Wednesday 29 April 2015

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Hello Lovelies, 

It seems I am very extremely late to the party because I only recently bought the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, I suppose I just haven't ever really been interested in "beauty blenders" as such and although there are many different ones out there on the market, they have just never interested me, up until now. I placed an order on the Superdrug website at the end of March and thought I'd order the Miracle Complexion Sponge since I'd never tried a beauty blender to apply my make up and thought I'd give it a go, so I popped one into my basket. 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge £5.99 

The sponge is a kind of egg shape with a pointy end at one end and a flat side at the other end, and I've been using it to apply my foundation and concealer and I love it! Why oh why have I not been bothered before? I feel like I've been missing out! I use the sponge by popping some of my foundation onto the back of my hand and then using the flat side and the rounded side I pat or bounce I suppose you could say the foundation onto my skin, I also like the pointy end for applying my concealer right into the inner corners of my eyes. 

I find I get a lovely flawless finish with my foundation when using the RT sponge and it has been my go to choice of applicator for my foundation and concealer over the last few weeks, it really is brilliant and a great price too. 

I'm pretty sure you've already picked one of these up by now but if like me you're a bit late to the party on this one, you can find the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge on line at Superdrug (free delivery over £10) Boots (free collect in store or £3.95 delivery) and Look Fantastic (free delivery)

Have you got a RT miracle complexion sponge? Do you love it as much as me? Do you have any tips of how else I can use mine? 

Thank you for reading, much love as always,

Zoe x


Tuesday 28 April 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

Hello Lovelies, 

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know that I suffer with extremely dry and dehydrated skin and you'll also know it's the bane of my life. Having very dry skin brings with it all sorts of problems one of them being that finding a face powder to wear over foundation is an absolute nightmare. When your skin is dry it usually means that you'll suffer with dry and flaky/scaly patches of skin, my worst ones are on my forehead. My skin is also dehydrated which means I have fine lines around and under my eyes and on my forehead too, I'm not painting a very attractive picture of myself to you here am I? But that's the reality of dry and dehydrated skin unfortunately and if you're a sufferer of either complaint or both like me then you'll know exactly what I mean. 

These problems make finding a face powder a real struggle, as you can imagine applying foundation and having a dry patch and or fine lines and then adding powder can create a bigger problem if the powder clings to the dry patches and settles into the fine lines which almost all powders I have tried have done. I have tried drug store powders and high end powders and had a real struggle to find one that doesn't make my skin care woes even worse. For the past few years I have been using and loving the MAC Blot Powder but in February Simon kindly bought me the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation (review post here) and I was also lucky to receive some money for my birthday from family and friends so I bought the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish powder to go with the foundation, I bought the shade 1 Fair, there are 3 shades available, fair, medium and dark.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder £33

Shade 1 Fair

As you can see from the above photographs, the powder is beautifully packaged as all CT products are, on the website Charlotte describes the powder as "my powder revolution: a super luxe micro-fine powder compact with soft-focus nano particles that blur away lines and imperfections, for effortlessly flawless skin in a silk-cashmere touch-like you’ve never experienced before… When in front of the lens and under the spotlight, model skin requires constant re-touching to prevent your skin shining in the wrong areas. Traditional powders can look heavy and dull the skin, so I created Air-Brush Flawless Finish. This breathable, micro-fine powder technology gives you an immaculate complexion that acts like the most luxe, micro-fine cashmere veil on top of your skin for a bright, illuminating finish. No caking, dusting or sitting in lines"

Application & My Thoughts

I found the powder applied beautifully, I like to apply powder with a duo fibre brush, I use the MAC 187 brush, I find the big fluffy duo fibre brush doesn't cake powders on it applies just the right amount. I sweep the CT powder all over my face and dab it onto my nose and gently brush it under my eyes. The powder is very finely milled and gave a lovely finish to my skin, it didn't cling to any dry patches or settle into any fine lines it gave a really lovely finish and didn't look or feel heavy at all.

me wearing the CT powder

In the photograph above I am wearing the powder and have applied it on top of the Charlotte Tilbury foundation, my skin is nicely mattified without looking ghost like and cakey or heavy, the powder set the foundation nicely and my skin was left with a nice almost illuminated finish to it which is rare  with a powder, I liked that it didn't cling to dry patches or settle into any fine lines I have. The shade I have is 1 fair as I said and I think it would be fine for people paler than me or a little darker also. 

Overall Thoughts & Would I Re Purchase?

