Saturday, 30 November 2013

Has Your Make-Up Expired?

I bet if you looked through your make-up collection there are a few products where you think "I might use it one day" or there are products you just can't let go of, like a discontinued lipstick. I didn't realise for a long time that make-up actually goes 'off', but unlike consumables, cosmetic companies aren't actually legally required to put an expiration date on their products, there is only a rough guide which from brand to brand and product to product can vary slightly. It is obvious that any products that have changed colour or are starting to smell should head straight for the bin, but if there are no changes, it can be hard to justify throwing it away.

Although there are rough guides in place, no-one really knows exact time frames to keep make-up for, the best way to preserve make-up is by keeping it clean and storing it correctly. Make-up and make-up applicators are a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause rashes and break-outs, so if you have a routine of cleaning your products and brushes they will last you a lot longer. Obviously, some products will naturally last longer than others, it is common knowledge that liquid environments are a mine field for bacteria, meaning your mascaras and liquid eye liners are going to be going in the bin before your powders. 

These are the symbols to look for on your cosmetics, the number 
indicates the number of months the product should last for

I have seen anything between 6 - 24 months for foundations, which is a ridiculously wide range. Personally, I would say after a year I would start thinking about throwing a foundation away. Obvious signs of foundation expiry are lumps in the product or the liquid actually separating. Depending on how the foundation is packaged will also have an effect on how long it lasts. Foundations in glass bottles will last a bit longer than those in plastic, due to chemicals in the plastic mixing with the product over time. Any foundation that involves you digging your hands into the pot to apply it is going to expire a lot faster than foundations in bottles or with pump dispensers as these are kept clean in the bottle with little or no air contact.

Again, for concealer I have seen similar expiry time-frames to foundation and again I would say that 12 months is a good time to start thinking about throwing a concealer away. Concealers come in so many different types and in various different packaging so you should judge depending on the type of concealer you have. If you have a concealer with a built in applicator then you have been gathering bacteria from the moment you starting using it, whereas a concealer in a pot with a separate brush can be easily cleaned and will last you longer.

Most powders I own at the moment have an expiry time of 24 months, which I think I agree with as long as you keep them clean. Powders can be easily cleaned by being wiped with a clean tissue, but you must make sure you are also cleaning your brushes as well, as any oil and bacteria on the brushes will be going straight back onto your clean palette. 

I think this is the only product that most girls will agree on, mascara has a very short shelf life ranging somewhere between 3-4 months. As soon as it is dry and clumpy you should know that it is at the end of its shelf life, but you also shouldn't wait for this to happen! Although, I have never had any problems with eye infections due to old or shared mascaras (touch wood), it is not something I would like to happen. The biggest way to spread bacteria with mascara is by sharing and this is definitely something you should avoid, if you are going to share use a disposable applicator and do not double dip!

This seems to really depend on the brand, in my collection there is a range from 12 to 36 months. I believe that a lipstick could last for 36 months, as long as it was cleaned every now and then and it was stored well e.g. nowhere hot where it could melt. On the other hand, I would never keep a lip gloss for 36 months, that seems bizarre! Most lip glosses have the typical doe foot applicator which involves dipping any bacteria from your lips straight into the tube (imagine if you had a cold... yuck!). Using a similar mentality as I would with a mascara and taking into account the fact the moist environment is perfect for a germ build up, I would probably throw a lip gloss away anywhere between 6 - 12 months depending on how often I had used it!

It seems the average life for a pencil product is about 36 months, which I can understand. Sharpening the product helps to keep it clean and the whole product is generally encased in wood or plastic so has no exposure to air. 

I think deciding whether a product has expired or not is mainly down to using your common sense, but remember no product will last forever, no matter how much you want it to! I am definitely going to have a clear out in time for Christmas and make way for some lovely new and clean products! 

What make-up products are you hoarding?
What new products are on your wish list?
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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Make Up For Ever Full Coverage Extreme Camouflage Concealer

As a wearer of fairly light foundations, I always like my concealers to be on the more heavy duty side so I can really target the areas where I need it. I've used MUFE's Face & Body foundation for some time now and thoughtI'd invest in another one of their products - the much loved full coverage concealer. I'm shade number one which is the palest available.

