Friday, 31 August 2012

Holiday Essential : Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo


So, I went jetsetting again, but only to a very familiar place, Crete. I consider Crete to be my second home as my beloved family liver here and hey, who can resist relaxing with family in the sun for a week or two? Not I. So anyways, I'll be doing a few holiday essential posts this week and this is my first one! This my friends, is 300ml of GREATNESS. If like me, your hair disagrees with all the sun and salt water, you need a trustworthy shampoo to retain the balance of natural oils in your hair to keep it happy and healthy. I am a huge fan of this stuff, and at £4.49, it isn't too steep. On the bottle, it states that the shampoo is for hair that is dry/damaged/a bit unhappy. 

This bottle of moisture infuser is fantastic for damaged hair after a day in the sun, helping to condition the hair and smooth it out. (My hair goes crazy frizzy in the heat). Aussie have a unique formula consisting of Australian Macadamia nut oil and aloe vera helping to lock in the moisture. Oh did I mention the smell? It's just too good. Levaes it smelling AMAZING and bubblegum-ey all day too. Put a little into your hands and circulate the scalp and make sure you rinse through properly. Leaves my hair feeling glossy and healthy for the night time. Definately one of my holiday essentials. 

Smokeyblush TIP : Pick up smaller travel-size bottles at the airport so you don't have to worry about the waste of a big bottle.  

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Review and Ideas: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer RRP £28

I've had this product for around eight months now and keep using it despite my unfortunate dislike for the product. I guess I keep using it to compensate for the amount of money I spent on a product that doesn't agree with me! I love the Laura Mercier brand and had heard great things about this product! Although the price was steep for a primer, I was encouraged to give it a go to achieve great coverage and a sheer base for foundation. I was very upset with the results! 

The application is easy, just a simple squeezy bottle and you only need a little and it goes a long way which is a plus! The primer is a gel which can be cooled in the fridge which is lovely on holiday after a day out in the sun! I found the gel watery and coverage wasn't great. I didn't notice a difference between wearing it with foundation and wearing foundation alone. On the plus side, it contains vitamins A,C and E and lots of antioxidants to protect from ageing. The gel is very lightweight which is also considered a plus, however, too lightweight to be considered for creating a canvas as a primer should do! 

My mum has the hydrating primer and it's moisture-rich texture is much more useful for even coverage. I do believe Laura Mercier have great products so i'm looking forward to trying more! Have you tried this one? Any other primers that are similar? Too watery/too thick?

Smokeyblush TIP: Take this on holiday to soothe the face after a long day in the sun. The vitamins will restore balance on your face and neck whilst cooling it. Pop it in the fridge for an even cooler sensation!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Review and Ideas L'Oréal Paris Super Liner, Perfect Slim

L'Oréal Paris Super liner, Perfect Slim, RRP £6.49

I've been on the hunt for another liquid eyeliner for ages! I've tested out gel liners and they are lovely, but not for me. I like precision and accuracy. This pen has a felt tip nib that thins towards the end making sure you can get accurate definition! I've always used liquid eyeliner and I'm a sucker for a big winehouse wing. The nib is 0.4mm and should give you the thinnest of lines if you wish. I love quite a thick line for the night time so I go over the original line to make it more dramatic! This pen has a grip area to keep control of the pen. The ink doesn't come off easily and stays put all day! In the past, I've used eyeliners that can appear cracked after a while and don't sit well with eyeshadows. I've had no trouble with this one so far and I'm in love with the product. In the day time, you can use the tip of the pen to outline the eyelid for a simple look. In the nightime, you could sweep the pen across the entire lid and create a flick as big as you want to define the eyes!

Smokeyblush tip : Use the end of the nib to gently outline your lower eyelash lid to create definition. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Review and Ideas: Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub

Soap and Glory Breakfast Scrub RRP £9.50

Hey fellow beauties, If you're looking for a great sugar scrub to exfoliate dry areas such as knees or elbows, this is what you need. I was recently sent this as a present from family In Greece, so thanks to them, I have super soft skin that is now addicted to a tri-weekly dose of Maple syrup sugar scrub.

This pure sugar scrub contains Golden Sugar scrub particles, Organic cupuacu bio scrubs, oatmeal grains, banana,almond and honey extracts, shea butter and glycerin. (Almost making it edible). The packaging is really noticeable and the pot of grainy caramel coloured substance looks good enough to eat. But please don't! That would be a waste.The smell is the first thing I noticed, a very potent Maple syrpup flavour which is very satisfying to apply to the body! The texture of the scrub is quite thick, almost the consistency of porridge but with extra grains of sugar. I found the tub a little hard to open when my hands were already wet so I have made a mental note to open the tub before getting soaked! 