I do really like the powder, it applies well and doesn't cake or settle into fine lines and it gives a lovely finish to my skin, it is a beautiful product indeed and I would recommend it to anyone and especially if you have dry or dehydrated skin or both. The only negative for me is the price £33 is a lot of money for me to spend on one product, I think time will tell with this one, I am going to see how long the powder lasts me because so far I haven't needed to use much at all, and you can't tell I have used it so I am hoping it's going to last well. But that is my only negative, the price. I love everything about the powder and it does look lovely on the skin it is just a little a lot more expensive than I'd like it to be. If it were £20 I'd be saying a definite yes I'll be buying again without a shadow of a doubt, I suppose it all depends on budget, but if you have a budget that affords it or like me you have had some money gifted to you, I would say definitely try it it's beautiful or go to a counter and try it out, it feels so lovely just swatching it. 

If you would like to buy the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder you can find it on line at the Charlotte Tilbury website or on the Selfridges website for £33. 

Do you struggle to find a face powder because of dry or dehydrated skin? Do you have dry skin and can recommend a powder to me? Let me know in the comments.

* Update * - 3 months after using the powder 3 times a week I have used almost half the powder, it is wearing down very quickly and if used daily I can't see it lasting very long at all. It is a lovely product but very expensive for the amount of time it lasts, if you don't mind paying the price of the powder every few months it will be perfect as it is a lovely product but for me, my MAC blot powder lasts a lot longer and is £13.00 cheaper so I'll be sticking with that. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Monday 27 April 2015

Barry M Sunset Nail Paints

Hello Lovelies, 

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know I love nail polish, I buy far too many and cannot resist, they one of my favourite beauty products. Mid April Barry M released their new collection, the  Sunset Nail Paints, Barry M claim that with just 2 coats of any of the polishes in the range and 1 coat of the top coat you are left with a salon finish gel manicure at home and one that lasts for 10 days without chipping. I have had many a gel manicure over the years and I always find the "just like gel" polishes intriguing, I haven't tried them all but I have tried a lot of the brands out there. When I was out shopping just after these were released I saw they were on 3 for 2 in Superdrug so I thought I'd pick a couple up. The shades I went for are Preach for the stars (although mine says reach for the stars on it) and I've been pinking, I picked up the topcoat too. 

L-R Daylight Curing Top Coat, Preach For The Stars & I've Been Pinking £4.99 each

My Thoughts

The first polish I tried was preach for the stars a lovely coral shade and the first thing I noticed was the brush size, the polishes have a really nice wide flat brush making them really easy to apply.

I did as it said on the little info booklet attached to all the polishes and applied 2 coats of the polish but my nails were streaky as hell and there is no way I could have only used 2 coats so I applied a 3rd coat but still some of my nails were streaky and patchy, not all of them but most were and I certainly couldn't leave them like that so I applied a 4th coat of the polish. Once they were dry I did as the instructions said and applied 1 coat of the top coat and let my nails dry in the daylight. I loved the colour it is a lovely coral shade and one that is perfect for spring/summer but I wasn't happy with using 4 coats, it took me ages to apply. Once dry my nails were nice and glossy but to me they didn't look like I'd had a gel manicure at my local salon, yes it was a lovely colour and nice and glossy but it certainly didn't look like "a salon manicure at home" as Barry M claim. 

Barry M Sunset Nail Paint In Preach For The Stars (4 coats)

I'm sure you'll agree this is a lovely colour and nice and glossy but 4 coats, seriously? I wasn't impressed. Another thing I wasn't impressed with is that my polish lasted 3 days, not 10 as Barry M claim but 3 and then it started to chip but not only did it chip, because I had to use 4 coats and it was very thick it peeled off in sheets once it had chipped, so I had chips and full nails missing, not an attractive look and most certainly not a salon manicure at home look. 

Next I tried the other colour I had, I've been pinking, again a lovely shade and I was excited to see if this applied any better with less coats, hopefully 2 coats. Unfortunately I still needed 3 coats of this shade and then 1 coat of the top coat. Again a lovely shade and nice and glossy but not a gel manicure type finish. 

Barry M Sunset Nail Paint In I've Been Pinking (3 coats)

Again a lovely shade but I wasn't happy with having to apply 3 coats, it takes an age to paint your nails and they don't look like gel, this polish also chipped after 3 days too. Nichole and Alicia both tried both the polishes too and they both needed 4 coats of the coral shade and 3 coats of the pink shade, Nichole said the coral shade chipped within hours and the pink lasted a day and Alicia got 2 days wear out of both shades before chipping. 

I am really disappointed in these polishes yet again another fail from Barry M, I also hated the Speedy polishes (review here) I have seen quite a few rave reviews of these on some blog posts which doesn't surprise me but on the Barry M Instagram page so many people were saying they chipped really badly and they needed loads of coats etc etc funnily enough when I went back to check the comments had been removed Quelle surprise! But it shows it isn't just me who wasn't impressed doesn't it? Maybe the darker colours will need less coats but I suppose they're going to chip just the same? 

Overall Thoughts & Would I Re Purchase?

