Thursday, 29 September 2011


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‘Estee Lauder Double Wear Light’ vs ‘Illamasqua Skin Base’ Foundation

So here goes...
I have combination skin - An oily t-zone, normal/slightly dry checks and dry patches often crop up here there and everywhere, even on my t-zone. So already I have a disadvantage when it comes to finding foundations that stay put.
Estee Lauder
For the past year and a half I have been loyal to Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear Light’ and didn’t see the point of trying other foundations just because this one worked so well for me. I once tried the original Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear’ and I completely hated it, it sat on my skin, didn’t blend and they had no colour to match my skin tone so therefore for the whole 2 times I think I wore it I had a lovely tide line on my neck (not such a good look) so I was a bit dubious about trying the ‘Light’ one, but gave in after hearing such good reviews about it.
Product details (taken form the Estee Lauder Website)
Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup
·         SPF 10
·         15-hour wear
·         Light as air
·         Long-wear
·         Lightweight makeup

      “ It’s Makeup That Keeps Up”
·         It’s fresh, natural, comfortable
·         Goes on sheer, leaves skin free to breathe all day
·         Controls oil
·         Resists smudging and won't "melt" off through heat and humidity
       For a look that stays vibrant and fresh whether it's a workday, a workout or a weekend.
      Smooth it on once and don't think twice about it.
  • Oil-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Won't clog pores
  • Fragrance-free
  • Photo-friendly

So I casually strolled into my local Boots store and asked the lady on the Estee Lauder counter to match me up. She used a foundation brush like any other good make-up artist would but personally I just can’t get on with the finish that a foundation brush leaves on my skin, its great if you prefer a heavier finish but not so great if your foundation falls of your face after a couple of hours, so a heavy finish is just not practical. She still did a great job and I found the foundation finish ‘ok’, however I do have a problem when it comes to buying things, if people have spent their time doing my make-up, hair, nails etc I will buy the product they are selling me, simply because I get ridden with guilt. So unhappy with the finish it gave me using a foundation brush I still went ahead and bought it (which I am so glad I did).
So after applying this foundation, with freshly washed fingers, it was love. It covers my spots, it doesn’t feel heavy on my skin, and the colour match is perfect (hallelujah). This foundation lasts all day on my skin without any retouching or blotting and doesn’t give me spots (win win win).
Foundation routine
 Cleanse, tone and moisturise
Apply my ‘Origins Ginzing’ eye cream and ‘Clean and Clear’ spot treatment. (I then wait 15 minutes before applying my foundation to allow my moisturiser to soak into my skin properly.)
I apply a small pea size amount of foundation to the back of my hand, then using clean fingers I gently blend the foundation onto my skin
I apply Concealer to my blemishes and then continue with the rest of my make-up, I’m then set for the day ahead
I do not apply a finishing powder with this foundation as I simply just don’t need to

Here are some before and after photos:

Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear Light’ costs £26.50 which is expensive but each tube lasts me around 6 months and I’m using it every day, which I think is a long time for a foundation to last. The colour I have is intensity 1.0 (I know I am very pale). Not everybody is keen on having SPF in there foundation (as even though Estee Lauder say its photo-friendly) SPFs can sometimes make you look very white in photographs, but I don’t have a problem with this and any protection s great for me and my pale skin.
Still after wearing a foundation for a year and a half I thought it was about time I tried something new. Just because.
So after reading many great reviews I dipped into my purse and bought a ‘Illamasqua’ skin base foundation.
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation
A little reminder-‘ I have combination skin - An oily t-zone, normal/slightly dry checks and dry patches often crop up here there and everywhere, even on my t-zone’.
I recently read a great review on A girl and her makeup about Illamasqua skin base foundation and instantly I wanted to go out and buy this product, but I forgot that my beautiful friend Kate has gorgeous skin and mine just doesn’t compare (boohoo L)
Product details (taken from the Illamasqua website)
      Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage. The Ultimate 'Skin Realism' Foundation.
So when I was shopping in Selfridge’s beauty department I looked over and saw the Illamasqua make-up stall and I was already finding myself marching over in its direction. Again the friendly make-up artist applied my foundation using a brush, this didn’t bother me so much this time as I knew it was just part of her routine. She also advised that I could build up this foundation to cover by blemishes (Great I thought no need to spend extra money on concealers, like I have to with my ‘Double Wear Light’).
After getting home and trying this foundation for myself using freshly cleaned fingers, I applied my foundation in exactly the same way as my Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear Light’ (hurrah) it blended easily and matched my skin tone perfectly so once again no horrible tide lines.
Unfortunately as the day went on I realised this foundation just wasn’t for me (great on anybody who has normal beautiful skin, I will highly recommend it as the finish is brilliant) sadly it just didn’t get on with my skin, It started falling of my oily areas and even after applying my ‘Laura Mercier’ translucent powder it just didn’t want to stay on my skin. I even tried applying primer and still nothing would work. Bad times.  Also after a few days of persisting with this foundation I started to realise I was breaking out with little tiny red spots. (It wasn’t a rash it certainly wasn’t itchy and they weren’t hormonal spots.) I still didn’t want to blame it on my foundation and really tried to make it work with my skin, but yes it turned out it was the foundation that my skin didn’t like. This will not happen to everyone as everyone’s skin reacts differently to different foundation, I also doubt it was a ‘badbatch’ as due to quality control this just wouldn’t happen. I just feel I need to tell people who do suffer with skin like me.  Again if you do have gorgeous skin please visit   A girl and he makeup and read Kate’s review as this will be more suited to you than mine.

