Saturday, 15 August 2015

Review: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

We all know that I am a sucker for YouTube, and this foundation has been popping up continuously on my subscribed time line. As it is not going to be released in the UK until later this month, I decided to get it shipped over from Sephora in the US.

This medium to full coverage foundation claims to be so undetectable that you are unable to see any imperfections and the skin is left looking radiant.

It has a few active skincare ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid for plumping, Alpine Rose for brightness and, Too Faced fave, Coconut water to hydrate without leaving the skin looking greasy. A good group of ingredients, but they are found quite far down the incii list, so I imagine that they are more temporary effect, rather than long term.

So here is the real test, photo evidence:

In the before you can see that I have quite a bit of redness and some pigmentation. My big issue is dry patches, especially around the nose and chin.

In the after photo (even though I look like I’m going to “deck” somebody), the foundation has taken away most of the redness and dulled down the pigmentation. Even though this is an oil free foundation, it has coped well with my dry patches, although around the nose and on the chin has gone a little “dusty”. I didn’t put a primer on and I think that with a good hydrating one this foundation would look great.

Application is very smooth; I used a buffing brush and applied from the centre as is recommended. I did finish with a beauty blender just to work it into the skin and give a smooth result.

Durability wise, it lasted really well even without a primer and felt very light on the skin.

I really like Too Faced products, and it’s great to see them becoming more of a frontrunner in the industry rather than the underdog. I’m looking forward to seeing more exciting items from them.

This foundation is a hit, perfect for combination skins, and just remember to pop on a primer if you’re a dry skin type.

A Chubby Cheesecake thumbs up.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation £27 available from

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Review: Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask

If you read this blog often you will know that I am really partial to a facemask, come to me with any problem and I will usually have a mask up my sleeve to fix it (I even have one for boy/girlfriend troubles, I kid you not).  The so-called new trend of “Multimasking” (using different masks at the same time) really isn’t new, good therapists have been doing that for eons (take that Daily Mail Hate), although I love that it is now becoming “a thing” as it allows me to justify buying even more masks.

I had not got around to using any of the Charlotte Tilbury skincare range yet and while browsing the counter I picked up the Goddess Skin Clay Mask as I thought it would be a good product to trial first. I had high expectations as I have really enjoyed the makeup (how good are Eyes to Mesmerise, I LOVE THEM), and the retail artist had very genuine good feedback about the mask.

The mask is designed to tighten pores, absorb oil and clear imperfections. What makes it different is its oil content, which the brand says will leave the skin hydrated and never tight, like traditional clay masks. It sounded right up my street.

First off the texture and smell is gorgeous, it has a very unique scent, which is from the frangipani extract that is also used for its soothing properties. The mask has a lovely thick but whipped texture, making it very easy to apply.

I put on a nice even layer and left on it on my skin for ten minutes, during that time it sets but never goes completely rock solid, which is always good for a  drier skin like mine.

The mask was then removed with warm water and a flannel, and came off very easily. It is recommended to give the skin a splash with cold water after removal to further tighten pores, but as my skin is prone to redness caused by temperature fluctuations I gave that step a skip.

Directly after using the mask, I really could see the radiance, and my pores did look minimised. My skin felt plumper, but I did feel just a tiny bit of tightness around my cheek area although I’m sure that was purely down to my sensitive-dry skin type.

This would actually be the perfect multimask product for me, as it’s the perfect formula for my T-Zone. I would combine it with something just a little less detoxifying on my cheeks like the PTR Cucumber Mask or Elemental Herbology Facial Glow.

This mask would be perfect for all skin types, especially those with classic combination/dry skin and I would recommend it whole-heartedly. At £45 it isn’t the cheapest mask, but I actually think it is excellent value due to its large 75ml size and its excellent key ingredients.

In conclusion, I’m pretty impressed and I am much more keen to experience the rest of the range, I might just splash out on a tub of “Magic Cream”.

Goddess Skin Clay Mask is available from Selfridges or Charlotte Tilbury online.