I am really really disappointed in these polishes, yes they are lovely colours but that's about it, I could have found similar colours for a lot less money and I do actually have a dupe for one of the shades so keep your eyes peeled for that post soon. I don't think the polishes give a gel finish at all and my nails certainly didn't look like they'd been done at a salon. I have a side by side photograph of the Barry M polish and one of my nail polishes with my Orly Glosser top coat over it and I don't think the finish is any different to be honest. 

Barry M on the Left and Orly on the right

As I you can see my Orly nail polish with my Orly top coat is just as glossy, so I can get a finish that's nice and glossy from a top coat I already had in the drawer. 

I certainly will not be re purchasing the Barry M Sunset nail paints nor will I be trying any of the other shades, there are 7 shades in total and the 2 I bought were the 2 I liked best, I don't think theres a great shade range either, these are the 2 most spring/summer like out of the 7 theres a standard red, a nude, a navy, a turquoise and a dark fuchsia colour plus the 2 I got so to be fair not much choice in my opinion. 

I hated that I had to use 3 or 4 coats of the polish, it doesn't last 10 days and it doesn't look like I've had a gel manicure so overall I am very disappointed and wish I'd saved my money, these polishes are £4.99 each but because you have to buy the topcoat it makes one polish £9.98 and to be honest I'd rather buy either 1 Essie polish and have change or buy a few much cheaper polishes and still have change. Once again I have been sucked in by Barry M and their claims, but never again I promise you. 

If you fancy trying these polishes you can find them on line at Superdrug (free delivery over £10) and Boots (free collect in store or £3.95 delivery)

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Sunday 26 April 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation

Hello Lovelies, 

If you're a regular reader of my blog you will have seen that I received some Charlotte Tilbury products for both Christmas and my birthday and I also treated myself with some of my birthday money to something from the brand too. Since then I have been letting you know my thoughts on the products I have, and today I am going to let you know my thoughts on the Charlotte Tilbury foundation. 

I have the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation in the shade 3 Fair, Simon surprised me with the foundation for my birthday but in January I had had a sample of shades 2 and 3 to try and to be honest I could wear either shade but 3 was the best match for me. The foundation comes in lovely packaging as all CT products do, it is housed in a box with the CT logo on the front and inside is a plastic bottle with a rose gold lid with Charlottes name on it. 

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation £32 (40ml) 

Charlotte describes this foundation as the "holy grail of foundations" she says it illuminates, smooths, hydrates, minimises pores and reduces wrinkles to give you perfect skin. 

Application & My Thoughts

The foundation applies beautifully, I like to apply it with either my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge or my fingers, it is lovely to apply and sinks into my skin nicely. The coverage I would say is a light to medium coverage, if I blend this into my skin with my fingers it gives a nice light coverage but patted onto my skin with the RT sponge it gives more coverage. In the spring I like to change my foundations up a bit and go from wearing a pretty full coverage foundation, my usual choice is the Illamasqua Skin Base (read my review here) to a less coverage foundation, and for the last couple of years I have chosen MAC Face & Body I much prefer a less heavy coverage in the spring.

I have very dry and dehydrated skin and because my skin is super dehydrated it brings with it awful and extremely unwanted fine lines, especially around and under my eyes and on my forehead. I also have very visible pores on my nose, chin and around my nose, all this sounds very attractive doesn't it? The CT foundation as I said applies beautifully but it also doesn't settle into my fine lines and I find it hydrating too, it does a good job of concealing my pores too and covers blemishes well although if it were a particularly angry looking blemish, concealer would be needed. My skin looks smooth and I do think it looks illuminated too,  I haven't noticed a difference with it reducing wrinkles I'm afraid but it doesn't settle into any lines I have so that is a definite bonus. 

Me wearing the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation (shade 3 Fair) 

Overall Thoughts & Would I Re Purchase?

Overall I really like the foundation, it applies well, feels nice on my skin, doesn't settle into any fine lines I have, smooths and illuminates my skin and feels nice and hydrating, so I'd say apart from reducing the wrinkles it does exactly what it says on the tin. 

Another thing I like is that there is 40ml of product and usually with a foundation there is only 30ml so you're getting an extra 10ml which is good. The light wonder foundation can also be used to cover imperfections on the body although I haven't actually tried this, it contains an SPF of 15 and is suitable for all skin types. I would definitely recommend this foundation if like me you prefer a lighter base in the spring or summer months or you prefer a lighter coverage in general. It's a lovely product and looks and feels lovely on the skin. 

If you would like to try the foundation you can find it on line at the Charlotte Tilbury website or Selfridges priced at £32 on both sites. 