Here are some before and after photos:
Illamasqua skin base foundation costs £25, which is expensive but for a high end brand you get what you pay for, this product should roughly last 4-6 months, with everyday use. The colour I have is No.05. This product does not have any SPF in it so it will look great on camera.
I will continue with my Estee Lauder ‘Double Wear Light’ foundation for now but am still on the lookout for other foundations to try, so any recommendations will be gratefully received. I also in future will continue to buy products from Illamasqua as they are simply beautiful, I think I may try a blusher or a lippy so again any recommendations will be gratefully received. I look forward to trying out more of their products soon.
Now you’re probably wondering why I compared these two specific foundations. This is because they both have a natural finish- whilst still evening out your skin tone, they are both roughly the same in price, they are both well known brands and both have the same sort of bottle (squeezy tube with a screw top lid).

both 30ml

Speak soon
Origins Ginzing eye cram review and  Shopping haul coming soon.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Microdermabrasion facials.

Ever wonder why your favourite celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Kate moss always seem to be glowing? The secret is Microdermabrasion. It’s a non-surgical approach to skin rejuvenation.
Microdermabrasion is a system of intense exfoliation and resurfacing that rejuvenates the skin. Ultra fine crystals strike the skin to remove its outer layer, known as the strata corneum. At the same time a vacuum tube sweeps up both the crystals and the skin’s cellular debris.
The production of collagen and elastin is stimulated, which results in a firmer, more youthful looking skin (win win)

It can treat:
Active acne and acne scarring
Fine lines
Ageing skin
Dry dehydrated skin
Stretch marks
Pigmentation, blemishes and cellulite
Sun damage scaring
Uneven skin tone
Visible results immediately
Healthy/radiant skin
Treatment process
Cleanse and tone the skin- Each treatment area is first cleansed to remove make-up and impurities and create traction on the skin for the microdermabrasion to work better.
Microdermabrasion- It gently and precisely exfoliates target areas to reveal fresher younger looking skin.
Mask- (not always the case in some salons so don’t be surprised if they don’t use one) A chosen mask to suit your skin type will be added onto the skin to help improve the results from the microdermabrasion treatment (and who doesn’t love a mask whilst lying down relaxing).
Moisturise- The treatment area is massaged with a hydrating moisturiser which will lock in moisture and help to repair the skin’s surface. Remember ladies it is important to moisturise even if you have oily skin as regular moisturiser applications are vital to replenish moisture and prevent the skin from becoming dry and peeling.
Possible side effects
After your treatment the skin may feel tight so again it’s important to use a good facial moisturiser (and not E45 as I have heard some ladies have used in the past). And if your skin is anything like mine it will go bright red for about an hour (yes you will look like a tomato) BUT if you avoid touching the area this will go down rather quickly.

