REN F10 Smooth and Renew Mask

renf10

REN are one of my favourite skincare brands and have been for quite some time now. REN use only 100% plant and mineral derived actives and are free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients.

I had been using other REN products for a while when I saw Kate rave about this particular mask in one of her videos and so decided to give it a whirl. The F10 Smooth and Renew Mask is targeted towards those with sensitive skin, although those with other skin types will certainly be able to use this too.

The product is very gentle on the skin and is formulated to exfoliate using fruit acids, leaving the skin feeling smooth, toned and radiant. I have particularly sensitive skin and break out very easily but have had no problems at all with this product. The mask has become a staple in my skincare routine; I like to use this once or twice a week, leaving on for around 10 minutes before wiping off with a warm flannel. After using, my skin is noticeably brighter and more even toned. I also find that I have to use less makeup, as areas of hyper-pigmentation that I have previously had are noticeably faded.

F10 Smooth and Renew Mask retails at £20 for 50ml and can be bought directly from the REN website.

What’s In My Makeup Bag #1

makeupbag

Obviously this isn’t all of the makeup that I own, it’s just the stuff that I’m currently using on a daily basis. Recently I’ve decided that I really DO NOT need any more makeup, well at least not for a while anyway and so I’ve been switching up the contents of my makeup bag relatively often in an attempt to use up what I already own.

It’s actually going quite well and I haven’t bought anything new (except a mascara but I’d run out and had no backups, so I allowed myself that) in around a month or so, which if you knew what my habits were like before, you’d think that it was pretty good going.

I picked up this Liberty print makeup bag a few years ago in the sale at Jack Wills and it has served me well since then. They no longer stock this particular print, but they have similar ones all the time.

First off are the eyeshadow brushes—all of the brushes with black handles are from Crown Brushes Syntho Range. These brushes are extremely well priced and I haven’t used anything else since buying them. They’re beautifully soft and wash brilliantly. Brushes pictured are SS011, SS027, SS012 & SS020.
Also pictured is the domed shadow brush from the Real Techniques Travel Essentials collection, however I actually use this for blending in concealer.

To apply my blusher, I like to use the Large Angled Contour brush (F40) from the Mr Bunny Travel Kit by Sigma. I actually made a video reviewing the whole kit which you can watch here.

The next two are both Real Techniques brushes—the Multi-Task brush and the Buffing brush. I use the Multi-Task brush for bronzer and the Buffing brush for foundation. I love both of these brushes and would highly recommend them.

The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is something that everyone seems to rave about and quite rightly so. Shade Light 2 is perfect for covering any blemishes, although I find it a little heavy for under the eyes.

Supercat eyeliner by Soap & Glory has been another staple in my makeup bag for quite some time now—it ticks all the boxes for me. It’s one of the blackest liners that I’ve found and it has the perfect nib whether you want a fine or thick line.

Brow Wiz has been a bit of a game changer when it comes to my brows. I’ve never been 100% happy with other products that I’ve used before and so I decided to add this to my Cult Beauty basket a while ago and haven’t looked back since. The shade medium ash is perfect for me and I find that it lasts all day without needing to reapply.

Bourjois Liner Feutre—because one eyeliner obviously isn’t enough. This is another good choice and might be a little easier to find than the S&G one. Nice and black and creates a perfect flick.

I thought that the quest to find the perfect vegan friendly mascara might never end until I found Barry M’s Lash Vegas mascara. It’s not 100% perfect but I really do like it. Like most mascaras, it seems to be better after a few weeks when it’s dried out a little. You might want to pass if you like a lot of volume but it gives great length and definition.

Another mascara that I love is Liz Earle’s Lash Definition Smudgeproof Mascara. I tend to use this one on my lower lashes as I have quite watery eyes and although this isn’t marketed as being waterproof, it definitely stays put.

The lip product that I’ve been reaching for daily has been Soap & Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Fuchsia Ristic. The colour is quite buildable, so is perfect for transitioning from day to night. It seems to last ages without the need for reapplication and it smells great too.

Shu Uemura eyelash curlers are as good as everyone says they are. Yes, they are expensive, but I’ve had this pair for around 5 years and they are showing no signs of needing replacement.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation has been my foundation of choice for over a year now. I use the shade 2.0 which is a great match for me. You can see me applying it in this (old) every day makeup routine video.

