REVIEW: Clinique Superprimer

I bought the Clinique Superprimer (£22) about 3 months ago and I have been really pleased with it. I have it in the universal shade which is designed for all skin types but it does also come in three other shades: one to correct redness, one to correct discolouration and pigmentation and the other to correct dullness in darker skin tones. This is actually the first ever primer I’ve bought so I was a little unsure if it would work, but after using it for a while now, I have not been disappointed.

I like the packaging. The box is pretty yet sophisticated and it’s very classic Clinique – simple and minimalist, which reflects the ‘no fuss’ approach to this product. It is 100% fragrance free like many of their products, which is great for sensitive skin.

It glides on the skin beautifully and seems to absorb well – it doesn’t feel tacky at all and my face genuinely feels much smoother to the touch. It does have a slight silicone feel, which I know a lot of people don’t like, however this isn’t an issue for me at all with this primer because I feel it works so well.

I like to wait a few minutes after putting my moisturiser on before applying the product. The reason for this is that because I use quite a rich, creamy moisturiser for my dry skin, I think that the effects of the primer are reduced if it mixes too much with my moisturiser. However I think for someone using a light moisturiser this wouldn’t be an problem.

You don’t need to use very much – I tend to use a pea sized amount with each application – so it lasts really well. As I said, I’ve had this product for 3 months already and it still feels at least half full so although the tube is quite small, I think it’s reasonable value for money.

This primer really helps to improve the application of my foundation. My foundation definitely goes on more smoothly with this primer as a base, particularly in the areas around my nose and under my eyes. It prevents an creasing and improves the overall tone. I haven’t noticed that the primer particularly improves the staying power of my foundation but equally, I don’t have too much of a problem with this usually so this isn’t a major concern for me.

The number one thing that I was looking for in a primer was to improve the smoothness of my foundation and concealer and this product definitely delivers. I would be open to trying a few different ones to see how this one compares, especially as I’m very new to using a primer, but overall I think this is a great product and I would buy again.

Advertisements

Samples from Feelunique.com

I recently discovered the sample scheme on Feelunique.com (yes, I know I’m a little behind the times!) and I think it’s a brilliant idea! If you don’t know what it is, the site offers the opportunity to choose 5 samples of your choice and you just pay the £3.95 postage. You can do this as many times as you like as far as I’m aware and there are a huge range of samples, from haircare to beauty to perfume.

The £3.95 postage seems just a tad expensive for amount of product you actually get but the principle of being able to try before you buy is great. I think this is especially good when some of the products are not available in stores and you may not be able to see them in a shop first. I’m possibly a bit unusual in this, but I still quite dislike buying beauty/skincare products online unless I’ve tried them first, so this is perfect for me.

The samples I got were these:

1. Madara Organic Face Delicate Cleansing Milk (£17.50, 200ml)

2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£28, 30ml)

3. Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil (£31, 195ml)

4. Bioderma Soothing Repairing Cream (£7.10, 40ml)

5. La Roche-Posay In-Depth Nutri-Reconstituting Cream (£16.50, 50ml)

So after trying the samples, would I actually buy any of these products?

1. Madara Organic Face Delicate Cleansing Milk (£17.50, 200ml)

I really liked this product! It felt lovely to apply to my skin and I enjoyed incorporating it into my nightly cleansing routine. After my make-up remover, I usually just use a face wash, but after trying this product, I definitely want to switch to a cream cleanser as I think it is a lot better for my skin. This product is organic, which I don’t know if this really makes a difference to the quality of the product but it certainly felt very gentle on my skin and after I had rinsed it off, I didn’t experience any tightness at all, which is just short of a miracle for me because usually anytime I put water on my face, it dries me out!! I was very impressed with this product so I will definitely purchase when my current face face has run out.

