Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Beauty things I do that I am not supposed to // Shaving my face!

Do you want to hear a shocking piece of information? ready? I shave my face. There I said it. and just like that it's out there forever. There's a number of things I do that you are not "supposed" to do, but I have decided to throw out the beauty bible and stick to what works for me (until I have a crisis and clamber to find it) So what beauty sins do I commit?


I think I should start here just to clarify the situation and so that I can calm down your flustered "what on earth is she doing" panic. Now I am not talking about applying a full face of shaving foam and using a turbo charged man's razor (or some other crap they come up with to sell a product directed to a man) I am talking about using a small facial razor to whip of the pesky hairs. I am going to say something even more shocking now, that as a woman I should probably not say but - I have a hairy face, I have impressive sideburns that I am pretty sure Cousin Itt would be envious of. I am human, I have hair, and that's that. As much as I have come to love my facial fur, it can't stay, and the best method for me is shaving. I have tried EVERYTHING and it's the only thing that doesn't break me out. If I wax my face it results in a 3-day pass to the confines of my house as there's no way I could go out in daylight, I mean I would scare kids. It gives me the worst break out, its sore, itchy, oily - pretty much all skin ailments all in one hit. And don't even get me started on facial hair lightening, let's just say I had an incident that resulted in me looking like John McCririck and I've never gone back.

So what I do is take a facial razor, use it on dry skin and lightly go over where it's needed. Its quick and gets the job done with no irritation. The downside? it comes back pretty quick, as you would expect with shaving, but its so easy to get rid of it again that it's not a problem. I buy my razors online (ebay/amazon) as I have not seen these in the likes of Boots yet, but they are very cheap so worth popping some in your basket on your next Amazon haul.

Now I have heard facial shaving has taken on a new name - dermablading, which is essentially the same thing but instead of shaving small parts where needed, it involves shaving the majority of your face. The idea behind this is that you are removing all hair, exfoliating, and leaving the skin smooth and more receptive to the following beauty products. I get it, and actually I like the theory and I think it would work for my skin type - however I am not quite brave enough for that yet, maybe one day!

Wash my hair daily

I often hear that you shouldn't wash your hair every day, that its not good for your hair and that you would be stripping it of its natural oils etc. well that is exactly what I want to do, it needs stripping of natural oils, daily. My hair is fine and greasy and it looks its best when its clean. I am envious of people who can have a blow dry and it stays nice for days, or they can have "day 3" hair, there is no such thing for my lank barnet, it needs washing and styling everyday, the alternative is a hairband. I have tried leaving it for a few days and it can be summarized in one word, gross.

Scrub my face

I have had a recent discovery, and I have to say, I like it. I Love a good exfoliation to clear away the excess oil, crud, filth. But I have always tried to be relatively gentle, because, well that's what "they" say isn't it? you can't be too abrasive with your face. But whilst in the shower the other day, I scrubbed my face using an exfoliating glove - y'know the brillo pad ones that are meant to scrub your ass? yeah one of them. I scrubbed away and I even used it in conjunction with an exfoliating cleanser, double whammy style. The result? super smooth, clean, glowing skin - BAM. Now I have heard that one of the reasons you shouldn't over exfoliate is because it could trigger your skin into producing more oil and end up back at square one. But for my thick, oily, porous skin, IT WORKS! so if it works for me I will continue to do it.

*only the glove was harmed, no use of the pan cleaner at all

Product development time

This is probably a bit naughty, but if a packet says to leave something on for a set amount of time, I kinda add a few mins more on. I want to make sure it works OK? sometimes I leave a mask on for the specified time but after removal feel that it could've been left on a bit longer. Now this is the really naughty bit, if it gives a bit of a sting I am happy and sometimes I ride it out up to sting point. I like to feel like something is actually happening, if that means I have to leave a mask on for a few mins more then that is exactly what I will do!

What beauty rules have you broken?

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Date night vlog // weekend in Birmingham // Hotel La Tour // The Wilderness restaurant // shopping

As the title suggests, hubby and I had a weekend away in Birmingham and I took my camera with me! if you fancy watching the vlog, click below!


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Glamour Beauty Festival 2017 // Pixiwoo // What's in the goodie bag?

Whilst having a quick coffee break and a magazine snoop, I came across an ad for Glamour magazines Beauty Festival. Between a coffee sip and a page flip I decided I was going, the decision was that quick. Normally I would plan things like this well in advance and probably not even go - I mean it is an effort getting a train to London right? but for some reason I really fancied it. So I booked daddy day care in, bought my ticket, and spent the next few weeks eyeing up the listed goodie bag. OK that is not the only reason I wanted to go, I was keen to watch Pixiwoo in action as they were attending the event and even giving a few lucky audience members a mini make over. There were other interesting talks planned over the weekend including Fearne Cotton and well known bloggers such as Inthefrow were discussing desert Island beauty items. But for the slot I attended (Saturday morning) Pixiwoo was the highlight for me. It was only when I got there that I realised that I needed to book in advance for the talks, luckily I managed to wangle a seat, after all its not what you know its who you know (totally didn't know anyone, had to wait until the queue went in to see if there was a space)

So what nuggets of wisdom did I gather from the Pixiwoo talk?