What is your go to foundation for the spring? Let me know in the comments and I'll reply asap. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Saturday 25 April 2015

The Invisibobble

Hello Lovelies,

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Primark coiled hair ties and in the post I mentioned I wanted to try the Invisibobble to see how it compared. I had seen a lot of bloggers talk about the invisibobble and they had all given them rave reviews saying they don't tug your hair and they don't leave a mark when you remove them etc etc so I thought "yippee I'm going to try those" so I did. I picked up the Invisibobble in pink from Boots there were only 3 shades to choose from, Pink, Black and Clear although I have found out since that the Invisibobble does come in up to 14 different colours.

The Invisibobble In Pink £3.75 for a pack of 3 

The company Invisibobble claims that this is a traceless hair ring and one that won't cause a kink in your hair when removed, doesn't cause headaches, it is easy to remove and doesn't tug the hair, it avoids split ends and breakage, it has a strong grip and is compatible with all hair types. I had read very similar claims on a lot of blogs too. 

The pack comes with 3 small hair bobbles or hair ties if you prefer to call them that and it has a bit of info on the pack about the "traceless hair ring" the pack of 3 is £3.75 and as I said I bought mine from Boots. I was really excited to try these and also gave one to Alicia to try, Nichole doesn't ever wear a pony tail so she didn't want to try one.

First Time Using & My Thoughts

I wrapped the Invisibobble round my pony tail as I would with any bobble or hair tie and left it, my hair stayed in the pony tail as it usually would and I left it in for around 2 hours.

one of the Invisibobbles

This photograph shows the size of the Invisibobble 

When it came to remove the invisibobble a couple of hours later it was very hard to remove and I pulled out loads of hair when pulling it out and it hurt too, I would imagine if you are very hair sore this would be very unpleasant for you. I eventually managed to remove the invisibobble and it didn't look anything like it did when I put it in, I left it over night and then took a photograph to show you how it looked 14 hours later.

As you can see it has stretched, it hasn't ever gone back to it's regular size and is now even more stretched than shown in the above photograph. The most disappointing thing for me though was my hair, I had high hopes for my hair and was hoping to be able to brush it and maybe straighten over it and then film a video for my YouTube channel but when I removed it I was left with a kink in my hair as if I'd used one of my regular hair bobbles.

Hair after removing invisibobble

I was so disappointed, especially as the kink wouldn't straighten out so I had to wash my hair again, the photograph isn't the best I'm afraid but I do hope you can see that there is a definite kink in my hair, this was after only a couple of hours wearing the invisibobble too. I expected to be able to remove the bobble and have no kinks at all. If I wear the invisibobble all day the kink is ridiculous and very very obvious, but even after a couple of hours wearing it I couldn't brush or straighten the kink out. 

Overall Thoughts & Would I Re Purchase?

My overall thoughts are that the Invisibobble is absolutely rubbish, it is a complete waste of £3.75, they do leave a kink in my hair, they are a nightmare to remove as they hurt and pull loads of hair out with them, to remove them I have to unravel them or I'll end up bald! They stretch meaning after the first time you've worn them you need to wrap them round your pony tail a ridiculous amount of times meaning a huge kink and if you don't unravel them to remove them, a lot of hair loss and tears. They are awful and once again I have fallen foul of "blogger hype" Alicia found exactly the same results as me, she was left with a kink and she finds them hard to remove and they tug and pull her hair out too. 

I would definitely 1 million percent NOT re purchase the Invisibobble, it is an awful product that does nothing it claims to do. I think in future if I want coiled hair bobbles I will stick with the Primark ones that are 5 for £1.50 but to be honest with you I think I'll be sticking with my trusty old elastic hair bobbles!

But if you would like to try them or you like them, you can find them on line at Feel Unique and Boots for £3.75. Feel Unique have the best colour range if this is something that interests you. 

Have you tried the Invisibobble? Have you fallen foul of blogger hype? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Thursday 23 April 2015

NOTD NYC Shine In A Minute Spring Tulip

Hello Lovelies, 

Today I have another NOTD post for you, todays NOTD is the NYC Shine In A Minute nail polish in the colour Spring Tulip. I love nail polish and if you're a regular reader of my blog I'm pretty sure you're aware of that by now and in the spring and summer months my go to nail colours are corals and pinks, anything from pastel to neon I love corals and pinks for spring and summer and today's NOTD choice is no exception. 

NYC Shine In A Minute In Spring Tulip £1.79 

Two coats of Spring Tulip with one coat of Orly Glosser top coat.

I applied 2 coats of the nail polish allowing each coat to dry fully in between, the polish does as it says on the bottle and dries quickly, and once dry I applied a coat of my holy grail top coat, the Orly glosser top coat. 

Orly Glosser Top Coat £10.90

Spring Tulip is a really beautiful coral colour and was opaque in 2 coats, it was easy to apply and the brush is a standard nail polish brush, as the name suggests the polish has a great drying time meaning no waiting around and hand flapping or blowing on my nails, does anyone else do that? I got 4 days wear time from this without chipping and it chipped on day 5 not bad at all I'd say. 

