Archive for May, 2011
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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Volumising powder, the lovechild of a dry shampoo and a volumising spray, has become one of the go-to products for creating the big, messy, bedhead look that’s so popular right now.
Schwarzkopf’s Got2b is one of the first brands to bring us this new wave volumising product for under £5 – and when you think that Got2b comes from the same camp as hair powder afficionados OSiS, this is probably a safe bet for experimentation.
Think of the product as backcombing in a bottle, Just tip your head upside down, liberally pile on the powder, scrunch or brush it through, and big hair is yours without the need for bumpits or loads of back-brushing or combing. It also works a little like dry shampoo to remove excess oil and give hair a matte finish – perfect for morning after the night before hair!
Schwazkopf Got2b Volumising Style Powder £4.07 at Superdrug
Friday, May 27th, 2011
Back when I worked in a cosmetics shop, I could tell the moment anyone had restocked a product containing the rich, citrus Neroli oil. It’s such a pervasive scent, and so instantly recognisable, that it quickly joined Jasmine on my list of top fragrance ingredients.
And now Tom Ford, he of unquestionable taste, sex appeal and access to Colin Firth’s phone number, has taken Tunisian Neroli and blended it with its perfect partners (other citruses, plus Bergamot and Lavendar to sweeten the bitterness) to make Neroli Portofino, an indulgent scent that goes straight to the top of my wishlist despite the fact I’ve not actually sniffed it yet.
Unfortunately, with this designer scent comes a designer price tag of just over £230. However, for that you get a whopping 250ml. Most fragrances come in 30ml or 50ml bottles for about £30 – £50, so on a ml for ml basis, it’s not actually as bad as it sounds.
I know, I know. You believe me, thousands wouldn’t…
Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Fancy adding a bit of subtle shimmering bronze to your Summer skin? You won’t be short on options with everyone and their auntie putting out a bronzing cream or oil. There are various formulas to suit all price ranges, but one new offering in particular looks very familiar indeed…
Someone at the Body Shop has clearly been keeping a close eye on what’s happening over at NARS, as the packaging for the new Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil looks really similar to NARS’ longstanding favourite Body Glow.
The similarities don’t end there either, as both are an oil-based formula that promises a shimmery, bronzed finish to the skin with no greasy finish.
However, while NARS look to the tropics with Monoi de Tahiti (a combination of coconut oil and tiare flower) to enrich the formula, The Body Shop have added fair trade honey from Ethiopia. So it’s up to you to choose between a floral-tinged pina colada or a softer, sweeter blend.
In truth, if you are thinking of buying one of these, your final decision will probably come down to price. NARS are asking £44 for 120ml of their luxury offering, while 100ml of The Body Shop’s rival is yours for only £16.
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
It’s safe to say that I’m a fan of BioEffect EGF serum. In fact, I’ve been using it in place of night cream ever since I reviewed it back in January, and my skin’s never looked better.
The brand new ‘miracle’ product was also a winner in our New Year Honours awards, with you guys voting it the best new skincare product of the last 12 months. But at £125 per bottle, it’s a pricey investment!
So I’m really excited to be able to offer Latest in Beauty members the chance to try the product for a lot less.
Latest in Beauty have a limited number of luxury samples available. The 3.5ml bottles are worth £35, but you can order them from us now for only £8.
And don’t forget, we offer free postage & packing on orders of three or more luxury samples, so if you try just two more products (prices start at £2) you can get them all delivered for free.
Just click here to log in to the main site, then click the Luxury Samples box to order.
Friday, May 20th, 2011
No matter what hair removal method you use, there comes that annoying time when the regrowth starts. Luckily, there are a few hair minimisers on the market that aim to make that regrowth softer and less apparent as you wait for your next waxing appointment / hunt down that last replacement razorblade you know you have somewhere in the back of the bathroom cupboard.
I recently tried Veet’s new Hair Minimising Body Moisturiser, and I have to say I was pretty surprised. It wasn’t so much that it reduced the hair regrowth (I think this would be more noticeable over a longer period of time on areas that are shaved frequently like legs) but the hair that grew back was so much softer as it started to grow through that I couldn’t help but be impressed.
