Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencils

Nudestix pencils have been a regular feature of my makeup routine for the past 6 months. I've already posted about the eye pencils and some of the first shades I received from Look Fantastic here and here so I'll try not to repeat myself too much in this post. 

The brand's whole ethos is about easy-to-use, fun barely-there makeup which will give you a pop of colour without covering up your natural beauty. I'm definitely embracing more natural makeup looks lately and this brand just nails it with creating products for 'no makeup makeup'. Their pencils are created with skin-loving ingredients like Shea Butter, are fragrance free and are not tested on animals. Each pencil also comes in it's own tin with built in mirror and sharpener which doubles as a pencil cap.

I've mentioned a couple of the Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencils (£24 each)* before but I now have 11 of the 12 shades, some of which are newly released to the US only currently. The colours range from nude pinks to deep reds. Vintage, Icon, Retro and Pixi are the newest shades to the Intense Matte collection. These are dual-use products to add some colour to your pout and cheekbones. The pencil works as a liner too so you just draw around your lips and fill in.

(shades left to right) Icon, Vintage, Retro, Raven, Royal, Stiletto, Kiss, Belle, Entice, Purity and Pixi 

The pencils are all very pigmented and the texture is creamy but it dries matte. As with most matte lip colours these look much better applied to exfoliated lips but these are more moisturising than some other similar products I've tried. Initially I loved these more as just a lip product but I have been using them more recently as a blush too. There's something really pretty about having your lips and cheek match and it adds to that effortless beauty look. When I'm wearing these on the cheeks I tend to keep my base/foundation to a minimum as these work beautifully when buffed into bare skin. I've found the red tones work better as blushes for my skintone and I tend to reach for the shade Retro most.

(shades top to bottom) Stiletto, Royal, Raven, Retro, Icon, Vintage 

(shades left to right) Pixi, Purity, Entice, Belle and Kiss

The main drawback of these pencils is that they are a little pricey and with every sharpen you do lose a bit of product. I absolutely love these though and I will pick up a few of the shades I'm missing from the other collections. There's also dual-ended lip colours available in the US which I think give a bit more bang for your buck.

You can grab most of these from Cult Beauty here and the newest shades if you're in the US directly from the brand's website here. You can also use the code 'FRESHLENGTHS10' for 10% off orders on the brand's website.

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried Nudestix?

Lesley x

Monday, 28 November 2016

Skincare | Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra Removal 2016

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra, often shortened to DPN, is the appearance of small mole-like lumps on the skin. I've had DPN appear on various parts of my body since being a teen and whilst they cause no known medical problems I've had them removed from my face (twice) as I just don't like how they look.

I've spoken about DPN previously on my blog (here) but as I've had my second treatment to remove them recently I thought explain the process in more detail in a video. I really hope this helps anyone considering the treatment as when I was first looking for a solution for DPN a lot of clinics I went to didn't know or understand what it was. My skin isn't totally clear (I still get mild acne and I have some DPN left) but I am so much happier with how my skin looks now. The treatment was definitely worth it for me and I would go back again for a third time.

The Video 

As ever, if you have any questions let me know in the comments

Have you heard of DPN before? 

Lesley x

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Beauty | NARS Cosmetics Faves

I first dipped my toe into the world of NARS at the beginning of the Summer and now they're my go-to brand. Over the last few months I've amassed a few favourites I've gushed about already on my Instagram account but I thought I'd share them here.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (£30) 
I love this foundation which is strangely described as a tint. This is more than just a tinted moisturiser and the coverage is absolutely beautiful. It's not full coverage but medium and buildable giving a really skin-like finish. The finish is matte enough that I barely have to use any powder afterwards too. This is a winner for my oily skin and whilst I still love the Sheer Glow Foundation (mentioned here) this is definitely my favourite out of the two. You also get 50ml of product in this tube so it goes a lot further than other foundations I've tried.

NARS Dual Intensity Blush (£30) 
I have two shades of the Dual Intensity Blushes - Frenzy (Gold/Orange) and Panic (Fuschia/Pink) and they're like no other blush product I own. You can use them wet or dry and the formula holds up well used either way. They swatch beautifully pigmented from the pan onto my fingers but when applied to the cheeks with a brush the colour comes out very sheer. It's definitely not what I'm used to as it's hard to use too much product with these. None of the makeup brushes I had really worked with this product how I liked so I ended up grabbing the brush NARS created for this product (#23 Wet/Dry Blush Brush). For full colour used dry I find I have to pack the product onto my brush for it to come out as pigmented as I want on the skin. Wet the colour sort of washes over the skin. This blush has a luminous feel and it looks so beautiful as it almost behaves like a stain. The highlight in the Frenzy compact is just so beautiful too. This is one of those products that isn't for everyone but now I know how to use it I couldn't be without it.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22.50)
In one of my videos I asked people to recommend concealers to try and so many of you told me to get this concealer I finally did a few months ago. The formula is so easy to blend and I just need the tiniest amount to cover up any dark spots or redness. I originally got this to conceal/brighten my under eye area but no matter what I do every product I use creases like crazy, including this. I probably need to work on my technique or try a different primer under my eyes but when I figure it out I'm hoping I can minimise the look of my dark circles better. Otherwise this concealer is perfect and I rely on this most when I don't want to wear foundation.