I love this polish, it is the first NYC nail polish I have ever bought and the purchase was completely enabled by my lovely friend Gemma and I'm so glad I took her advice and purchased it, aside from the polish being a beautiful coral shade and one that is perfect for the spring and summer months another great thing about this polish is the price, this polish was just £1.79 there are some beautiful colours in the range and I will definitely be picking up some more, theres a gorgeous bright pink and a pale blue I have my eye on but there are lots of lovely colours and most definitely something for everyones taste I'm sure. 

If you would like to try Spring Tulip and I highly recommend you do,  you can buy it on line from Superdrug for £1.79 and currently on 3 for 2 which is even better! And if you'd like to try the Orly Glosser top coat you can buy it here for £10.90 and there's free delivery if you spend over £15. 

What's your go to spring and summer nail polish shade or shades? Have you tried the NYC polishes? 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Wednesday 22 April 2015

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum

Hello Lovelies, 

If you're a regular reader of my blog I'm sure you'll know by now that I have skin care issues, I have extremely dry and dehydrated skin, and for around the last 8 months my skin has been what I can only describe as a nightmare. It's so so dry and the most dehydrated it has ever been and it is the bane of my life without a doubt. 

Because of my skin care woes and because I am a bit of  a lot of a skin care geek I am always on the look out for new products to try and a couple of months ago I saw a serum whilst in Boots that I'd read about in my Sali Hughes book, so I picked it up and read the box and thought it was worth a try and I bought it,  the serum was the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum priced at £17.00.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum £17

This serum is without a shadow of a doubt the best serum I have ever used, the first time I used it I noticed a difference in my skin immediately, and I'm sure if my skin could thank me it would have done! I use 1 - 2 pumps of the serum for my full face and neck, it's milky white in colour and a nice consistency thats not too thin or too thick, it applies well and sinks into my skin beautifully without leaving a residue or sticky feeling. I have tried many serums over the years, some much more expensive and some a lot more affordable but none have come close to the Vichy one.

It is a lovely product and if like me you suffer with dry or dehydrated skin I would highly recommend picking this up.  My skin feels so smooth after I've used the serum and instantly hydrated, my skin looks and feels so much better since I have been using this and I will definitely be re purchasing it. 

There are other items in the Aqualia range from Vichy including moisturisers, an eye roll on and eye balm, I have yet to try any of the other products but if they're as good as the serum I'll be a happy bunny indeed. 

If you'd like to try the Vichy serum you can find it on line at Feel Unique (£17.50 inc free delivery) and Escentual (£16.50). 

Have you tried the Vichy serum or any of the other products in the range? Do you have a holy grail skin care item or skin care you recommend for dry or dehydrated skin? Let me know in the comments section. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Tuesday 21 April 2015

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer

Hello Lovelies, 

I have never been a primer kind of girl and over the last couple of years since I've been blogging I have been sent quite a few primers all claiming to do different things, fill in pores, hydrate, smooth etc etc but I have never liked one enough to A- review on my blog or B- continue using or re purchase, the only primer product I have ever liked is the Benefit POREfessional (see post here) but I just haven't ever got along with "foundation primers" and always thought they just weren't for me and would be better suited to someone with an oily skin, mine is super duper dry and dehydrated for reference. 

Last September Smashbox announced on their Facebook page that they were giving away 50 full size foundation primers to the first 50 people who turned up on a certain day (with no purchase necessary). Typically I had a medical appointment that day and couldn't go and get the primer so I took a long shot and rang the Smashbox counter and spoke to a sales assistant telling her of my predicament and she kindly said it would be ok for someone else to collect a primer for me as long as my details were given as they had a follow up procedure where someone was going to ring me 2 weeks later to ask how I'd got on with the product. Luckily for me Nichole's boyfriend had an early appointment on that day and kindly said he would go and try and get a primer for me, and he did! I couldn't believe it, I never ever get anything for free or win anything so I was super happy. 

The foundation primer I got was the one most suited to my skin, the Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer, I have in the past tried the famous Smashbox Photo Finish primer but I hated it, it was far too silicone like for me and it did nothing for me, probably because it wasn't suited to my skin but anyway I didn't like it at all. Like I said I've tried quite a few primers over the years but nothing has wowed me enough for me to use or re purchase but when I saw the free offer I thought it would be a good way of trying a primer especially suited to my skin type and if it didn't work for me I hadn't lost anything because I hadn't paid for it and I would have given it to Nichole or Alicia for them to try or Nichole to use in her kit. 

What Smashbox Say About The Primer

The key to healthier, younger-looking skin? Hydration, as any studio artist will tell you. The latest addition to our legendary primer family immediately quenches skin and seals in moisture for hours after, thanks to Hydraplex, an extract derived from desert plants. 
• Oil-free and lightweight 
• Helps fill in fine lines and pores 
How To Use
Smooth a pea-sized amount over clean skin with fingertips for a visibly softer, smoother complexion.