2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£28, 30ml)

I don’t have very much to say about this product really. I don’t find that serums feel particularly nice on the skin – kind of tacky and filmy – so you’re using them for the moisturising effect and this product didn’t seem to be any better than any other serums I’ve tried. It was fine and it does do it’s job but I don’t think it’s that special. I haven’t looked in detail at the ingredient list but this serum essentially felt the same as The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid and for 6 times the price, I don’t know why I would pay for this product.

3. Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil (£31, 195ml)

I had never used a cleansing oil before but I think this is a good one. Firstly it smells amazing, sort of citrous-y and fresh – really lovely. It feels great on the skin, very moisturising and smooth. I think it would be a bit heavy on the skin to use in the morning but as an evening cleanser it would be really nice to use when your skin needs a treat. For this reason, I probably wouldn’t buy this cleanser as I don’t think I would use this as an everyday product.

4. Bioderma Soothing Repairing Cream (£7.10, 40ml)

Of the 5 products, this was the one I was most disappointed with. I had chosen it hoping to find a product that would be good for my eczema but I found this to be extremely ineffectual and not that nice to apply to my skin. It comes out of the tube a rather odd colour and the consistency is strange: it appears creamy but when you rub it in, it goes weirdly watery and thin. Definitely wouldn’t purchase!

5. La Roche-Posay In-Depth Nutri-Reconstituting Cream (£16.50, 50ml)

This cream was nice to use and smells really good. It absorbs really well into the skin while still being quite rich and creamy, which I liked because it means it’s great to apply before make-up and it still gives my skin the moisture it needs (and my skin needs a lot!). Having said this, I don’t think I would buy this product simply because I am still wedded to The Body Shop Vitamin E moisturiser, which is so far the best moisturiser I have ever used.

To conclude, there is only 1 out of the 5 products I tried that I would actually buy and it isn’t the one that I thought I would like best. Madara wasn’t a brand I’d heard of before ordering these samples so I would probably never have discovered it otherwise! In writing this post, I have also found it interesting to find out the price of these products. When I picked these samples, I didn’t actually look at how much they would be to buy in full size so it was good to try the products without being influenced by their supposed ‘value’. I think it is definitely easy to be swayed by branding and price (where expensive is supposed to equal better) so it was a good little experiment in this sense too.

New Mascara

I try to buy a new mascara every 6 months as I think this is usually when they start to dry up a bit and also I think this is the most hygienic. (I’ve recently started being super organised and actually keeping a note of when I bought products so that I know how long I’ve had them/when I should throw them out).

I’m pretty loyal with mascara brands and have rarely gone off-piste with a completely new brand. This is because I think mascara is a product that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on, investing in expensive, luxury brands; a drugstore brand is just fine. My favourites are Maybelline and MaxFactor.

My last mascara was the MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara (£10.99) and I was very pleased with it. I had it in a Brown Black colour as I think this looks the most natural for me (one of my pet hates is people with very fair colouring wearing extremely black mascara – in my opinion it looks very weird! But who am I to judge?)

However I do like to have a darker colour myself when I want a more dramatic look so this time I chose the Maybelline Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara in Black (£7.99), which I’ve had before and thought was good. I like this mascara because it gives noticeable length and volume. It has been slightly more clumpy that I remembered, although this has improved over the last week and so I think with being a new bottle, there was just a bit too much product on the wand.

In a lot of ways, I think the mascara wand can be more important than the product inside. I prefer quite long bristles (is that the right word??) over those short, plastic spiky ones, which in my opinion are absolutely useless for giving any length.

IMG_0373

This the wand for the Maybelline mascara and I think this is perfect. This one is also slightly curved to follow the line of your eyelashes which I think is very effective.

Overall I do prefer the MaxFactor mascara, as I think the wand is slightly better for really separating inividual lashes. I also think the formula is less likely to clump so when it’s time to renew again, this is the one I’ll go for. That being said, I still think this Maybelline mascara is a great product, especially for a dramatic look.

What is your go-to mascara brand?

 

REVIEW: TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Salon Ceramic Waving Wand

I recently decided to buy a curling wand after my last visit to the hairdressers. I usually just use my straighteners to create a curl but I had been struggling with the technique now that my hair is a bit longer. My hairdresser used a curling wand instead and I really liked the finished look, so I thought I should investigate.

