Sunday, 30 September 2012

e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set - are makeup setting sprays worth it?

Like a lot of people, I struggle a lot with keeping makeup on my face throughout the day. I'm in school from 8.30 to 3.30, and I want to be looking at least half decent, which quite often leading to me having to reapply make up at lunch or whenever. Obviously this isn't great for my skin, so recently I've been looking for ways to keep my makeup looking fresher for longer - which would stop the need to put more on in the day and hopefully help with my skin problems as well.

One of the methods I've been looking at is make up setting sprays - I've heard all about the 'hairspraying your face' method, and though apparently it works well, the thought of spraying my face with it isn't exactly welcoming! Setting sprays are pretty much the same concept, but just a bit more face-friendly.

However, even though setting sprays are supposedly the miracle cure to all my skin woes, I've gone through enough 'miracle cures' to be reasonably cynical about it - so there was no way I was going to splash out my hard earned cash on an expensive one!

I was looking at three when choosing which one to buy: the Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Setting Spray, Model in a Bottle Setting Spray and the ELF Makeup Mist & Set. Of course, being a student, price is everything and any of you who have been following my blog will know that when I made an ELF order, I made sure to include the Makeup Mist & Set - if the cheaper product works, there's no need to splash out!

Seeing as the light is constantly bad whenever I'm home from sixth form now, I had to reuse the photos from my haul (apologies if that particularly offends anyone, though you might want to take a look at yourself if that's you) - sorry!

The packaging, similar to most elf products is pretty basic, just a plastic bottle with a plastic spray top - though packaging is never something I'm too bothered about, as long as it's practical and the product is good! The spray top delivers the right amount of product so that it covers your face, but doesn't leave any droplets or visible residue.

For anyone still clueless about what this actually does, it's basically a spray which you spray on your face after make up application, and it helps it set longer - don't ask me how because I don't know, let's just assume it's a pot of magic for now..

Anyway, enough of the blog drivel about it - down to what you actually wanted to know (let's face it, the rest is just in one ear and out the other) - DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?

Well the answer to that lovely question is, thankfully, yes.. and well! Since using this, I've noticed a great change in the longevity of my make up - for example, today I worked a 7 hour shift at the pool (i.e sticky hot heat), with my usual concealer/foundation/bronzer combo - and after the 7 hours, my makeup looked practically flawless. Now that is an improvement! No more taking breaks to touch up my face because it's dripped down my neck within an hour - this is pretty much my miracle product.. it hasn't even broken me out like every other product under the sun!

In short, this product has worked wonders for me, and I would totally recommend it to anyone having the same problems. Plus, for only £3.75, where's the harm?!

Another amazing product from e.l.f - I salute you!

Lots of loving coming your way,
Liv xox

P.S. It's actually ridiculous how long this post took me to write - I'm very aware I haven't blogged in about two weeks (i'm so so sorry!), and this post alone was written over the course of three or four sessions.. I just have so much to do :( My very lacking concentration levels don't help, but let's blame it on the school work/job shall we? (Yes, lets.)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Benefit Highbeam Dupe - Technic 'Highlights'

I'm just going to come out with it; I have a severe case of writers block. Not the type where I can't think of anything to write about, because i'm constantly filled with ideas about what I want to tell you about - but the even more infuriating block of not being able to put down on paper what's swimming around in my head. And yep, those two little sentences you've just read took me about ten minutes to type out and be happy with. I've sat here and ummed and ahhed about how I'm going to write today - when normally it just all spills out into lovely words without much effort at all, so I'm just going to slap it down (metaphorically), and if it all sounds a bit loopy and off-the-rails, then I apologise. On the other hand, you may be a total fan of 'off-the-rails' writing which doesn't make much sense either to you the reader, or me as I'm reading it back.

In that case, you're in for a treat.

I wanted to do a little 'dupe' post for you today, as personally these are my favourite types of posts to read - what's better than finding another version of a top quality product for half the price?! (the answer, in case you were wondering, is not much at all..)
I read about this on another blog post (sorry sorry sorry I have no idea who's it was..) and bought it straight away, because a) i'm a very trusting person and b) i was lusting after the expensive product and figured what the hey, it's worth trying the cheaper version first!

And the product I'm going to be raving about today, is 'Highlights' by Technic - and if you hadn't already guessed (or maybe you just read the title), it's a dupe of the popular highlighter 'Highbeam' by Benefit.

Just as a starter, the packaging is ridiculously similar to the Highbeam - it even has the same font for the words, and is kept in the same bottle, which is similar to a nail varnish (very similar to a Models own bottle). The only packaging difference is that apparently the technic's brush is much worse quality - but I find that it is much easier to get a good application if you use your fingers, so this is quite unimportant to me.