My Thoughts 

I have extremely dry and dehydrated skin and over last winter my skin was horrendous, it was the worst it's ever been and looked horrific even without makeup but when I applied foundation it looked terrible and I had big patches of flaky foundation covered skin especially on my forehead, hmmm nice eh? I was trying out so many different skin care products trying to get the right routine for what I can only describe as lizard like and super liney skin,  the dehydration makes me have prominent fine lines around and under my eyes and on my forehead, how attractive, NOT! 

The first time I used the primer I have to say I was sceptical because of my past experiences with foundation primers but when I applied the primer for the first time it felt so lovely and it smelled lovely too it has a really nice fresh scent. I used around 3 pea sized amounts and put little blobs of the primer around my face on my forehead, cheeks and chin and then smoothed it over my skin with my fingers, it absorbed really quickly because my skin was so dry and dehydrated and didn't leave any sort of residue and didn't feel sticky at all. 

I waited for the primer to dry which didn't take long at all and applied my foundation in the usual way  and I was so impressed at how nice my make up looked, it looked flawless and there were no signs of any flakey patches, I did still have visible lines on my forehead but they did look a lot better than before. 

I do agree with the claims from Smashbox my skin did feel hydrated and it didn't dry out over the course of the day, my make up looked just the same when it came to taking it off, the only thing I don't agree with is the amount of product needed, I used 3 pea sized amounts and Smashbox claims you need 1 but there is no way I could only use 1 pea sized amount for my whole face, but that's no biggy really. To be honest 3 pea sized amounts is the same amount of moisturiser I would apply which I would say is about right for a primer so it didn't bother me too much that they had claimed 1 pea sized amount. 

The primer made a massive difference to my skin and so much so that even Simon noticed one day when I completely forgot to apply it, I'd only been using the primer for around a week and we were in a rush to leave the house and I forgot to apply the primer and when I looked at my foundation in the mirror it looked terrible and Simon noticed it wasn't looking as nice as it previously had so for Simon to notice too the primer must have been making a difference. 

The photograph above is a thumbnail taken for my you tube channel one week after I'd started using the primer and although it isn't a close up photograph you can see my forehead doesn't look as liney or dry. 

I am super impressed with the primer, it has made a huge difference to my foundation application, my skin looks flawless now when I wear foundation, my skin is still very dry and dehydrated and I do still have some lines on my forehead but that isn't anything to do with the primer, it's my silly skin but they aren't as bad as they previously had been. I can't say whether or not my foundation stays in place any longer as I don't have any problems with my foundation staying in place anyway, I usually apply my foundation at around 9.00am and remove it anytime from 6.00pm to 8.00pm and it doesn't move, I didn't notice any difference when using the primer so it certainly didn't affect my foundation wear time in any negative ways. 

Overall Thoughts & Would I Repurchase?

My overall thoughts on the primer are that it applies well and doesn't leave any residue or sticky feeling to the skin, it is very hydrating and my foundation looks so much nicer when I use it, it has made a massive difference to the look and feel of my foundation and I would most definitely re purchase it, it is expensive but I am writing this post on the 19th April 2015 and I still have 1 or 2 applications of the primer left, I got the primer in September so it has lasted for 7 months, I don't use it daily, I use it around 3-4 times a week but it has lasted really well. If you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin I would highly recommend it. 

You can buy the primer on line from Boots or from the Smashbox website for £28.00. 

Have you tried the Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Foundation Primer? Did you like it? Or do you have any recommendations of primers for dry and dehydrated skin? Please leave your comments in the comments section below and I will get back to you asap. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Monday 20 April 2015

A Great Offer On Serozinc 2 For £10

Hello Lovelies, 

This is just a quick post to let you know that Escentual currently have La Roche Posay Serozinc on offer for a great price of £10.00 for 2 150ml sprays, this is a fabulous offer as 1 spray is £8.50 (currently £7.20) I love Serozinc and it is great for many different skin types. This is a fantastic offer and one not to be missed, this is the best price I have ever seen Serozinc for. 

Escentual also sell loads of other brands of skin care, and they also sell hair care, body care, fragrance, sun care and lots of other things, they are one of my favourite beauty websites and I would highly recommend them. 

Anyway I'll stop writing so you can stop reading and go and grab yourself a Serozinc bargain! Click onto this link to be taken straight to the fantastic offer. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always,

Zoe x

Wednesday 15 April 2015


Hello Lovelies, 

Today I have another NOTD or nail of the day post for you. Today's NOTD is actually the nail polish I wore for Alicia's 18th birthday party, Orly's Beach Cruiser. I wore a plain black outfit (OOTD coming soon) so wore a bright polish on my fingers and toes. 