This treatment is great for both Men and Women between the ages of 14 (with parental consent)- 65 depending on skin condition.
I have a Microdermabrasion facial around 4 times a year, depending on your skin condition this will be different for you, you may need to start off with a course of about 1-2 a week for about a month and then start to have more of a gap between treatments.
After your Micro facial do not wear heavy make-up that day, no swimming or facial waxing before or 24 hours after, no Botox, collagen injections or dermal fillers for 48 hours and no AHA, glycolic, retinol or exfoliating products. If your skin feels hot splash with cold water and moisturise. If you are planning on going out in the sun ensure you apply sun protection.
I hope that this has given you a good insight to Microdermabrasion facials, if you live in or near Shrewsbury, Oswestry or Welshpool then I recommend this salon-koalasbeautysalon.   If not then Microdermabrasion is a popular treatment and I’m sure it will be in a salon near you.
Speak soon
Estee Lauder vs Illamasqua foundation review and Origins Ginzing review coming soon
Ps. I apologise there are no photos of myself having the treatment or before and after, this is because I recently had a Microdermabrasion facial before starting up my blog so no photos were taken, My Mum has kindly modeled instead for me, as soon as I have my next Micro facial I will put some photos up for you to see J
Me applying the face mask
Me performing Microdermabrasion treatment on mum

Close up

The hand piece

The Micro machine

Monday, 26 September 2011


Take a look at the Gallery page, It will be frequently updated with extra photos of nails ect that I wont be posting on my main blog page.Many thanks.
Speak soon


Minx is a nail foil/overlay. Its well known by celebrities such as Beyonce, Katy Perry, Pixie Lott and many more. As I am running my own business I need to keep up to date with the current trends so I took part in the Minx training after I had finished my Shellac training in Coventry.

Minx is great for people who like to ‘push the boundaries.’ It has a range of designs which are striking and if you want it for a special occasion you will be spoilt for choice, there will be something out there to match any outfit.

My minx training was 1:30-4:30 with our trainer Carol, who was a lovely helpful lady and easy to strike up an interesting conversation with. She started by telling us the history of Minx and how it was the first ‘nail foil/overlay’ of its kind (and how other brands have tried to copy Minx, but it still remains the bestselling brand- with the best designs in my opinion- and the best results.)

Each lady in the training was allowed to pick her favourite design which she would like to be applied to her finger or toe nails. I chose the ‘Stewart Tartan’ design for my toes, as I’d just had ‘Wildfire’ Shellac done on my finger nails and Minx tends to last longer on the toes.

We each had one practice with a spare Minx design then went straight in for the full set using our chosen design. I did Cassies finger nails in a gold Minx, at first I struggled with cutting the Minx into shape using the scissors we were provided with, so instead I used the cuticle nippers as I felt it gave more accurate cutting.

First we had to prep the nail, so any cuticle work that needed doing was done and the nail was shaped. The Minx sachet was then heated up using the Infra red lamp, you then selected a size to fit the nail, pealed it off the sachet and gently placed it onto the nail pushing it down with an orange wood stick, it was then cut into shape with the cuticle nippers. After giving the Minx time to harden and cool we filed the edge off using a soft file.

Minx application usually takes 30-40 minutes by a professional therapist, at training it took me roughly an hour, I had never used the product before so was a bit fussy with it, once purchased and after some practice (I’m sure my lovely sister won’t mind being my Minxing dummy) I will be fully up and running with it at Beaute.

I don’t own a Minx kit at the moment, simply because I chose to invest in Shellac and I couldn’t afford both but as soon as I receive my wages from my weekend job I will be purchasing the Minx mega kit , I’ll then be able to get some more photos up for you of some Minxing that I’ve done.

Minx does not damage the nail if removed properly. Carol suggested either soaking it off in the bath or reheating the application using an infrared lamp and gently pulling away the Minx from your nail, if you don’t have an infrared lamp handy then a hairdryer will give similar results. If you just try to pull away the Minx application without reheating it it will pull away some of the top layer of your nail with it, Minx is designed to last so the adhesive is strong.

I hope that has given you and insight into Minx and you will all be off out booking in for your treatment, Minx is popular so there is bound to be a salon near you that does it.

Speak soon
Microdermabrasion and Estee Lauder v Illamasqua foundation posts coming soon.