Liz Earle’s Healthy Glow Powder Blush in Nectar is just about the only blusher that I’ve used this year and I have a lot of blushers, so I must love it. Nectar is the perfect pinky coral sort of colour and has great lasting power too.

Stila Sun Bronzer is my all-time favourite bronzer. I use the shade 02. I’m naturally quite pale and I find that 02 gives me just the right amount of colour without making me look orange. I’ve just repurchased this after around 18 months of solid every day use of the first one that I bought.

Chantecaille’s Iridescent Eye Shade in Sel was purchased in a bit of a moment of madness after having seen this post from Kate. It’s a bit of a beaut and a shade that I imagine would be pretty universally flattering.

Lastly we have the MUA Undressed Palette. I think that this is the original ‘dupe’ for the Urban Decay Naked Palette; it’s pretty darn good and not just for the price. Each shade is amazingly pigmented and applies beautifully to the lid without too much fallout. The palette has a great range of shades meaning that it’s perfect whether you like something relatively natural or a little heavier.

So there we have it, everything that’s in my makeup bag (for the moment at least).

Current Favourite: Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Radiance Day Cream

The Superfacialist range by Úna Brennan has been on my radar for quite a while now; I usually prefer to use higher end brands rather than an off the shelf product, but as I’d heard such great things about the range from people that I trust (i.e. Caroline Hirons), I decided to pick up the Rose Hydrate Day Cream whilst shopping in Boots. As the cream (and indeed the whole range) is so reasonably priced, I felt that should the cream not work for me, then at least I wouldn’t have wasted too much money.

I have rather sensitive skin which often reacts when using products that are quite perfumed and so I was a little wary of this at first as is quite heavily scented with rose, however this seems to be suitable for even the most sensitive of skins and I haven’t suffered any breaking out at all. The day cream is packed with nourishing ingredients including cucumber oil and marshmallow extract, which helps to leave skin feel calm and renewed.

For me, this is a perfect day cream for those with dry or dehydrated skin. Anyone with skin that is on the more oily side may want to give this particular cream a miss as there are other products within the range that will be more suited.

My skin had been feeling a little dull and dehydrated prior to using this, however after around a month of use my skin looks better than it has done in a long time. The cream also has the added benefit of having SPF15, meaning that I don’t need to worry about using a separate SPF. The consistency of this is lovely—a sort of medium thick cream which comes in a squeezy tube, so there’s no worrying about dipping fingers into the pot. The cream also provides a perfect base for makeup and keeps my skin feeling hydrated all day. I feel that the price point of the range is fantastic and will definitely be repurchasing another Radiance Day Cream when my current tube runs out.

The Rose Hydrate Radiance Day Cream retails at £12.99 for 75ml and can be purchased directly from the Úna Brennan site or in-store and online from Boots.

NOTD: Nails Inc Porchester Square

This is a shade that had been on my wish list for quite some time and recently, I finally caved and ordered it from FeelUnique. Nails Inc describe Porchester Square as being a ‘chic muted mushroom’ shade, which I’d agree with, although on myself there’s definitely a hint of lavender in there too.

This is one of those shades that’s going to look different dependent on the tone of your skin, on some the grey will come out more than the lavender and on others the brown, but that’s what makes this shade so versatile and wearable—it suits just about anyone, which is not something that can be said of a lot of shades. Porchester Square is the sort of shade that will go with any outfit, in any season and I can see why it’s one of Nails Inc’s best sellers.

The polish applied opaquely in two coats, but I did have issues with chipping on the second day. That being said, it was probably more my fault than that of the polish—I am quite heavy handed and cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen with no gloves on (naughty me). I also hadn’t bothered putting a base or top coat on and I think that Nails Inc polishes in general benefit from being combined with those.

Nails Inc polishes can be purchased directly from their website for £11.

e.l.f haul

e.l.f or eyes lips face is a brand that I have turned to time and time again since their UK launch in 2007. e.l.f’s ethos is to allow makeup lovers to experiment without sacrificing their budget. There are a lot of hits and a few misses within their range, but on the whole I find that e.l.f really delivers high quality, low cost products.