After an evening spent looking at reviews, I plumped for this one, the TRESemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Ceramic Waving Wand (£22.99), which seemed to get consistently good feedback. It can heat up to 200 degrees and it has a large 28mm barrel for looser curls.

Unfortunately I can only say that I am really disappointed. Before I go on, I want to say that my hair is not usually difficult to style and holds curls in pretty well when I use my straighteners – they’re not perfect by the end of the day but if I curl my hair in the morning, the curls haven’t completely dropped out by the time I go to bed. Therefore I was hopeful this wand would work well for my hair. Not so.

Whatever I do I can’t seem to get them to have any impact on my hair – the most I can achieve is a very limp half curl even after I have held the hair around the barrel for a good 10 seconds (I’m afraid to damage my hair by holding it any longer than that). I’ve tried just doing really small sections at a time and also gently pulling the wand through the curl to get right to the ends of my hair, without burning my fingers, but neither thing seems to work.

Does anyone else find curling wands to be completely useless or is it just me?!

I am aware that this is at the lower end of the price range for this kind of tool so perhaps this is what can be expected. However the reviews on Amazon and Argos for this product suggest that many people have been happy with it so I don’t think it should be necessary to spend over £100 investing in GHDs or similar.

I’m prepared to keep trying with it as maybe I just haven’t got the technique right yet and I would definitely welcome any tips!

But for now, I certainly can’t recommend this styling wand!!

REVIEW: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

In my first post I talked about my experience having a Daily Detox at the Clinique counter and what I thought of the products. You may remember that I was also given a 4 week sample of the new Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (£34, 50ml) so this is my review after using the product for a few weeks.

Firstly, a little goes a long way with this product so although it is quite expensive, I think if you had the full sized container it would last a good while. Although I haven’t used it absolutely every day, it’s been over 6 weeks since I got the sample tub and I still haven’t used it all.

Initially I liked this moisturiser – it is more like a gel than any other moisturisers I’ve had so it’s very light and it absorbs into the skin very quickly. It also isn’t greasy in the slightest, which I find is often a problem with more intense moisturisers.

However after having used it for a reasonable amount of time now, I haven’t seen any noticeable difference to my skin. I get the same results just by using my Vitamin E moisturiser from The Body Shop or even my Simple light moisturiser, both of which are much cheaper alternatives.

After the recommendation of the beauty advisor at Clinique, I was also hoping that this might become a product I could use to help manage my eczema, specifically for areas on my face, but unfortunately this has not happened and this product doesn’t make any impact at all. I know that this moisturiser is not marketed as a suitable product for treating eczema and Clinique doesn’t make any claims to suggest this, so it is probably unfair to judge it on this. However other people must get dry, flaky skin from time to time and although this cream is designed for dry skin – ‘thirst relief’ – I don’t think it provides the hydration that it claims to offer.

Secondly, I just don’t really like the gel formula of this moisturiser in comparison with the creamy ones I usually go for. This is mainly just personal preference so it is not really a criticism in itself. But I did find that this product leaves a sort of residue on my skin that I don’t like very much. ‘Residue’ is probably not the right word but the best way to describe it is that if I run my fingers over my face a few minutes after applying the cream, it feels like there’s a odd friction, rather than being just completely smooth. Weird!

Overall, I definitely won’t be buying this product and it’s also put me off using gel-type moisturisers in the future. I still like Clinique as a brand but I just don’t think this product was for me.

My Favourite Eyeshadow Palette Ever!

I absolutely love my eyeshadow palette from Sephora. I’ve had it for about a year now and I keep returning to it because it is so versatile.

img_2543-1
It has 12 neutral shades, from a pale nude, which I often use as a base, to darker shades and more stand-out shimmer colours. I honestly feel like I can use it for any occasion, whether that is an everyday natural look or a more vamped-up smokey eye for going out. The colours blend really well too so it is so easy to layer the different shades to create a real variety of looks.