This product retails for £23.15

First thing I noticed with this is the thickness of the product, products with this type of consistency have the tendency to crease under the eyes, but when you apply with a little bit of care, or indeed a brush (I've been loving using Real Technique's Setting Brush to apply this concealer) the application and finish are great. I also do love this over troublesome spots as it covers them no problem. MUFE say that this product is waterproof, which I think it probably is (I haven't been at the local swimming pool trying it out, I'll be honest) but I do think it wears off a little if you slave away in a hot and sweaty work environment, which I do. It's not loads, but I do notice the redness of my spots coming through and my dark circles not as camouflaged as they were when I first applied my make up. I think if I found the right combination of primer/powder, that this might not be as much of an issue. I guess the only real let down with this product is the price point, particularly in the UK. It is a bit of a challenge to get hold of MUFE here in the UK, some sites do sell it, but without trying it out you'll be taking a bit of a gamble on your colour match (I was lucky enough to muck about with the testers at IMATS and my Face & Body is the same shade as the concealer) and although I will never deny the quality of the brand, it is a lot of money to spend on something if it doesn't match your skin tone, no matter how lovely the product.

Overall, I would recommend this product, if you have the money to spend, and really look into swatches of the colours so you don't end up disappointed. I can see this lasting me a long time which is good and the product is of a good quality so if you're up for spending that little bit extra on a concealer, I definitely consider this one. I just hope and pray for the day MUFE finds it's way into English shops.

Have you tried any MUFE?
Do you have a favourite concealer?

Let us know!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Let Them Eat Cake


My last post saw me wishing you a spooky halloween, which I certainly hope it was! Mine was a fairly quiet one with lots of eating of themed treats. I attended an autumn wedding all the way up in Wrexham where my boyfriend was the best man, and he absolutely nailed the speech! They even had a pony chilling by the hotel, who I had had to say hello to! I've found myself drinking a lot more hot coffee this month (I'm a iced coffee fiend most of the year!) whilst baking some cakes to compliment a good warm drink. This month I've seen one of my favourite bands - Editors - where I danced like a champ and fell in love with music all over again. I also tried my first ever Lush Bath Ballistic which I loved and think I'm going to be frequenting my local Lush store to stock up for my winter bathing as well as picking up some winter essentials like these amazing Monki socks as well as a hats, gloves and various other bits to keep me warm as we head into winter!

I'm super excited for the last leg of the year as I jet off to Berlin for one final getaway in 2013 as well as enjoy the company of my friends and family as we inch closer to the new year.

Have you guys got any winter plans?
I'd love to hear all about them in the comments!!

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Saturday, 23 November 2013

What's In My Bag #1

Now I don't know about you but I am super nosey and I am always intrigued to see what people carry around with them, so here is my go at a What's In My Bag post and a chance for you to nose into my day-to-day life!

I am currently carrying my Zara Office City Bag which I love to pieces, I love big handbags and this one is big enough to fit a laptop in! I am currently using an old battered purse that I just can't part with, I am the kind of person to clear out their bag at the end of the day so you will never find old receipts in there! 

I have two sets of keys because I am terrified that if I put them together then I will lose all of them! My Hello Kitty umbrella is my longest lasting umbrella, and I definitely need it living in England.

I always carry around a hairbrush and at the moment it is the Compact Tangle Teezer in Leopard Print. I won't carry around a full make-up bag unless I know I specifically need to, but I always carry powder and a brush for touch-ups. I am currently using Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder. My hands get super dry, especially in the cold weather so I like to carry hand cream with me, I am using Champneys Hand and Nail Cream at the moment.

I recently upgraded to an iPhone, but hate wasting my battery on listening to music, so I am still holding onto my trusty iPod Touch!

I have tried and failed at trying to update the calender on my phone, so I have my Filofax to write down all my plans and such! I study part-time so there is more than likely going to be some sort of revision source in my handbag as I am constantly trying to catch up!

What are your handbag essentials?
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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

November Beauty Box First Impressions

Another month, another set of beauty boxes from the postman. As we gear up for Christmas, Glossybox have complied a wishlist themed box, with their magazine showcasing present ideas, a look at their three special edition boxes just in time for Christmas (I've already reviewed their Net-A-Porter collaboration, which you can read here) as well as an ideal party season plum/red lipstick feature. Birchbox have also got a theme this month, looking to icons to give us that extra push as we hurtle through the winter months and into 2014, with their publication giving you a list of fun things to see and do this month, an eye make-up tutorial and a mini gift guide.

I'm a big fan of French skincare, and need to get into the habit of using a serum, so I think these three little samples will hopefully help me to get into the swing of it!

I've only heard of Emite through previously receiving their eyelash curlers in a previous Glossybox. This is a matte, completely black eyeshadow which will be great for a smoky eye or an alternative to liquid liner

If you've been loving Starbucks' Orange Mochas this season, then you'll love this delicious smelling chocolate orange hand cream. Almost good enough to eat and a great handbag size.

With all the dark nail varnishes on trend right now (I'm currently wearing Avon's Night Violet) getting them off can be an absolute pain in the backside, so a nice little product like this should aid the removal of nail varnish no end.