The grains do a good job without irritating the skin and leaving it red or raised like a lot of scrubs I've used in the past. I used to think ' the redder the better' well, I couldn't have been more wrong, a good product will do a good job without taking a layer of your skin. I did find my skin was a little dry after using this but with everyday moisturising, the scrub works to exfoliate the dead skin cells and leaves a healthy shine behind.

Using it is really easy peasy, just scoop a little bit into your hands, rub into your palms and then scrub the area of your body in a circular motion! Rubbing in circular motions will encourage blood flow to the area for healthy circulation. 

This scrub may seem a little expensive for £9.50 but if you use it a couple of times a week, It will last you around six months. And that is six months of pure goodness. The scrub leaves a lingering maple syrup smell on your body and leaves you feeling fresh as a daisy. 

Favourite product of the month!! 

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Review and Ideas : Benefit Cream Eye Shadow

Benefit cream eyeshadow RRP £14

I am a big lover of Benefit, always really appreciative of the fun colours and their crazy ideas (blusher as a liquid lip and cheek stain- err amaze). So, I'm always after eyeshadows and I saw that Benefit did some cream based ones that stay put and don't crease. There are fifteen colours to choose from: Get figgy, skinny jeans, Fahrenheit, Stiletto, Strut, Tattle tale, gossip, birthday suit, my dates my brother, busy signal, flatter me,pre nup, bunny hop,flying down, RSVP.
As my bank balance in low from lots of summer holidays, I  was forced to picked one -My dates my brother. I needed a pink highlighter for my brow bone and lid and thought this was a nice soft colour to put on for a base too. I was advised to use an eyeshadow brush and I see why now, it was really hard to apply with fingers, it looked very very messy! So apply with a fine brush starting at the edge of the inner lash line with the tip of the brush. Sweep across and move towards the outer eye and then same again for brow bone area. If you want to build up the colour to make it more intense, leave for a minute to let the first base settle and continue process. Although I don't have any other colours to my collection yet, I wad advised by the lovely Benefit lady to build up shadows and contours by mix-matching cream shadows! 
Now here is the surprise, it's a liner too! These cream based shadows can be used as an eyeliner by getting the tip of the brush and sweeping it across the eyelash line! However, I attempted, and with this light colour, it didn't stand out and looked a little strange but I can imagine with some of the darker colours the effect is great! The shadow doesn't crease but make sure to use a primer beforehand to make sure it stays for the duration of your day! I love that you can be as simple or as dramatic as you like with these shades using effective buildup! Love it Benefit, may have to break the bank balance again!

Smokeyblush TIP : Use lighter colours(my brothers my date, birthday suit, tattle tale, flatter me) to highlight brow bone area or use as a base colour to create smokey eyes or a natural day time look!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Review and Ideas: Balance me beauty

 Daily Essentials Pure Skin Face Wash 15ml RRP £3.50
Daily Essentials Balancing Face Moisturiser 10ml RRP £6.00
Radiance Face Mask 15ml RRP £4.50

I've heard great things about Balance Me beauty products and they couldn't be more right! I sent for some mini products to find my feet with what I could order more of in the future,now, I want it all.

Firstly, the pure skin face wash ; Initially, I was pleased to see that the product contained no petroleum or sulphate which can irritate the skin. This face wash is the most innocent of them all out there! It contains grapefruit extract, frankincense oils, an anti oxidant named moringa, rice bran oils and spruce knot to create an even complexion with a polished look. I noticed the floral smell instantly with a hint of medical aromas. I also noticed that a little on your finger tip goes along way when mixed with tepid water. Circulate your finger tips on your cheeks, nose trip, forehead and chin once applied to create a layer of face wash. To apply over eyes, I put a little bit on a warm cloth and run it over my eyelids to protect the delicate eye area. I loved this face wash as it was good value for money and it gets rid of daily grime and dirt that develops on the face. 
Secondly, the Balancing face moisturise, I only really saw the effect after using my three products in a row, but it was a great effect. I applied over my face and décolletage and saw a noticeable change, especially to my cheeks, they felt softer, and appeared more balanced and calm. Sometimes, after doing a cleansing routine followed by a moisturising session, I have found my face stays red and patchy for a few hours. My least favourite out of the three, yet it was still a great buy for the price!