Excuse the bad lighting and generally horrific picture, but this is an attempted swatch of it - though just keep in mind that the light has made it look silver, which it is definitely not.. I did take a photo of it on my face, because I do think it looks gorgeous, but my skin is so awful at the moment that I daren't show you all!
The consistency is quite runny and easy to apply, but pigmented enough so that you don't need hardly anything to give a good glow to cheek/brow bones. I do find that this only lasts around 3-4 hours on me, but by then it's normally time for a makeup top-up anyway, so I don't mind.

I purchased this off Amazon for £2.90 (inc. postage and packaging.), which is a considerable amount less than the £18.50 which Highbeam costs! The link is here if you want to buy it!

I really would recommend this as a brilliant dupe of Highbeam - it's definitely the same quality and is generally identical, apart from the cheaper packaging. I love this and it's now a key part of my make up routine to brighten up my face, as well as highlighting my cheekbones!

So there we go: sorry for the awful writing today! Also, if I repeated myself at any points, it may be because I had the Monki website open on another page and got utterly transfixed at all their beautiful clothes half way through writing this - definitely go visit if you're on the hunt for your autumnal wardrobe essentials!

Hope you're all doing well and the work stress which has recently overrun my life hasn't hit any of you!
(Note to self: AS levels are a lot harder than you thought they'd be!)

Love Liv xxx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

MooGoo Cosmetics - Samples

Okay, so just to warn you, the brand I'm going to write about today is a little kooky. And when I say kooky, I mean I really didn't get it at all when I first looked at the products, and to be quite honest I still don't get it - but let's give it a try!
Basically my mum went to a work conference at the weekend, and brought me back a bag of samples from an Australian company called MooGoo. The company is targeted at people who have skin and scalp problems, and covers a range of conditions such as eczema, acne, dry skin and dandruff.
Now, this all sounds very sane and normal - but don't start questioning my intelligence when I say I don't get it! The company was first created when the founder adapted a cream used in dairy farms to help a family member with a skin problem. Yes, you read correctly, they got the udder cream used for cows with sore udders and turned it into skincare products - weird right?!

The products range from cleansers and lip balms, to specialty condition creams and nappy balms - and I have to admit, I find the whole thing a little odd.

The samples I received were:

  • The original udder cream (it's called udder cream, don't fret though, it's just a moisturiser)
  • Nappy balm (not too sure what I'm going to do with this one..)
  • Acne Cleansing Cream - and I'm actually really excited to try this one out, it sounds amazing!
  • Irritable Skin Balm 
  • Scalp Cream
The samples came in a cute little farmsey back complete with a bit of straw - just to get you in the dairy farm mood, I presume..

The samples (and the straw.. unexplainable but also totally enjoyable..)

Udder Cream Skin Milk
When I first read the back, I honestly thought I'd been given some udder cream.. apparently it's a joke, I must really have no sense of humour..

Scalp Cream - this is mainly based for people with scalp based conditions such as redness or flaking,
but I'll be trying to find a use for it..

The Acne Cleansing Cream - this promises to replace bleach based products such as Benzoyl Peroxide by working as a leave-on moisturiser - it uses anti oxidants to not only prevent excess oils on the skin becoming "rancid" but also cleansing the skin of bacteria - both of which lead to acne. I'm really hoping this works, as it's saying all the right things!
The Acne Cleansing Cream
Nappy Balm - what I will do with this I really don't know - as lovely as it is for baby's bottoms, i'm not sure there's a use for it on me.. if anyone has any radical ideas for uses of nappy balm that don't involve nappies, drop me a comment and help me out!
Irritable Skin Balm - this is a balm for problems such as eczema, but I'm sure I can find a use for it somewhere..
 One of the plus points of their products, is that lots of them contain little or no oil, and so are good for skin such as mine, which is quite oily.

Another thing I absolutely love about the brand is that from looking through their booklet, their full-size packaging is absolutely adorable! It's all cow and milk themed, with some of the larger creams coming in 'milk carton' type packaging, and plenty of cow based puns to go around! Full versions of the creams above price at around £10-£14 each, and the Udder Cream costs £8 for the full sized 120g tube I was given.

The MooGoo brand has just been launched in London, and so is pretty much unheard of at the moment - it doesn't supply to discount chains, supermarkets or online discount stores, only full service pharmacies and health food stores, so online is pretty much your only way of buying products - however I'm sure as they gain popularity, it'll become easier to access.

Though I was given some of their more 'out there' creams, they have a great range of facial cleansers that I would love to try (especially the oil cleanser, which is meant to be amazing for acne prone skin), and their Milk Shampoo is also meant to be heavenly - so I may well invest in some of that!