The main message for me, whether they realised they were saying it or not, is that the best thing you can do is be you. A familiar message that I am slowly coming to terms with. But we all know this is true, what else can you be? statements like "Contour just to suit YOUR face shape, no Kim Kardashian" "Don't stick on someone else's eyebrows" "Use products that suit you" etc all added to the Be Yourself campaign. It's good to hear that from make up artists though, as I guess they would have a strong urge to be creative and use your face as a canvas, instead the message is do what suits you. Whether that relates to time restraints, finances, or maybe you're just not that into make up and for you less is more. 

So what products were used? Hourglass was a big one (I went into SpaceNK afterwards and almost bought a palette because of them) MAC Fix, concealer palette & face and body foundation, Clinique Lip Pops, were the products that stood out to me. It was also refreshing to hear that all the steps there are these days in make up application are not necessary and that, for example, contouring and strobing have become popular for the purpose of selling product. Am I wrong in thinking that strobing is just wacking a bit of highlighter on? no didn't think so. And I don't know about you but sometimes I watch YouTube videos and feel overwhelmed (and under educated) in the world of make up, all leading towards the spiral of comparison  (no I can not name brushes by their code, I prefer language such as the fan one/big one/angled one etc)

A couple of other things mentioned were that, on the whole, colour correctors are not that necessary when you have the right foundation, which I can see truth in. When I find the right foundation, there simply is no need for anything else.

A couple of tips I picked up, Sam suggested using a waterproof eyeliner if you suffer with greasy eyelids - it's obvious when you think of it but I never considered that for staying power. 
Nick suggested using a bright/light sparkly shadow for your crease - apparently this is usually a no no, but it really helps to open up deep set eyes. 

With my tips and inspo noted, I headed out to explore the rest of the festival (that was after I asked Alessandra Steinherr  for a selfie - sorry I had to get at least one of them, she was my victim) and actually she was a great host and kept the talk flowing and upbeat.

Next port of call was nails, I was in desperate need to have something (anything) done to my nails. the options were a Nails Inc. manicure or Elegant Touch set of false nails, I went for Nails Inc. But in hindsight I wish I went for the falsies, y'know just to be a bit diva, plus I was scared to bump my nails after my manicure. I opted for a light mint green pastel shade from the new collection, I like it but it's not quite as green as I was hoping, lesson here? if in doubt pick the pink.

There were many brands there showing their latest beauty items, but for me I really liked the look of the Fresh face masks. They were offering mini facials but I didn't want to take my make up off (I didn't want to scare tourists walking around London with a naked face) so instead I entered their competition to win a set of masks, fingers crossed! Something else that caught my eye were the Marc Jacob palettes - heart eyed emojis!!! 

I will be honest I am a bit of a people watcher, so I enjoyed moseying around seeing what people were having done, earwiging (not stalking in any way, promise!) and left without having any more treatments. Don't get me wrong the options were there, facials, make overs, eyelash application the lot, but I was happy with my fill and went off into London to do a bit of shopping. But on my way out I had to stop and take a few pics in the inspo tunnel (as I've called it) where hearts, pretty things and inspirational quotes adorn the wall. I wonder if hubby would let me do this to our bedroom?

Now we move on to the goody bag - and yes it is rather good. In fact I like ALL of the items in the bag. There were items from most of the brands that exhibited at the festival, Pixi glow mist, Nars Orgasm blusher to name but a few, if you fancy having a nosey at whats inside, I show every item in the vlog below. **warning - it features my three year old assistant**

Friday, 17 March 2017

Burt's Bees Lipsticks - Pop up event Birmingham Bullring - Interactive wall of kisses

If I were to ask you about the brand Burts Bees, what product would immediately spring into your mind? For me its lip balm. An all natural option that is guaranteed to give dry lips a bit of TLC. What if I said that the same benefits can now be found in a new range of lipsticks, interested? Let me proceed.

Introducing a new range of lipsticks from Burts Bees, 100% natural, intense colours and eight hours of moisture - sounds like the perfect combination to me! There are 18 shades to choose from, and after having a play around with the collection, it is hard to decide which to wear!

But there is no need for you to have the same dilemma - The Interactive Wall of Kisses to the rescue! Burt's Bees are holding a pop up event in the lower mall of the Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham this weekend (17th - 19th March) to celebrate the launch of their new lipstick collection. You can experience all of the shades using the interactive wall where a pic is taken and lipstick virtually applied - a bit of selfie fun here I think! Pics can be sent to you by email and also shown on the large digital display on the stand. What's better is if you share your image on Instagram or Twitter (using the hashtag #lipstickthatlovesyouback and tagging @BurtsBeesUK) you could be in with the chance of winning the whole collection.