                                                                     My Minxed toes

Stewart tartan

Friday, 23 September 2011

I ♥ Shellac

Hello again ladies,
So on Wednesday me and my friend Cassie travelled down to Ellisons Academy based in Coventry to take a course in our shellac and minx training, the journey down was fairly pleasant as we decided we would take the easy route and pay for the toll which ended up us being 40 minutes early for our training (better to be early then late hay!).
Our first course was shellac 9:30am -12:30pm, Our trainer Gemma told us about some science behind shellac and how it works including the science behind taking the shellac off. You see shellac has tiny little pores in it that we can’t see, which allows the acetone to reach deep to the base layer-starting from the bottom spreading underneath the shellac which releases it from the nail plate. This means that when it comes to adding cuticle oil to your cuticles and nails, your nails will still benefit as the cuticle oil (CND solar oil is a good one and it also smells like battenburg, yum) can still penetrate down to your natural nail hydrating them, the oil also helps to keep the shellac flexible allowing the shellac to stay flexible with your natural nail (bonus).-Bit of science for you there.
Shellac is a brilliant product with brilliant technology- It can last up to 14 days on your fingernails and up to a month on your toe nails. It keeps its mirror shine without scuffing or denting. Each layer to your shellac manicure (base, two colour and topcoat) each get dried under a UV lamp allowing you to leave the salon with perfectly dried finger nails (so no awkwardly reaching into your handbag for your car keys and purse, also bonus for the therapist as she/he will not need to retouch your nails again) the basecoat took 10 seconds to dry and the two colour coats and top coat took 2 minutes to dry.  Your therapist should also seal off the free edge of your nail first, before applying to the centre and sides to ensure the shellac does not peel off prematurely, this needs to be done on all four layers (shellac is unlikely to peal of early but anything to help it last longer).
Gemma also informed us that the UV lamp does not harm your skin or nails, The UV bulbs in the lamp only let off UVB rays so you will only damage your skin if your hands or feet are left under the lamp for a ridiculous length of time (burning will occur then, but most salon UV lamps are only programmed to work for up to 3 minutes) but no UVA rays so no horrible premature aging.
When it comes to soaking off your shellac you can either soak it straight into acetone for 10 minutes of use the CND soak off pads provided.
I chose to have the ‘wildfire’ colour.
Hope this post fills you with all the info you need and further questions or anything I may have missed to mention please don’t be afraid to ask.
Speak soon
 Minx and microdermabrasion facial info coming soon.


                                                                     'CND solar oil'

My collection so far

Sealing off the free edge

CND UV lamp (I know it looks like a spaceship)
Add some acetone to the pad, pull over the nail and wrap around and secure with sticky tab
This is how it should look

Shellac and minx used to gether, this photo and nail art was done by cassie- here is a link to her website if you want to contact her to have some shellac and minxing done together (or separatly) vanitychicbeauty

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Shellac info

I did my shellac and minx training course yesterday so lots of info for you all coming soon,  When I get some piccys of the shellac nails I have done I will be popping a post up for you all to read.
speak soon

Monday, 19 September 2011

And these are a few of my favourite things

Here is a list of a few of my favourite things (it says it all in the title really):
Actress’- Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson (also style icons)
Actors-Robert Pattinson and Ryan Gosling
Film-Legends of the fall
Primer- Fresh minerals smoothing prep primer
Foundation-Estee lauder double wear light
Concealer- MAC loose mineral Foundation (I press it over  any blemishes using small brush)
Setting Powder- Laura Mercier translucent

♥Contouring- Sleek contour kit(light)
Bronzer- Clarins Moaique summer bronzing compact
Blusher- NARS deep throat
Eye prime-I use MAC paint pot in bare study to hold my shadows in place
Eye shadow-Urban Decay virgin (from naked pallet)
Mascara-MAC Zoom lash
Eyeliner-Rimmel kohl pencil and Clinique cream liner
Brow product –Non I use just a brow comb to neaten them, I haven’t found anything to colour match my brows yet so at the moment I don’t bother much with them (tuttut to me)
Lipstick- Estee lauder lasting cream
Lip gloss- Chanel glossimer 104
Lip balm- Burts bees
Cleanser-Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser
Exfoliator-Swiss Dermyl enzyme peel mask
Moisturiser-Arbonne Fc5 nurturing day lotion SPF 20
Eye cream-Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream
Spot treatment -Clean and Clear advantage spot treatment gel
Hair products-moroccanoil (I often change my shampoo and conditioner to avoid product build up)
♥Brush cleaner- MAC

Shellac and minx nails post coming soon
Speak soon