Monday, 3 August 2015

The making of a Product Junkie

My obsession with beauty products started young. When most little girls wanted to play Mummies with baby dolls, I wanted to play “Clinique” with my Barbie.  I thought that working in Debenhams Romford beauty hall was the most glamorous job possible (fast forward 13 years when your actually cleaning the tops of “Dramatically Different” and all thoughts of glamour go out the window) and I became obsessed with every lotion and potion I could get my hands on.

Unlike the young beauty obsessed today, we didn’t have YouTube, finding out what products and how to apply them was about trial and error. Trust me there was a lot of errors, my Year 11 school photo is evidence of that (beige is not my lip colour…ever).

As I thought more about this, I decided to make a list of the products that I started an obsession and has no signs of stopping twenty years later...

Aapri Exfoliating Pads
One of my earliest memories is sneaking into my nans bathroom to steal one of my aunts Aapri exfoliating pads, I had seen the advert of the TV and I wanted to try one of those little scouring pads so badly. When I actually did, I didn’t realise that you needed to use water and was left with a sore, pink face. You would think that I would be put off, but the obsession had started.

They are still making these things...
Avon Pretty Peach & Care Bear Soaps
My parents cottoned on to my love of product early on and I remember being so excited when I received a Care Bear soap in my Christmas stocking. I didn’t really dig Care Bears that much, but the soap was the greatest and I don’t think I ever used it, because I didn’t want to spoil it.

The Avon catalogue was something my pre-teen self that would pour over, I used to write down little wish lists of garish coloured products that I wanted but was never allowed (thankfully, as I would have looked like an 80's pageant child). What I was allowed, was Pretty Peach, a sickly sweet scented group of cosmetics made for younger users. Again, signs of cosmetic hoarding were even present then as I never used them and just used to look at them like a precious work of art.

Impulse O2
When I first started secondary school, it was quickly realised that the thing to do after P.E was to wet your arms and legs to give the appearance of a shower (so gross) and then go back into the changing room to spray yourself with a full bottle of this stuff, choking yourself in the process. I don’t think there is any other smell that would take me back to the 90’s quicker than this.

A whole host of classics, but you were only cool if you wore O2...
Rimmel Earth Star Lipstick
You were in either one of two teams, “Heather Shimmer” or “Coffee Shimmer”, but me being the renegade used to go for the creamy nude shade of “Earth Star”. The flat (and I mean flat) beige of this lipstick did me no favours at all, but I really thought that I was something special in this shade. I distinctly remember my mum saying that I looked like I had rigor mortis, but I was having none of it and I strutted around Hainault High in my nude lip feeling amazing (even though I looked like a zombie).

Not Earth Star, but the only photo I could find of the classic packaging. 
Body Shop Lip Scuff
The Body Shop was mecca for teenage girls on a Saturday afternoon. When I think back now, those poor assistants must have needed a large Gin to get over the swarm of teenage girls who would cause carnage in the tester section. The Colourings makeup collection was seen as positively high end to a young teenage girl like myself and the object of my desire was Lip Scuff. Being a spoilt little brat, I was lucky enough to get one of these and I proceeded to rub my lips raw with what was quite simply sandpaper in a lipstick tube every single day; I think I single-handedly kept Blistex in business.

Clinique 3-Step
“If you're old enough to put it on, you're old enough to take it off properly” were the immortal words my mum told when I opened my Christmas gift of a travel size Clinique 3-step. I honestly thought that I was Cher Horowitz when I got that set and throughout my teenage years I always used them religiously. Clinique was my holy grail (see above) and a love of high-end cosmetics was born. Clarifying lotion gets a bad rap, but quite honestly it was a predecessor to all of the exfoliating toners that are available now and, even though I don’t use it anymore, there will always be a piece of my heart devoted to it.

Tribe Perfume
Even though my skincare was leaving Boots and entering the world of the department store, my perfume was still well and truly chemist based. Again you were either an Exclamation girl or a Tribe girl, and Tribe was my weapon of choice. Made By Coty, this spicy sweet scent was a total 90’s classic and I went through bottles of it. I would absolutely love to smell it now; I used to think I was so sophisticated, well, until CKone came along.