I hadn’t picked up anything from them for a little while and they’d recently added a few new products to their range, so I had a little bit of a splurge and made this video to show you what I bought.

Have you tried anything by e.l.f? What are your favourites?

Favourite Products of 2012

Slightly belated but here it is, my favourite products of 2012. I tried out A LOT of new things in 2012, some things I loved, some I did not. The items that are mentioned within the video were the cream of the crop.

Just to be super helpful, here’s a little rundown of everything mentioned with reviews where applicable: 

Diptyque Philosykos Perfume Oil Roll-on

Diptyque has long been a brand that I had admired from afar thanks to their rather lovely, but expensive candles. Whilst in Space NK recently, I was browsing the shelves and intended to purchase one of their candles, until I caught a whiff of the Philosykos perfume.

Fig is a scent that I am really rather a fan of; most of the candles burning around my apartment are fig and the shower gel that I love (Korres) is also fig, so falling for a fig scented perfume seemed like a natural step.

For me, Diptyque’s offering is a little more grown up (in a good way) than a lot of other figgy scented perfumes that I have sampled in the past. 

Diptyque use the whole fig tree in the production of this scent including the leaves and bark, rather than just the fruit. There’s also some white cedar in there for good measure. 

The oil within the roll-on is highly concentrated, therefore a little goes a long way and the scent lasts for hours after application. At £32.00 for 7.5ml, this certainly isn’t cheap, but is great for throwing in one’s handbag due to the small compact size. It would also make a beautiful gift for someone who really likes their perfumes.

Whilst I’m not sure that I would purchase the roll-on again, I would certainly think about purchasing the larger size bottle, where you get a little more product for your money.

Soap & Glory Whipped Clean Shower Butter

Described by Soap & Glory as a shower gel and moisturiser in one, this little gem has been the only shower gel that I have been reaching for lately. It’s designed to be used for when you just don’t have time to moisturise and as I’m someone that loves my bed, anything that means that I can have an extra 5 minutes in the mornings is a winner in my eyes.

This body wash is made up of 25% moisture oils and butters including sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia nut oil and cocoa & shea butters and it smells rather lovely to boot.

Scented with pistachio, almond and sweet vanilla, the fragrance is slightly different and a little more grown up than Soap & Glory’s usual offerings, which I personally love. The wash has a lovely thick consistency which leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. It also makes shaving a breeze. 

Soap & Glory products can be purchased from Boots. Whipped Clean Shower Butter retails at £8.00 for 250ml.

This Works Perfect Skin Super Moisture

Perfect Skin Super Moisture is a rich antioxidant cream that acts as a serum and a moisturiser in one. Once the colder weather hit, I felt that my skin needed something a little richer and more hydrating as my regular moisturiser just wasn’t cutting the mustard.

The moisturiser contains Vitamin C, UK sourced Blackcurrant Seed Oils, Walnut, Evening Primrose Oil, Shea Butter and sugar based active. This Works say that this penetrates deep into the skin to create an effective skin barrier, preventing loss of moisture and increasing flexibility and suppleness.

For those that like their moisturiser to contain SPF, this might be one to give a miss, however the lack of SPF does mean that it can be used both morning and evening. The moisturiser would be best suited to those that have dry to normal/ combination skin tones as I think that it would be a little rich for those with oiler skin types.

Personally, I have really quite enjoyed using this lately. I have normal skin that is slightly dehydrated and found that it provided just the right amount of moisturisation, without being too heavy, leaving my skin feeling soft and hydrated all day. It also provides a great base for makeup. I particularly like the pump and soft tube, as it dispenses just the right amount and makes this product very travel friendly.  

Perfect Skin Super Moisture retails at £22.50 for 30ml and can be bought directly from the This Works website.

Naturtint Permanent Hair Colorant

Since starting to make videos, the question that I have been asked more than anything else is whether or not I dye my hair. The title of this post probably gives away the answer to that question and in the video, I explain why I started to dye my hair and what my favourite brand to use is.

Naturtint Permanent Hair Colorant is priced at £9.99 and can be purchased from Holland & Barrett. All products within the range are not tested on animals and are suitable for vegans.