Lastly, my favourite of them all! The Balance me Radiance Skin Mask-AMAZING. This three in one skin mask exfoliates, cleanses and brightens the skin with it's natural ingredients. The mask contains ground walnut shells that exfoliate the dead skin cells and removes the layer of grime. It contains a fruit acid complex to restore your natural radiance too! I noticed the aroma was very similar to the other products and felt It was a little medical and needed a hint of zingy fruit to make applying more fun! Apply to the face using a circular motion to let the groundnuts to their work! Leave for five minutes and remove residue with a damp cloth. This was my favourite as my natural face oils had been replenished and my skin tone felt even and not irritated like most masks leave on my face!

Thank you BalanceMeBeauty, love your stuff,


Monday, 6 August 2012

Review and Ideas: Illamasqua Neutral Palette

Illamasqua Neutral Palette RRP £30

So I was a little naughty the other day....I couldn't resist the 'Neutral Palette' from the amazing Illamasqua shop in Liverpool. Dazzled by bold colours and glitter everywhere, I can understand this is definitely the makeup for your alter ego. I'm a big fan of smokey eyes on a night out and to get a great effect you need great pigment. Well folks, I just found it. This palette is £30 so may seem a little steep but It comes in a cute box and the case for the eyeshadow is sturdy and will last being pushed around in makeup bags!

The neutral palette has four colours in which you can create contoured lines and highlighted areas to make the eyes seem bigger. The palette contains three matte eye shadows : 'Stealth' (Cream), 'Wolf' (Chocolate), and 'Obsidian' (Black). Exclusive to the palette is a glittery gold colour called 'Vintage'. This palette has rich pigment so only a little is needed to go a long way! Create smokey eyes by using lighter colours on the inner eye and gradually darker colours towards the corners. Negative : I would have loved to have seen a little eye shadow brush within the palette which would make it easier to carry around on nights out! Watch out for a video soon, smokey eye tutorial, MAC or Illamasqua?
Smokeyblush TIP: Use a soft angled brush to get into the eye socket line and create smouldering contours. I like to use 'Stealth' on the brow bone to create a highlighted area. Only use a little black on the tip of your brush, it's the deepest black ever so use wisely!

Vlog #2 What are my three favourite bag cosmetics?

Heya! Have a look at my new vlog! I've figured out that other vloggers create videos about what's in their makeup bag but 1) I carry a lot of makeup with me, 2) Want to create a starter video of what I carry! So here are my three favourites : My benefit smokey eye palette, my MAC concealer and of course, my Max Factor lip tint that has already been reviewed so check it out on my blog!
I love these products and they go everywhere with me to keep me looking fresh throughout days out or hours of work! Hope you enjoy the video and find it useful!
Remember to check my twitter out too : @Smokeyblush

Smokeyblush ^ ^

Vlog #1 WELCOME!

Hey folks, this is my FIRST video! Can you believe it? I've started vlogging with my new camera!  This is only a welcome video but check it out as I'm introducing myself and of course watch out for reviews, tips and tutorials to come in the next few weeks! Hope you enjoy the video, let me know of any requests!

Smokeyblush ^.^

Review and ideas: Max Factor Smokey Eye Effect


This eyeshadow pen applicator is designed to create a smokey eye with two simple steps. It's great for the price and I've often seen it on offer in conjunction with other Max Factor products. There are eight two-step colours all together : pink plume, blue tempe, onyx smoke, purple dust, silver storm, indigo mist, citrus thunder,  and brown haze.Step one allows a overall coverage of the eyelid as the pen is rounded making it easier to cover the socket. Step two allows you to create a smoke in the crease of the eye with the pointed tip to create an effect of bigger and more mysterious eyes! The eyeshadow is cream based and fairly thick so blending colours can be difficult with brushes. I found that without a finishing powder, the cream creases up in the eye lid and is not good for long wear. Use a finishing powder on top to make sure the cream eyeshadow stays in place! You can pick these up at any drug store such as Boots/Superdrug. Worth a buy, I love the brown haze!
Smokeyblush TIP: Use the pointed tip to sweep across the lower lid line and blend and smudge with the tip of your finger to create sensual eyes!

