Thursday, 29 January 2015

New In | Beauty Edit

It's fair to say that my purchases in general slowed a little following Christmas. I even avoided the boxing day sales and seem to have curbed my ASOS addiction (for now at least). There have been a few items however that have slipped into my beauty stash which I've not tried before, most of which have been on my wishlist for some time.

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ (£15.50/100ml).
I mentioned this product in my Everyday Makeup Video here. It's one I've been dying to try as my oily skin means my makeup never lasts quite as long as I'd like. I've been mulling over this purchase for some time as I just couldn't get my head around the concept - you spray this mist over a full face of makeup and somehow this makes your makeup look better. After trying a dupe which didn't quite work I bit the bullet (and closed my eyes when I confirmed the payment online) and thankfully so far the product does exactly what I expected. It refreshes my skin leaving a 'dewy' natural finish and helps my makeup last longer.

L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes So Couture Black Mascara (£10.99)
This mascara came with a whole host of other L'Oreal goodies which I got for Christmas and I absolutely love the wand which is more like a comb than a brush. It works perfectly at grabbing and defining my smaller and lower lashes especially.

Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster (£16.50/125ml)
This beauty was another gift and probably a product I wouldn't have bought for myself. I see toners as more of a luxury than a necessity as my skincare routine has almost always consisted of simply cleansing and moisturising, with the occasional exfoliation session. Weirdly I've already become accustomed to slotting the Daily Energizer into my routine, applying a little to my face each morning, post-cleansing, and it gives my winter-beaten skin a kick-start. My skin seems to look fresher and generally less dull as a result.

Dr Bronner's Pure-Castile Citrus Liquid Soap (£5.99/237ml)
I've been looking for a new cleanser for some time. I usually just use Cidal, a natural anti-bacterial soap, but it's been leaving my skin so dry lately. This Liquid Soap by Dr Bronner cleanses my skin so well without stripping it of essential moisture.

MAC Satin Lipstick in Mocha (£15.50)
I've definitely become a lipstick hoarder. I made myself get rid of a few that had been gathering dust in my Muji drawers at the end of last year but have ended up simultaneously replacing them with new lipsticks, including this Satin Lipstick by MAC. This lipstick shade is so pretty, which is why I couldn't resist it, but it's definitely more of a pink/peach than the name mocha suggests. It's really easy to wear and works especially well for medium skintones. I love the semi-matte finish but it can feel a little dry so I usually remedy this by wearing a dab of lip balm underneath.

What beauty products have you been loving lately? 

Lesley x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Review | L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick

I've really been loving L'Oreal Paris Lipsticks lately, and in particular the Color Riche range. It's not perfect, but for me this is the most inclusive product range I've come across from L'Oreal Paris - I usually find their shades a bit too bright for my medium complexion.

I adore this Barely Golden shade from the Color Riche Collection Exclusive (£6.99), which was custom made to suit L'Oreal Paris spokesperson Eva Longoria. I wouldn't say I have the same skintone as Eva Longoria - we both have medium toned skin but she's a lot more golden and sun-kissed in colour. I'm feeling particularly 'pale' at the moment too where we're in the throes of winter. Somehow though this lipstick still works for me. It has a very subtle shimmer and tiny golden flecks which bring out the yellow undertones in my skin, making it appear less dull. I wouldn't say this shade is a nude tone for me but it perfectly complements soft, 'everyday' makeup looks or adds a nice pop of colour when I'm not wearing makeup.

I have a few Color Riche Lipsticks already, but I'd definitely buy a few more. I want to try the Color Riche L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks next.

Have you tried any L'Oreal Paris Lipsticks? 

Lesley x

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Realash Eyelash Enhancer | 1 Month Update

I've been using REALASH Eyelash Enhancer (£49)* (introductory post here) on my top lashes for the past month. The product claims to enhance the length and thickness of your lashes after consistent use for 2-3 months. So far, even though I've missed a few days here and there, the results have been positive.

I've tried to ensure applying the serum is part of my nightly skincare routine to stay as consistent as possible, and as a result my eyelashes do appear longer, seem shinier and look slightly thicker, though the results are not dramatic. I've only been using the product for a month however, so perhaps the results will be more obvious in another months time. The main thing I've noticed is that my eyelashes used to fall out a lot previously and that has drastically reduced.

Before - without mascara 

After - without mascara 

Before - with mascara

After - with mascara

I haven't noticed any irritation or side-effects so far which is good as I am prone to getting itchy eyes. The product itself is sterile, but to be doubly safe I've been applying the product with a clean cotton bud rather than the REALASH applicator (which looks very similar to a liquid eyeliner wand).

I think any changes are actually most obvious when I'm wearing mascara, probably because not all of my lashes are dark/black in colour and mascara helps define each lash. I'm definitely much happier with the look of my lashes and, if improvements continue, I don't think I'd feel the need to try false eyelashes to get thicker looking eyelashes. I'll be doing a final review of the product in two months.

*PR sample. You can read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried any eyelash enhancers before? 

Lesley x

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Hairstyle | Messy Bun with Braided Headband

I've been tired of my hair for a long time. Even my daily bun for work, which takes no more than 5 minutes to put together, has become a chore to do every morning. I've been wanting to try something different, but equally I've had minimal patience to attempt anything that requires too much fussing with my hair. On Friday I did this style as I knew this would be an easy style to create and it would perfectly disguise my curly roots from my straight ends.

There are various hairstyles like this on YouTube, but I've noticed a lot use extensions or braid the actual hair at the front so the result is more like a dutch or french braid. I wanted the effect to be more like a hairband. To make it work I used two long pieces of my own hair from each side roughly in the position I wanted the hairband to sit.

How to do it 
1. Braid each long piece from either side loosely (to keep it long and thick) securing with a hairband if needed 
2. Put the remainder of the hair in a high ponytail
3. Wrap each braid over the top of the head towards the opposite side, securing them in place with a few bobby pins (I pinned any long bits of hair from the braids into my bun for a more seamless finish)
4. Wrap the ponytail around itself, pulling bits out and pinning for a loose and messy look

If your hair is shorter you could try using braiding hair instead of your own hair for the headband. 

What hairstyles have you tried recently? 

Lesley x

© Fresh Lengths.Maira Gall.