First of all as always I used the Orly Bonder base coat (available to buy here) and then I applied two coats of Orly nail polish in the shade Beach Cruiser, a beautiful neon pink, it looked lovely against my all black outfit. Lastly I applied a coat of my holy grail top coat the Orly Glosser (available to buy here) I adore this topcoat and it has been my favourite for years now, as you can see from the photograph it gives an amazing and extremely glossy finish to the polish and I find it also extends the wear time of my nail polishes. Beach Cruiser is actually a satin/matte finish polish but the glosser gives it a nice high shine finish. 

I love Orly nail polishes and products, I have used them for years and they are definitely one of my favourite brands for nail products, and they are free from any nasties so in turn much kinder to your nails and help with the condition of the nail too, I find if I'm experiencing any peeling or flaking on my nails and I wear an Orly polish when I want to paint my nails it really helps. They're not the cheapest polishes on the market but they are well worth the money and you can sometimes pick up a bargain from the Fragrance Direct website where they have a good selection of shades for £1.99. 

If you like the look of Beach Cruiser and would like to try it for yourself, and I highly recommend you do, you can find it on line at Look Fantastic or Nail Polish Direct and the great news is it's free delivery from both places. 

Have you tried Orly nail polishes? Whats your favourite shade? 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Tuesday 14 April 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze And Glow - A Review

Hello Lovelies,

Today I have a review of a product which so far has received a lot of hype in the blogging and you tube world, it is the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow.

First of all, can we just take a minute to appreciate that packaging. How beautiful is it? Even the box is nice, it has 2 slide off end pieces that reveal a fold out cardboard casing with gold writing on explaining on each side how to use the product. Then inside the cardboard packaging is the most beautiful rose gold metal casing with a kind of pleating effect and the CT logo on the front. 

Inside the beautiful rose gold casing is the most stunning bronze and highlight duo, the bronzer can be used as contour or just as a bronzer and the highlight is obviously used as a highlight. But they are lovely and it pained me to use this for the first time but since I did I've used nothing else. 

To be honest, I've never really been much of a highlight kind of girl, my 2 favourites were MAC soft and gentle and the Nars multiple in copacabana both lovely, 1 cream and 1 powder but I didn't use them on a daily basis. I've been very lucky over the last couple of years to be sent a lot of products including highlighters and bronzers/contouring products but nothing has thrilled me enough to want to use it all the time, and then Simon bought me the filmstar bronze and glow for my birthday and the rest as they say is history! I am in love, completely and utterly in love with this palette, from the beautiful packaging to the products inside and how they perform (I'm getting to that) I love everything about it. 

My Thoughts

Well I think it's fair to say I love this product, as I said Ive never been one for highlight, and bronzer has never really been my thing at all, I have a couple of the MAC sculpting products for contouring but I don't buy a lot of bronzer/contouring and highlighting products they're just not really my thing and I've never really got excited about them, until now that is. I was lucky to receive some Charlotte Tilbury products for Christmas and had seen the products on line a lot but in early January I was out shopping so I decided to take a look on the Charlotte Tilbury counter and see if any other products in the range caught my eye and there were quite a few but the stand out product was the Filmstar Bronze & Glow, as soon as I saw it in the flesh and swatched it, I loved it so when Simon surprised me with it for my birthday in February I was ecstatic. 

The highlight is a gorgeous golden toned highlight and the bronze or sculpt is great for contouring or bronzer it's not too dark or shimmery, I really don't like bronzers with lots of shimmer in them. Both these products are so extremely pigmented it's unreal, I use a teeny tiny amount of both products and the pay off is amazing, I am going to be uploading a get ready with me of the make up I wore to Alicia's 18th party soon and you will see in that video how little of each product I use and how brilliant the pay off is. Both products apply effortlessly, I use a Real Techniques setting brush for the highlight and a tapered face brush from Hakuhodo for the bronzer/sculpt and both products apply beautifully and look lovely too, I have received so many compliments both in "real life" and in comments on my videos and Instagram saying how well I am looking and glowing recently and it is all down to this palette. 

I am wearing the bronze and glow in the above photographs and I am sure you'll agree the highlight is extremely pigmented, and I honestly used the smallest amount but it's given a lovely glow to my cheekbones and brow bone, I am also wearing the sculpt/bronzer just all over my face, I haven't used it to contour in these photographs (silly me!) but like I said I do have a video coming up of me using both products so you will see in much more detail on that video. But they do give a lovely glowing look to the skin and the overall appearance is lovely and for someone who hardly ever wears highlight and rarely uses bronzer for me to use this product all the time says it all.