Hard Candy Nail Polish
I used to pour over the glossy magazines in my teenage years and Just Seventeen was my absolute favourite.  They mentioned that Hard Candy was some random (and forgettable) American stars' favourite polish, and from that moment I wanted that polish. Unlike in the US, Hard Candy was really hard to get hold of in the beginning and I made many (landline) phonecalls to find some. When I finally tracked it down in Liberty, I dragged my poor parents all the way “up-town” to buy me a thirteen pound bottle of polish with a plastic ring on it. I think I had sky blue nails for the whole of 1995.

Dior Hair Mascara
Another must have in my chosen shade of Blue was Dior’s Hair Mascara, I used to coat strands of my hair in this gooey mixture that never seemed to dry and strut around looking like my hair had fallen into an ink pot. The worst part was that my hair used to get caught in the wand and I would put the hair-ridden wand back into the tube to get even more gunked up, I think my mum made me throw it out in the end.

The only picture of these I could find, I was starting to think I had imagined them! 
Nars Belle Du Jour Lipstick
During my late teens I did my work experience at Bliss Magazine, I was supposed to go for a week when I was fourteen and ended up working with them during my holidays right up until I was around eighteen. Even though in reality I was only opening the post and getting everybody’s sandwiches, I thought that I had made it and it was a time that would inspire me to look beyond the limitations of my Essex suburb.
Being able to go to Photo-shoots was my favourite perk of the job and I remember becoming fascinated with the Make-up artists on set. They would let me rummage around in their kit (I made good tea) and ask stupid questions, I would then leave with a whole list of products I wanted. It was then that I lusted after a newly launched Nars Lipstick (really showing my age) and again I dragged my dad into the west end to get one. As they were so new, all they had left was a couple of shades and I picked Belle du Jour. Now you would think that I would have learnt that beige was not my colour with Earth Star, but oh no I though I looked amazing in that lipstick…It was Nars darling! If you see any pictures of me from that time I just look like a sea of beige, but I didn’t care.

It was only a few years later that I would end up on the doorstep of MAC and my makeup career was born, but without all these products I don’t think I would have ever ended up doing what I am doing now.

What were the products that started your obsession? Tell me in the comments. 

Friday, 31 July 2015

The Paris Wishlist...

Paris is my escape. Only a quick flight or train journey away, it’s the perfect city to have an adventure in and still be back at your desk for 9am on Monday.

Although I go to Paris for the sights, sounds and the food (mainly the food), it would be rude not to pop into City Pharma to pick up a few beauty essentials.

These are just a couple goodies I am planning to pick up on my visit next week:

This little tube of magic is an essential for my “dry as a husk” cuticles. Since I have run out, I can feel Lauren’s (good friend and nail genius) despair every time I walk in for a manicure with my dusty nailbeds.
 This balm is non-greasy and perfect for any dry patches especially if they are feeling sore. It is also a must have as prep before a deep matte lipstick, pop a thick layer on for five minutes while you do the rest of your face, and then wipe off the excess before applying your lip colour. Your lips will be smooth all day and your colour will last much longer.

Cattier Clay Masks
I first tried these masks on the recommendation of my old mucker Caroline Hirons and as always Lady H knows a winner. Cheap as pomme frites, I defy anyone to find a better range of mud masks. My favourite is the Argile Rose, perfect for sensitive skin with its deeply hydrating ingredients and a little dose of lactic acid to help gently refine the skin.

Talika Bio Enzymes Mask Hydrating & After-Sun
I have used Talika eye make up remover for near on ten years, for me and my stupidly sensitive eyes it works perfectly. As you can guess from previous blog posts, I am a bit of a mask addict and I am dying to try the hydrating mask, that is full of soothing active ingredients. The after-sun mask is actually for Mr W, being a keen cyclist his skin can feel quite tight and dry after a long ride. Even while wearing SPF, there is still quite a lot of exposure to the elements and I think this will be right up his street.

Le Petit Marseillais Shower Cream
These shower products have been around for years and even though they are available in every Monoprix across the land, I just love the scent of them. Lait d’amande et Miel is my absolute favourite. It is so rich, it feels more like a body lotion than a shower gel. It is also amazing to shave with!

Have you tried any of these? Is there something you think should be on my shopping list? Tell me in the comments….