Have you tried anything by NARS? 

Lesley x

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Review | Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Conditioners

I've always had such good success with the Shea Moisture conditioners I've tried so I've been itching to get my hands on the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line. I couldn't find it in a lot of the shops I usually buy Shea Moisture products from but it is stocked in a few places online. I picked up the Intense Hydration Conditioner and Masque from Beauty By Zara back in September and I'm in love.

There's only 4 products available in the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line - a shampoo, conditioner, masque and a treatment oil. I have so many shampoos and oils on hand currently I only really needed the conditioners. As you can probably guess from the name the star ingredients in this line are Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil which both help keep the hair hydrated. Mafura Oil has long been used to nourish the skin and hair in Africa but I haven't seen it used in many hair products available here. Other ingredients include Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, African Rock Fig, Baobab Oil and Rice Protein. Like a lot of the Shea Moisture line these conditioners are also formulated without sulphates, parabens and mineral oil. With such an impressive ingredients list it was hard not to have high hopes for these products.

Both of these conditioners really deliver on injecting moisture into dry strands and I've had consistent results with each use. My hair is prone to (a lot of) tangling too and lately these are amongst only a few products which I can rely on to melt away the knots. I tend to use the conditioner as a co-wash and the masque with a steamer after shampooing. I found these products really similar to the Superfruit Complex line (conditioners reviewed here) in terms of the scent, texture and ingredients but I find these slightly more moisturising. There's not much between them though and I'll probably continue to buy from both lines. Overall these are definitely winners for me. It's a shame there aren't any Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil styling products as I would definitely buy these too.

Have you tried anything by Shea Moisture?

Lesley x

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Look Fantastic Beauty Box | Oct 2016

Last month's Look Fantastic Beauty Box was the pamper edition. I had every intention of getting to the items in the box but so far I've only been able to test out a couple. This post is up a little later than I expected as October seemed to slip by!

Inside is Oskia London Renaissance Mask (full size £49.50), Mio Liquid Yoga Restorative Bath Soak (full size £26), Alterna Caviar Moisture Intense Treatment (full size £26.95), Polaar The Genuine Lapland Cream (regular size £7.26), Murad Intensize-C Radiance Peel (full size £49.50) and Laura Geller Pout Perfection Waterproof Lip Liner in Cabernet, Claret or Mauve (£14)*

I've been focusing more skincare recently (after a bad breakout last month) so welcomed the two intensive treatments from Oskia and Murad. Both are pretty pricey so it'll be great to see if these are worth the extra investment. So far I've only used the Oskia Renaissance Mask (once). I've never used a mask like it, the consistency is quite thick. A little is massaged into the skin for a few seconds to 'activate' the formula's blend of fruit acids, enzymes and AHA's and you leave it on for 10-20 minutes. I only left it on for 10 minutes and my skin was incredibly smooth after using though I haven't seen any visible differences yet. I'd definitely need to give this a few more tries to see if it's a winner for my skin. The Murad product seems very similar to other masks I've tried (and loved) in the past so fingers crossed this a winner too.

I always love trying lip products so I couldn't help applying some of the Polaar lip balm as soon as I got this box. It makes my lips feel soft and it's free of parabens, fragrance and colour so this is one for anyone with sensitive lips. I haven't tried the Laura Geller Lip Liner yet mostly as I never use a liner but I'll give this a whirl at some point. I also haven't tried the Mio Liquid Yoga bath soak either as baths are something I rarely have currently. This product has such a strong scent of Lavender, I can imagine this would make for a relaxing soak before bed!

The Alterna Caviar Moisture Intense Treatment is basically my ideal product. It's a pre-shampoo treatment designed to boost moisture in very dry coarse hair. The sample here is 25ml so I've only applied this to my ends to see how it works. My hair does feel a lot softer afterwards but it's tricky to tell having only applied such a small amount. The full size is a bit pricey for me as I know it wouldn't last long but this could be a good product for those of you with less dense or shorter hair.

As usual if you're interested in the Look Fantastic beauty boxes you can grab them from their website here

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Have you tried a beauty box?

Lesley x