • Only a pea sized amount is needed
  • Primer elongates makeup length by a few hours
  • The product amount in relation to its price may be a bit steep for some
  • The primer is only intended for the face and not the eyes (another primer will be needed)
  • Only slightly higher quality than the cheaper products available 

Thursday 7 March 2013

Maybelline - The Rocket - Mascara review

About two or three weeks ago, I heard one of my friends mention this mascara and say how good it was. As a religious user of all Maybelline mascaras as I think they are just absolutely amazing at lengthening and plumping up lashes I thought I'd give this one a go as well!

Maybelline - The Rocket - Pictured above

I bought this mascara about two weeks ago, and have been using it daily since as just my usual everyday mascara. When I purchased this product at Boots it was retailing for £7.99. I myself love a dramatic eye look, I wear very little face makeup - a hint of blush with highlighter and contouring but I don't really go all out on my face products. With my eyes however I could spend hours doing mascara and eyeliner and dramatic dark looks there, I think they look really pretty. For those that have used the Maybelline mascara Colossal I would say it could be most compared to that mascara only The Rocket adds even more volume and length to the lashes. I would say myself, as a person who has used all of Maybellines Volum' express line, that with each new mascara the volumizing and lengthening power of each mascara improves over time. One thing I love in particular about this product is that it can give a subtle day look as well as a dramatic 'false lash effect' meaning I don't need to buy one mascara for a day look and another for night; its multi functional. With one light coating of this mascara your eyelashes will subtly look perked up and fully black. If you want that false lash effect however you can simple apply a full coat (just a heavier coating than that to achieve a day look) of the mascara to your eyelashes and they will look instantly thicker, darker and longer.

For those of you that used the Colossal mascara you will remember that rose scent that was often commented on in reviews, which all though you can't smell once applied was quiet a strong smell on the brush. With The rocket this scent is not half as strong though there is still a hint of its presence. 

Above: The Rocket mascara brush

Above is a picture of The Rocket brush, as you can see its a thick brush with spikes. This thick brush allows for more volume in the lashes with the small spikes allowing for help with lifting the lashes and dispersing it more evenly than the previous Colossal brush.

Above: The top mascara brush - Maybelline Colossal
The bottom mascara brush - Maybelline the rocket

As you can see above The Rocket brush is considerably more fuller in figure than the Colossal brush. The Rocket brush is also a plastic material whereas the Colossal brush is a material brush. Although the Colossal is one of my top favourites (and up until the rocket my favourite mascara) simply for its volume abilities I would say that The Rocket takes this one step further and once again shows the high quality of mascaras that Maybelline produces. 

Dramatic Eye look with Maybelline - The Rocket mascarra

Above is an example how I pretty much like to wear my eye make-up when I'm not in work. This is an example of The Rocket with just one coat of mascara.

The overall positives of this mascara;

  • Creates volume with just one coat, which increases even further through adding more coats
  • Minimal scent
  • Spreads out lashes well
  • Elongates lashes
  • Does not clump
  • Reflectivity cheap especially for the quality

Some negatives I spotted on this product;
  • Still has a hint of the smell that Colossal had

MUA - Makeup Academy Pro Base Fixing Mist review

For my first review I thought I'd take a look at a product that advertises itself to keep your makeup in place all day long. I purchased this product in superdrug for £5, considering drugstore primers which basically do the same type of thing are around £10 I thought I would give it a go. The directions for this product are to 'apply makeup as normal' and then to 'Shake the fixing mist, hold at arms length and spray' over your makeup. I tried this particular method mentioned on the packaging for three days over my normal everyday makeup. Using the method directed on the bottle however did not seem to elongate the length of makeup throughout the day by much longer. If I was to outline an average of how much longer it lasted I would say about an hour or so, however after this the makeup would return to how it was without the product.

Makeup Academy Pro Base Fixing Mist 

I did however when using this product notice that it would make the make-up I applied have a matte finish until it did wear off. I also was pleased with how well it absorbed into the skin, after applying it I would generally put away my makeup to pass the time whilst it was drying and within a minute or so it would be fully dried and absorbed. However it did first worry me when for the first time I sprayed it on my face it made my whole face wet! No need to worry though, it absorbs straight in without leaving a trace or a smell. One thing I'd like to point out here is why in the beginning of this review I outlined how it says to use the product on the packaging. I outlined these directions as this is how personally I started of using the product as I had very little experience with fixing sprays, but since experimenting with the product I have found it is put to much better use in another way. If you are like me and you would like to use a fixing spray to keep products such as concealer, foundation or other face based products on for much longer as you're not one of these people who wants to touch up there makeup throughout the day, I found it was best to spray the fixing mist directly on the skin before applying concealer and foundation and applying this on your face within the drying time. I found that this way the fixing mist would mix with the face products and increase the day wear of my makeup not just by an hour or so but by a good 3/4 hours which who can complain about that for a fiver! I would also then apply just one more spray on my face afterwards to seal the makeup. On both of these methods I used my primer (L'oreal Primer) and none of my everyday products such as foundation were changed, so I believe that adding that extra spray before applying face products really did help the longevity of my make-up throughout the day.

Below are a few outlined positives of the product;

*Relitivley Cheap
*Product lasts a long time
*Using the method of use for the product I outlined it can increase the life of your everyday makeup by a few hours
*No scent when on face
*Dries quickly
*Mattifys makeup well

 Below are a few outlined negatives;
*Has a light scent in the bottle
*Using the method on the bottle is not as effective as the one I outlined (IMO)

If you would like to check out my other MUA reviews click the following!

The start of Bella Beauty...

So I thought I'd make a new blog, something I do often enough as it is, however I thought with this one I'd focus mainly on writing beauty product reviews. Lately I've been taking to things such as twitter and instagram and uploading pictures of products that I've been using and commenting on them pretty briefly, however I thought that it might be fun if I actually write up a few reviews on some of the stuff I buy! Feel free to leave comments and questions on each post if you'd like to know more! I'd also like to point out a lot of the products will be drug store make-up - since I'm a 20 year old on a budget!

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