Review and Ideas : Naked Palette Urban Decay


This palette doesn't appear cheap, however it holds 12 eyeshadows, a primer and a eye brush applicator.  The colours go from 'virgin' which is the lightest with a hint of pink to 'creep' which is a black coal colour with hints of glitter. There are also shades of beige, burnt oranges and lighter browns. I love using this palette to create a smokey eye contrasting one end of the palette with the other. I also use the lighter colours to create a simple day look.  The palette comes with a fine haired brush which is rounded! ( perfect for reaching into the creases of your eye) It also comes with a travel sized 'eye potion' primer! The primer is very cool and soothing and is applied with a mini mascara brush. The primer is cool and refreshing and creates a sheer surface for the eyeshadow to sit on.
Smokeyblush TIP: Use one of the lighter colours such as 'virgin' or 'sin' on the inner eye and try some darker colours towards the outer eye lid, such as 'darkhorse' or 'hustle'. I also use a darker colour to line the lower lid on nights out for an extra smokey effect to contrast with a black mascara!

Review and Ideas: MaxFactor Lip Infinity Tint


I absolutely love this range of Lip stains by Max Factor! I'm a little clumsy with lipstick and I've travelled all the way to Japan's best beauty stores to find colours I suit and something that doesn't feel too heavy and sticky in summer heat! At £6.99 these lip stains are a STEAL!  The ten shades range from 'pink petal' to 'latte'.  The pigment is rich in these stains yet when applying it, it feels light as the product is water-based. The applicator is a brush which reminded me of primary school felt-tip pens, however, this applicator made it so easy to use on the lips and can be used to outline the outer lip line with perfection. You can control colour intensity by applying it more than once. I use this to my advantage by applying it only once for a lighter shade in the day and then apply it a few  times before heading out for the night to intensify my lip colour to match smokey eyes!
Smokey blush TIP : Use the brush applicator to define and contour the outer lip line and then colour inside the outer line to create fuller looking lips! A lip liner and a lip stain all in one pen! Add a little gloss on top to great a glossy stain! Bargain!

Review and Ideas : MAC Vibrancy Eye Primer


I suffer from dark circles underneath my eyes most mornings (who doesn't?).  Having tried natural solutions such as increasing my water intake and getting more sleep, I can safely admit I need a helping hand in the form of makeup.  I'm always seeking makeup or moisturisers that will brighten my under eyes and I've come across a few that have let me down! The skin is incredibly thin underneath the eye and so delicate so I try to look for natural ingredients to prevent reactions to the eye area. 
Prep and Prime Vibrancy Eye primer is quite a thick serum that can be applied across and underneath the eyes. It reduces the appearance of dark circles and sets a canvas for liquid or mineral powder foundations/concealers. It feels lovely and sinks into the skin naturally. I found that the prep + prep was not enough to cover darker areas in the corner of my eyes(MACconcealer was used in conjunction). I also found the pump to be a little unreliable and sometimes gives you too much! I use this product for the overall texture the product gives and unfortunately not for brightening my dark bags!
Smokeyblush TIP:  If the pump does give you a little more than expected, why don't you use it to highlight and contour the nose or perhaps a little above the mouth will give your smile that extra radiance you want!

Review and Ideas : Illamasqua Satin Primer

Having only recently discovered Illamasqua myself, I was really looking forward to trying out some new products. I desperately needed a new primer and heard the Illamasqua satin primer was great for creating a blank canvass. The snazzy design grabbed my attention but it only holds 30ml of the primer which is initially off-putting. However, I've now had this primer for three months and have only used half.

 I use four dots across my face and use a foundation brush to sweep across darker areas and the cheek bones to illuminate them and create a sheer surface. This primer contains UVA and UVB filters and the smell resembles vanilla! I love wearing this underneath a foundation, however, having tried it as a natural base without foundation, I found the finish to be a little too shiny.
Smokeyblush TIP : Remember, a little goes a long way so only a few drops are needed. Also, try putting a line just across the top of the lip line to illuminate the mouth area. And if you dare to bare your legs, put a dash across the top of your lower leg to create a sexy shine!

Review and Ideas: Benefit Benetint


Benefit Benetint Rouge RRP £24.50
This rose tinted stain is PERFECT for adding a little colour to the cheeks and the lips. I fell in love with the product straight away. Benefit's first ever product smells and feels fantastic. Initially, seeing blusher in a bottle is confusing yet intriguing. I was advised by one of the lovely Benefit ladies to create whisker features on the cheeks and then simply rub in with the tips of your fingers across your cheekbone. To apply to the lips, use a fine haired brush to create a natural sheer finish. It is a really simple quick application process and the fine brush imitates a nail varnish brush making it easy to blush the cheeks using three dots across the apple. I've had this bottle for a couple of months and It's lasted me well so far, so for just over £20, it's a good buy and the stain lasts all day. Not to forget, It smells refreshing and summery making it a pleasure to apply!

Smokeyblush TIP : Three whisker strokes will illuminate the cheek bones perfectly once rubbed in with the tip of a finger.