You can see how much I have used the 4th shade along – this is definitely my favourite shade in the palette. It just creates a perfect coffee coloured base that can be simply worn on its own or I can add some of the shimmery shades to transform it into an evening look.

The palette also comes with a dark brown eyeliner, which I really like too. I do usually prefer a black eyeliner because it gives more definition and impact, but using a brown makes a nice change and it definitely works really well for a more relaxed, daytime look. It is a great pencil that goes on very smoothly without catching on the skin of my eyelid so it is lovely to use.

In addition there is also a double ended brush for application. This has a soft round end, perfect for shading and then a more stiff and stubby brush for definition – I usually use this end for adding a dark colour in the crease of my eyelid. This brush is great when I’m travelling because it fits neatly in the case but when I’m just at  home I like to use two ecotools brushes. These also have two similar ends to the one included in the palette but I really like the additional small soft brush (bottom right in my photo). I’m not sure what it is called but it absolutely perfect for smudging and blending the different eyeshadow shades.


img_2544

I love the ecotools brushes because they are gorgeously soft and they have a wide range of different ones. They are also inexpensive – I think these ones were the Enhancing Eye Duo and although I can’t remember exactly how much they were, it was definitely under £10 for both. Everyone raves about the Real Techniques brushes and I’m sure that is for good reason, but I personally can’t justify spending £15-£20 on a single brush. So for me, these are a great alternative.

(And if you’re interested, the background of my photos is a tea towel from Zara Home – I love the patterned pears!)

Choosing the Right Foundation

Choosing the right foundation can be a such a difficult task that I sort of dread my foundation running out and having to buy a new one! This wouldn’t be the case if I had managed to find the perfect one and then I know I could just re-purchase (how I long to find this elusive product!!) But I don’t think I’ve got there yet.

That’s not to say that I haven’t used some good ones. I am pretty pleased with my latest foundation, which is the Fresh Nude Foundation with SPF 15 by The Body Shop (£15).

The best thing about this foundation is the shade, which is an almost perfect match with my skin. I have the shade Chelsea Porcelain and when I tried it in the store, I just couldn’t not get it. I have pale skin with pink undertones and I often find that the palest shades are more yellow so it was nice to find one that is right for me. It was also refreshing to find this shade easily in store without having to go through the rigmarole of a beauty counter (sometimes I find the asssitants trying to convince me they have got the right shade so I’ll make a purchase even when I can tell that it just isn’t quite right).

I’m also pretty pleased with the texture and consistency of this foundation. As my skin is dry, I definitely need a more creamy and hydrating foundation – I absolutely cannot have anything that dries my skin out even more, otherwise I turn into a horrible, flakey mess! I also like to have a foundation that blends well using just my fingers. I have used brushes and sponges before but I find that it takes me too long to apply foundation using these, so on a day-to-day basis I just use my hands and save the other applicators for special occasions when I want more coverage. This foundation ticks both of these boxes. I make sure that I have applied moisturiser and primer first, otherwise it can be just a tad chalky, but overall I find this foundation really nice to apply.

In terms of coverage, I personally only like light coverage for daily wear and this foundation fits the bill. If I wanted more coverage I think it would be easy to build, but if you’re looking for more full coverage every day then this probably wouldn’t be quite right.

I think the price is very reasonable, especially when I compare it to a couple of more expensive foundations that I have tried and been quite disappointed with. One in particular that springs to mind is the Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation (£34); the shade match was excellent but I found the application of this product to be really difficult. Firstly there is no pump in the bottle, which makes it very hard to get out (this was just annoying) and secondly, despite being a foundation designed for dry skin, I found that it really did not blend well on mine. It seemed to crease and cake very easily, even when using a minimal amount. I definitely expected better from a premium product!

I’m still on the hunt for my perfect foundation but this one from The Body Shop is a solid 4 out of 5 and I would definitely consider buying again.