I’ve tried a couple of products like this in the past and what I’ve found is what you gain in hair minimising, you lose in moisturising capabilities – I remember one being incredibly waxy feeling on the skin and actually quite unpleasant. Here Veet have definitely delivered. I sometimes get dry flaky skin down my shins, especially if I’ve been shaving my legs, and this kept that at bay easily.
You do need to use it every day to see proper results though. To give the the stats Veet gave me, in consumer trials 82% of women experienced longer lasting smoothness within just two weeks. 71% of women experienced softer stubble within 3 weeks, and 79% saw slower regrowth after 4 weeks.
I think substituting your regular body lotion for this on the legs is a savvy move if you want to make hair removal as simple as possible. You won’t notice a dramatic reduction in hair in a few days but over time it’ll help a bit, and at under £5 a bottle (with frequent discounts and offers at Boots / Superdrug) it’s not an expensive experiment.
The moisturiser comes in two varieties, one for sensitive skin and one for normal / dry skin. Both are £4.99 at Boots.
Friday, May 20th, 2011
As an advocate of mineral foundation, I often find that if I switch back to liquid products for any reason, I often find they feel far too heavy and cakey on my skin. But sometimes it’s nice to have a slightly dewier finish, or you need a liquid product because of the things you’re putting on top, so I do like to keep a reliable, affordable liquid base in my makeup bag.
Step forward Max Factor Xperience Weightless Foundation.
I’ve always been a fan of Max Factor foundations, and the new Xperience foundation sounded right up my street – a light liquid that conceal imperfections and evens out skintone, but also feels weightless. I tried this in Light Ivory 40 and it was the perfect match for my fair skin. With rival drugstore brands, I’ve given up trying to find a match (I’m looking at you, Rimmel and Maybelline) because even the lightest shade is far too orange.
My skin is combination and I found this foundation blended effortlessly. You don’t need much to even out skintone, but can apply a little more (and some loose powder) if you need to control shine too. On first application it does have a slight tendency to go a tiny bit chalky over drier areas or lines. Give it a minute though, and it settles down and soaks in a bit to a lovely dewy-matte finish.
It does feel weightless – to the point where you may apply a bit too much on first application. Once you get used to applying it sparingly, I think it’s lovely. My only issue is that after wearing it for a couple of days my skin broke out with a few spots – but this could just have easily have been caused by another product, so I’ll give Max Factor the benefit of the doubt.
All in all, I think this is a lovely product that gives flawless coverage without feeling heavy. It also has the added bonus of an SPF 10 – not high enough as far as I’m concerned but better than nothing and fine for Winter. In short, I think this is a great choice if you’re new to foundation, or if you’re trying to ‘lighten up’ your regime.
Max Factor Xperience Weightless Foundation £9.99 for 30ml at Boots
Thursday, May 19th, 2011
I’ll start this review on a pedantic note. The colour of Glam Shine 6h lipgloss I tried was labelled ‘Oriental Fuschia’. It was part of a gift set that came with a £15 spend in on L’Oreal products in Boots just before Christmas, and I assume this particular colour was included because L’Oreal realised they’d spelled ‘Fuchsia’ wrong (ha!) and needed to shift the stock, as it’s not available any more. Always Pink is probably the closest dupe.
But onto the gloss itself. You may recognise the Glam Shine range as it’s currently being hawked by ‘national treasure’ Cheryl Cole in every prime-time ad break. It has a very distinctive applicator – L’Oreal say it’s heart-shaped, but I have taken to thinking of this as the ‘vulva’ lipgloss. Yep, try to get that image out of your head now!
Jokes aside, I actually really rate the applicator. It’s soft and spongy and covers the lips quickly and neatly, and is so well-shaped you can probably touch-up without using a mirror (a la Angelina Jolie at the Golden Globes).
Thursday, May 19th, 2011
Every brand on the block has a gradual tanning product now, but this remains one of my favourites because it’s both affordable and idiot-proof. Given the choice, I would normally go with a more high-end alternative because they tend to be slightly less streak-prone and have less of the fake tan smell, but if you’re on a budget, Dove definitely deliver.