Overall Thoughts, Worth The Hype & Would I Re Purchase

I think you know my overall thoughts already but in my opinion there is nothing not to love about this product, the packaging is phenomenal and the products are amazing, I haven't been this excited about a make up product in a long time but this really has blown me away, it's stunning and both products are lovely, they're easy to apply and blend out beautifully, they're insanely pigmented and look lovely and you need to use the smallest amount, I really can't think of a negative but if I had to think of one it would be the price of the palette, £49 is a lot of money but I think as a gift or if you have some birthday or Christmas money left over or if you just like buying high end make up it's a wonderful product to own and I one million percent recommend it, if you've been thinking about buying it I would say go for it, it's beautiful and you won't regret it, and it is in my opinion, most definitely worth the hype and I would without a shadow of a doubt, re purchase it. 

If you would like to purchase the Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette, you can buy it on line at the Charlotte Tilbury websiteSelfridges or Net-A-Porter for £49. 

Have you tried the bronze and glow palette? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments. 

For lots of other fabulous Charlotte Tilbury reviews, check out my lovely friend Bunny's blog here

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x


Thursday 9 April 2015

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Hello Lovelies, 

Today's post is about a product that, when it was released I was intrigued by and wondered what all the "fuss" around the product was about. It is the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer, a lash primer that can be used three ways. 

What Estee Lauder Says About The Little Black Primer

Think of it as the little black dress for lashes. Unlike traditional lash primers that are white, this primer is tinted black, so you can use it on its own.

Three ways to wear it:
Tint: Colours and lifts bare lashes so they stay silky black throughout the day and even overnight.
Amplify: As a primer, it’s the optimal mascara base for volume, lift and length.
Set: Brush over mascara for a long-wearing, water-resistant topcoat that helps reduce smudging and flaking.

No well-dressed lashes should be without it.Patent-pending formula.
Apply it on bare lashes for a softer, more natural lash look. Brush on as a lash primer under mascara. Wear as a top coat to set mascara.

My Thoughts

When I first heard about the little black primer I have to admit I read about it a few times and thought to myself "yeah yeah, just another gimmick" and to be honest I didn't think too much else about it until I kindly received it as a birthday gift from my daughters. 

If you've been a reader of my blog or watched my You tube videos for any length of time you'll know that I have a bit of a problem where wearing mascara is concerned, if I wear a non waterproof mascara they smudge or 'blob' onto my socket bone leaving unsightly black marks, it's a nightmare and drives me absolutely mad. 

I'd read lots of different blog posts and beauty articles on the little black primer and I was mainly interested in the setting aspect of the product the way it was able to turn all mascaras into a waterproof product, and more importantly smudge free. To be completely honest, had I not been bought this as a gift I doubt very much I would have bought it for myself purely because I saw it as "just another gimmick", but was it? 

I have used the LBP all three ways numerous times since I first got it in February. It's lovely for days when I don't really want to wear make up but want to look a bit more alive, it coats my lashes nicely and separates them and gives them length and just gives them a bit of something extra, a bit like when I have them tinted at a salon, that kind of look but better. 

As you look at the photograph Left eye has LBP applied ( 1 coat ) Right eye is bare

Wearing 1 coat of LBP to top and bottom lashes both eyes

As you can see from the photograph above, with one coat of the LBP my lashes are nicely coated and separated and look longer too, if I don't want to wear much make up but want a bit of something it is ideal for those days. I have used the LBP before mascara too and I find it helps to keep the look that a certain mascara gives without any flaking, sometimes in the past I've found that I'll really like the look a certain mascara gives but then throughout the day my lashes haven't stayed looking as good as they did when I first applied it but with the LBP I find the mascara looks the same all day. 

My absolute favourite way of using the LBP though is over the top of mascara, as I said I struggle with mascara smudging or blobbing and it can completely ruin my make up after an hour meaning there are a lot of mascaras I can't wear, and I bought a new Maybelline mascara (review here) a few weeks ago, unfortunately it isn't waterproof and did smudge/blob but when I applied the LBP over the top of it I didn't have any smudging at all, I was so impressed. I have tried the primer over several mascaras that I own but cannot use and they are all fine when I use the primer over the top. To me this is invaluable and I am so so impressed. 

Overall Thoughts & Would I Re Purchase?

My overall thoughts on the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer are that it does exactly what it says on the tin, as I said my first thoughts when the product was released were that it was probably "just another gimmick" but it isn't at all and it really does do what it says it will and I would highly recommend it and would 100% re purchase it when mine runs out. It isn't a budget product at £20 but if like me you really struggle to wear most mascaras it really is a handy product to own, I love the look it gives me when I wear it on it's own and it has been invaluable for me when it comes to wearing non waterproof mascaras, it really is an amazing product and one I will definitely be keeping in my collection and re purchasing many times in the future. 

If you would like to try the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer, you can find it on line at Debenhams and House Of Fraser for £20.00.

Have you tried the Little Black Primer? Have you thought something would be a gimmick then found out it's an amazing product? Let me know in the comments. 

Thank you for reading, much love as always, 

Zoe x

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