The acne cleansing cream is meant to start working after a week or so of use, so I will let you know on the effectiveness of that! The last thing I wanted to mention was that all of the products smell absolutely heavenly to me.. it's a weird smell (again, it kinda smells a bit like milk..), so milk but nicer - think of it like that.
Okay, I'm aware that doesn't sound nice in the slightest.. but hey ho, definitely go and try out some of their products! Looks like a great natural company selling great natural products - I'd love to hear how you get on with their other things!

Liv xxx

Saturday, 1 September 2012

My first e.l.f experience (+ haul)

Over the past few months, I've been hearing more and more about e.l.f (or eyes, lips, face) as a company and as a set of products.

E.l.f. describe their company as:

' a line of simple, luxurious, problem-solution tools that allow you to showcase and believe in your unique, personal beauty. Our cosmetics are designed to improve and accentuate the individual, not hide her away... Every woman should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, without sacrificing her budget. ' 

In short, they focus their products around simplicity and affordability - products with a purpose, which do what they say on the tin and won't break the bank. They seem to lower the price by not spending on advertising or packaging - as well as they are only available online (in the UK, they sell in stores in the US).

After reading many reviews on various products and hearing bloggers rave about them, I was amazed to take a peek on the website and find that their products were ridiculously cheap - usually this would put me off, because I would assume the quality was horrendous, but after the rave reviews - I was so excited to put an order in!

So on Thursday, I put in a little order, and here is what I bought:

waterproof eyeliner pen, £1.50

Waterproof Eyeliner Pen:
I've been searching for a waterproof liquid (or felt tip) eyeliner ever since I started my lifeguarding job, as you're around a lot of water and going in saunas etc - I really didn't want my eye makeup ending up half way down my face. The applicator of this pen is like a thin felt tip - meaning it's easy to use, and easy to apply either a very thin line, or thicken it up if necessary. I tested this out this morning when I went swimming, with my Rimmel Colossal Volum' Express waterproof mascara (see earlier haul), and I was so happy with the result! I applied this on the top of my eyelid above my eye, and when I came out of the pool my eye makeup was exactly as it was when I entered - this stayed in a pristine line above my eye, with no smudging or moving of any kind!

all over color stick, £1.50

All Over Color Stick in Spotlight
The e.l.f color sticks are basically a stick of product which can be used anywhere on your eyes, lips or face. They come in a range of colours from pale creams to bronzes and deep pinks, and I chose the palest cream colour called Spotlight. I'm hoping to use this on my cheekbones mainly, as a highlighter, but I might also end up using it as a kind of nude lipstick, because I hate how bright my lips are!

swatches of spotlight color stick and waterproof eyeliner pen

make-up mist and set, £3.75

Makeup Mist and Set
The e.l.f makeup mist and set is basically a make up setting spray which contains lots of natural ingredients, and claims to 'improve makeup wearability','moisturize and sooth the skin' with natural ingredients, and prevent colour from 'running or fading'. So far I have been impressed with it, as I wore it to the pool when I lifeguarded yesterday, and my makeup did seem to stay in place longer than usual - even with the increased heat and humidity. I haven't developed a full opinion on it yet, but I'll pop up a review when I've tested it some more.

My friend also joined in my order (to save on postage!) and she ordered a few things which I thought I'd show you before I give them to her!

tone correcting powder

Tone Correcting Powder
The e.l.f tone correcting powder has been quite controversial between bloggers, as some claim it's a miracle product, and others hating it. Personally, I think it just looks like a cheap eyeshadow compact from primary school - but each colour combats a different problem with skin tone - and the overall powder aims to even skin tone and mattify your skin. I'll be interested to see how she finds it, as I'm not sure I'd be too happy putting these colours onto my skin!

all over color stick, £1.50

All Over Color Stick in Golden Peach
She also ordered a colour stick, but this time in Golden Peach - a lovely pinky bronze colour, which I assume will be used for either a blush or a bronzer!

Another thing I love about e.l.f is that they constantly have offers on! A while ago they were doing a complete 50% off offer, where everything was half price - recently they put all their makeup brushes for £1 each for a weekend, and at the moment the offer is that shipping is £1 (normally the offers have a minimum spend of £10). When I ordered everything on Thursday, the offer was that you got a free nail varnish with every order (again, I think it was everything over £10), and so I got this free nail varnish with the order:

nail polish in royal purple, £2.50

Nail Polish in Royal Purple
I didn't get to choose the colour, so I was given Royal Purple, though I would describe it as more of a dark fuchsia. The formula seems nice, but maybe a bit runny - and there is a glittery shimmer throughout it, which probably makes it more suitable for toes than fingernails, but I'm sure I'll get some use out of it!

Another thing to mention that I loved about e.l.f was how amazingly quick it was! Postage was around £3, and within an hour or two or ordering it on Thursday afternoon, I recieved an email saying my package had been dispatched, and it arrived in the morning post the next day!

I would definitely recommend e.l.f as a company, and I love all the products I recieved from first impressions - I'll let you know how I got on with them later!