If you want a really natural result and find it difficult to get to grips with regular fake tan, this is a great introduction. I tried the Fair / Medium version, which built up in 3 or 4 days to a natural-looking, light tan. Compared to a similarly priced product like Johnson’s Holiday Skin, it did take slightly longer to build colour, but that’s probably because it’s formulated for fair skin. I find the Johnson’s streaks quite easily, wheras this one didn’t. Both smell of fake tan though – no getting away from that!
It is worth bearing in mind that this is a body moisturiser as well as a gradual tanner so it will take a little while to soak into the skin, and if you dress before it’s completely dry, you might get streaks or stain your clothes. I found this needed a good ten minutes to dry completely, though I have got away with dressing after five in a rush! The real key with application is to be careful to apply it as you would a fake tan – make sure to cover every bit of skin, and try not too get too much on dry parts like ankles or knees where it can go a bit grubby.
In general, because this builds over a few days, you can be sure of a good colour that isn’t streaky and that fades evenly, but it really depends on the condition of your skin. The benefit of using this is that the longer you use it, the better the tan will become because your skin will be getting softer and smoother as you build the colour. I love using this when I get back off a holiday to prolong a tan and keep my skin glowing!
Overall, this gets a 4/5. It’s really well priced and builds a lovely tan, but for a body lotion, it’s not as foolproof as I’d like and still takes as long to apply as a regular fake tan if you want decent results. Skin feels soft and smooth, but it take dedication to get proper results so I won’t give it full marks!
Dove Summer Glow Beauty Body Lotion: Fair to Medium £5.10 at Boots
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Bronzing pearls are a lovely product to use if you want a really light Summer glow, as you never pick up too much colour from them. If you’re worried about being heavy-handed with a compact bronzer, definitely consider picking up a pot of these instead. Just sweep a big fat powder brush over the little spheres of shimmer pigment and brush onto the cheeks, temples and anywhere where the light hits for a “have you been on holiday?” finish.
17 Bronzing Pearls were the first ones I tried, and I still think they’re a really good buy for the price. They come in two shades for different skintones (though I safely used the ‘medium’ on fair skin) and deliver great results for less than a fiver.
For an extra use, you can also crush a pearl up in the lid and use it as eyeshadow – just be careful as it can get a bit messy. Also keep an eye on those sneaky spheres and if you drop one on the floor, pick it up straight away. It’s very easy to accidentally crush one into the carpet, and only the strongest shampoo will get it back out again!
17 Instant Glow Bronzing Pearls £4.99 at Boots
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
I was unsure about New CID Cosmetics i-glow when I first tried it. I have the Coral Crush shade, which in the pan is quite an intimidating hot pinkish coral shot through with loads of golden shimmer. It’s a baked product so the powder is very find, but it’s very, very sparkly and I was worried that too much on this would give me OTT glitter face.
Still, I decided to give it a go as the colour is very pretty, and used a big brush to sweep it onto the fleshy parts of my cheeks, with a bit of my usual Benefit Dallas swept below for contouring. I was surprised, looking in the mirror, how natural and pretty it looked. Rather than looking caked-on, it gives more of a soft glow. Because the baked powder is super-fine, I think most skins will be able to get away with all the shimmer particles , as it’s more light reflecting than glittery.
I was even more surprised on meeting up with friends when one – who sees me at least once a week – said instantly, “You’ve done something different with your makeup, you have something a bit extra, it looks nice!”
This was the best compliment, because my favourite kind of makeup is the stuff that makes you look better, but is hard to identify. I always call it ‘your face, but better’ makeup. It’s lovely when someone says “Your eyeshadow’s pretty,” or “I love that lipstick!” but even better when they think you look great but can’t put their finger on why (because then you can always just say “oh, no, I’ve just been eating well and taking care of myself” and pretend that glow is 100% natural!). So three cheers to New CID for taking something that looks scary and making it incredibly wearable. This is going straight to the top of my blusher pile for a quick skin fix!
i-glow Compact Shimmer Powder £24 at New CID Cosmetics