I've never tried any products from Gosh before, and I wouldn't have personally picked this colour for myself or this season, but with that being said, when playing about with it, I loved the look of a few swipes over my bottom lip and then rubbing my lips together, leaving me with slightly rouged and juicy looking lips!

I am incredibly fickle when it comes to body washes, this one smells clean and fresh and I'm the fan of citrus scents, so will merrily use this one up

I first received a sample of this product back in the summer, It's a Birchbox exclusive, and I used it up and even took it on holiday with me. I'm always a little disappointed when I get a sample twice, but I did enjoy using my first one so I'll see if I will enjoy using it again.

I don't own a pencil concealer/highlighter, so I was quite excited to play about with this product, I've already put it to good use and am using it to trace around my eyebrows to highlight them and hide those pesky tiny hairs.

Last month Birchbox promised another Laura Mercier product, and they delivered!! I've given this a whirl and I do like it, it lengthens and volumises without clumping or being overly dramatic.

This perfume has notes of quince, jasmine petals and musk, but I think it smells really nice and sweet and would be a great summer perfume.

Birchbox also love throwing in extras, and this month is no exception, I received three teas from
Pukka Herbs as well as a dual pencil sharpener, which goes hand in hand with the Chella product I got this month!

Both boxes this month have a wide range of products across the beauty world so I think there is something for everyone this month. I'm looking forward to what is coming in the December boxes from both brands as I always feel beauty boxes see the year out with a bang!

Are you subscribed to a beauty box?

Let us know in the comments!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Nails Inc Corrector Pen

I am a big fan of perfectly groomed hands and nails but the time and effort needed for the manicure side of things is sometimes too much. I will more than likely always have acrylic nails on, but when I don't I am faced with the task of neatly painting my own nails. Painting my own nails is something I have never been very good at, I will always get it over the sides of my fingers, on my cuticles and end up in a huge mess that I some how have to clean up whilst preserving the varnish on my nails. My usual clean up method would be a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish remover, yes that does work and yes I am sure a lot of other people do the same thing, but, I find myself with the problem of too much varnish being wiped away due to the size of the cotton bud, or, the tiny strands of hair from the cotton bud sticking to my nail varnish.

On browsing the Nails Inc website I came across this product, similar products are on the market for eye make-up mistakes but this is the first time I have seen one for nails. The pen is the size of a marker pen and comes with three nibs, one is already inserted for you and two are spare in a separate compartment at the top of the pen. The nib has a flat edge on one side and a more rounded edge on the other side with an overall pointed tip, this is perfect for precision and removing the exact amount of varnish needed. When you remove the lid the pen smells very strongly of nail varnish remover and after having this product for several months, it has not dried up.

So does the product actually work? Yes it does! Hooray, no more mess! The only downfall is how fast you get through the nibs. If you are removing a dark colour (my experience was with a navy blue) the nib will stain very quickly, meaning that once it is covered with varnish, you are essentially just rubbing nail varnish back onto your nail. Lighter colours don't stain as fast, but overall you do not get very many uses out of the nibs and at £10.00 this product isn't the cheapest to keep repurchasing when you are out of nibs.

Overall, this is a handy little tool to have if you are constantly painting your nails (and making mistakes in the process). I think this is best suited to girls who are always doing their nails on the go or in a rush e.g. on the bus to work, at your desk or before bed! It is small and a lot easier to pop in your make-up bag than a big bottle of nail varnish remover. I don't think I will be repurchasing, only due to the fact I have used it only a handful of times and it would not be worth my money.

Have you tried this product or any similar products?
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Monday, 11 November 2013

Autumn Seemed To Arrive Suddenly That Year

We are well into November and Winter is almost upon us, this month has been a quiet one as I am officially in Christmas preparation mode, the past few weeks for me have involved best friend dates, finding the perfect office coffee, hibernation food, mourning the Gromit Unleashed Trail, Halloween novelties, crunchy leaves, Halloween baking, new nails & toilet graffiti findings. 

Are you all looking forward to Christmas?!
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Saturday, 9 November 2013

MAC Prep + Prime: Skin Refined Zone Treatment Soin

I was recommended this primer by an MUA at my local MAC counter for tackling an oily t-zone, at £16.00 for 15ml this isn't the cheapest primer out there, but I am always up for testing out products made specifically for the t-zone. This product is advertised to cloak visible pores whilst creating a long-lasting natural matte finish.

The primer is more liquidy rather than creamy, which isn't a problem as it dries instantly on application. When the product has dried you can really feel the mattifying effects and there is a sort of resistance when applying foundation and concealer on top. This product is really lovely on first application and does all it says on the tin!

In my personal experience, after a couple of hours this product completely fails me, yes, it does cloak visible pores, but this is the least of my worries when the light is reflecting from my shiny nose... eek! I think that people with minimally oily skin may see the effects of this primer, just as I do on first application. Although this isn't the best primer for me, it is really light, doesn't clog up pores and lasts for ages! A tiny amount of this primer goes a really long way so if you think this will be effective for your skin type it is a good investment as you do really get what you pay for!

What products do you use from the Prep + Prime range?
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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Glossybox for First Impressions

Glossybox have released a couple different 'one-off' boxes this year, but until now, none have really appealed to me. Glossy have teamed up with luxury brand specialists - to bring us a luxury brand box brimming with high-end goods. Unlike the usual element of surprise that comes with Glossybox, they released the contents of the box letting you know exactly what you were letting yourself in for when spending that extra £20.

First off, there is 6 samples in this box, instead of your usual 5, two of which are full size. Something that definitely caught my attention, when doing a bit of research into the products, the two full sized ones total a whopping £42 if purchased on Net-A-Porter, showing a seriously good saving if you were to invest in this box. Also, the products are a wide selection across the board of hair, beauty and body, which I do like. The only downside I've found with this box is that you're buying it through Net-A-Porter, not Glossybox, I had to sign up to another site (if you've already got an account with Net-A-Porter, this won't be an issue) and the postage was a hefty £5 in comparison to Glossy's £2.95, which was a bit of a nasty shock when I got to the checkout.

The Products:

Natura Bisse Diamond White SPF 50 PA+++ Oil Free  £75 for 30ml
It is no secret that when it is necessary, I love me some SPF! Not only do I like the look of my pale skin tone, but I think it is absolutely paramount to look after your skin in the sun. So, when the time is right I'll be very much looking forward to try this out.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Ageing Daily Serum £160 for 50ml
At 20, anti-ageing products aren't at the top of my hitlist, but I will use this every now and again to prevent things such as crows feet and forehead wrinkles

Ellis Faas Mascara E401 - Black £20 for 8.2ml
One of the full size products included in this box, this is the one I was most eager to try. I've heard loads of things about the brand Ellis Faas recently, and I think a good old mascara is a nice way to introduce yourself to a brand.

Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist £22 for 150ml
The second full size product in the box, and another product I loved the sound of. No matter the time of year, I'm always up for beachy waves and rolled-out-of-bed look, so I certainly think I shall be putting this to good use!

Ila Bath Salts for Inner Peace £49 for 500g
I've never been one to have tried bath salts all that much, but as winter closes in, I'm sure I will be retreating to my bath indeed looking for inner peace, and these also smell amazing and are enriched with essential oils so you can't go wrong!

Joya Ames Soeurs Roll-On Parfum £20 for 10ml
A nice little clutch bag/jacket pocket sized perfume sample with a nice scent to boot! I'm also intrigued by the roll-on application!!

Overall, I'm happy with my box and am glad I forked out the £20 (/technically £25) for an extra box this month! I'm excited to see what Glossybox put in their own box this month and hope there is a nod to this box with good, luxury products included!

Have you bought this box?
A big fan of Glossy?

Let us know!!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Make-Up Forever Sculpting Kit

"Contouring" and "Sculpting" are words we are reading over and over again across beauty blogs and in beauty articles, but finding the ideal contouring product seems to be a tiring task. The idea of contouring is to sculpt your face and define your features, Make-Up Forever's Sculpting Kit teams two essential shades in one slim compact, a light shade for highlighting and a dark shade for contouring and creating shadows. These pressed powders are really silky and apply an absolute dream with a good contouring brush (I am currently using an Avon one, that has sadly been discontinued!). As the powder is so silky and finely milled, there is a bit of fall out and therefore product wasteage, this wouldn't usually be a problem for me, but as this product is super pricey for the size of it (£27.95 on Guru Make-Up Emporium) the amount of waste worries me!

What drew me to this palette is the matte powders, there are so many powders out there with some sort of shimmer or shine to them which I think ruins the whole effect of contouring. There are four shades in this range that are simply numbered Shades 1, 2, 3 and 4, from seeing all the shades I think they really vary and you should definitely test them out before buying! It isn't necessarily the light shade that is a problem to match to your skin, it is the darker shade. I picked up palette #2 and find that the dark shade is a tad on the orangey side, but on viewing the other palettes, firstly #3 and #4 look way too dark for me to even consider, but #1 looks very pink toned, there doesn't seem to be a happy medium. The powders are super pigmented, have a really good colour pay-off and are generally really effective powders.

I would love to see some more shades added into this range for us paler girlies as I really love using this product when I have the time to dedicate to contouring.

What powders do you use to contour and highlight?
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