Make-up artists will also be on hand if you want a bit of one to one consultation to help pick the best shade for you.

My fave shade? Well as a pink lover, I was drawn to Brimming Berry, a beaut pink colour (shown below) If you head to the Bullring this weekend and head to the pop up event, let me know which shade you like the best!

*contains PR samples


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil - Sparkling Framboise

Hi I'm Kim and I am a packaging-aholic. If there is a new beauty gimmick on the market I just can't help but have a nosey, easily lead some might say, or as my husband says "a marketers dream"

What's wrong with having a product in various shapes/sizes? yes they are all essentially the same but I NEED to have them in every form OK? Que one of my latest purchases, a cushion blush. 

If you have not seen a cushion blush before (although I can guarantee you have) it is essentially a moist cushion impregnated with liquid blush. I believe that this has stemmed from cushion foundations (the same but with foundation) as used and love by Korean beauty gurus. At one time this was something tried by high end beauty houses, and it has now filtered down into drugstore ranges too. I was initially interested in a cushion foundation, however whilst at a beauty counter the responses to my questions didn't fulfil me. I asked how much foundation there was in the cushion, y'know I want to know ml's, the assistant couldn't tell me but the conclusion was that it was best as a "travel, on the go" type foundation rather than your every day-er, which lead me to believe there was not much product in them at all. So to scratch my cushion itch, I went for a blusher instead, thinking that it would be a wiser investment. Only, I went and bought a £29,50 blusher, not exactly "wise" for your first dabble Kim, but hey, the colour lured me in.

My choice of blush was the Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil, there are six shades in the range and a few jumped out at me. I got all swatchy and noticed after a few mins the colours changed slightly on the skin (always worth waiting a few mins just to see) and ended up with the shade Sparkling Framboise.

The small compact comes with a cushion applicator, I however prefer to use a brush, I found that if I used the cushion supplied it would not blend so well. There is also a handy mirror in the lid, so if you are using it on the go you have a mirror for touch ups. 

It has great buildability, from a flush of pink up to a more vibrant look depending on how many dabs of the cushion you have. I find a little goes a long way, so my original thoughts about how long it would last (as in how much product there is) appears to not be an issue here.

As for long lasting on the skin? using a moist blusher whilst having oily/combo skin is always a concern for me but this blush stays on the skin all day, completely drying on the skin. Unlike cream blushers that I find tend to stay a bit tacky on the skin. 

So this has made me wonder if I should give the cushion foundations ago, if it has a similar texture and buildabilty as the blush then I would definitely try them. But this time I think I would go for a drugstore option such as the L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique Cushion Foundation which I have read good things about.

Have you tried any cushion products yet?

Friday, 10 March 2017

Get Ready With Me (GRWM) & Saturday lunch vlog

New vlog up on my YouTube channel - click below to watch!


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Formula 10.0.6 SO Totally Clean Deep Pore Cleanser Review

If you have seen my "February Favourites" video then you may already know what I think of this cleanser (kinda gives it away that it is in a video named favourites) OK so I like it, let me go into why...

Whilst in Boots, I spotted the new range from Formula 10.0.6, naturally I was intrigued by the new range and selected the cleanser as my first victim. I will be honest, there was no thorough label reading, in fact, I only read the front and what I saw was enough for me to pop it into my basket. I bought this for £8.99 but it is currently in the 3 for 2 offer HERE

That evening, I whipped out my new cleanser, soaked a cotton pad and applied it to the skin after my first cleanse. First impressions? BLIMEY this is scented/WOAH its alcoholic/does it taste like a cocktail? don't worry I didn't ingest it to find out, but if I had to describe the experience it would be likened to a mixture of a holiday beach bag explosion (sun cream, alcohol and a bit of baby cream for good measure) I actually found it a bit overwhelming and the alcohol made my eyes water.

Now if I would've read the back of the label, I would indeed of seen that the ingredients include alcohol and perfume. Normally I would avoid these. My bad. But I am glad I didn't read the label because actually, I quite like it.

After my first dabble, I was ready to extradite it to a family member ruling it out as "not for me"
The next morning, I had a quick look in the mirror (y'know just to check where I am on the horrificometer that day) and I had a double take. "Do my pores look smaller? cleaner? yes, yes they do!" It would appear that the cleanser had done its "deep pore cleansing" job as promised leaving my skin looking clearer.

I immediately doused my face with the cleanser, deciding you can never have too much of a good thing. I went to town with a soaked cotton bud and really worked it into the porous caverns, a bit like putting washing up liquid into an oily pan. It worked a treat to dissolve the oil that is so fond of my pothole-esque terrain on my nose.

From then on I have been using this daily, I occasionally apply to my whole face as a second cleanse but personally I prefer to "spot use" and only apply to large pores to dissolve oil. As mentioned above, my preferred method is to soak the skin to really get it into the pores.

Now if you have sensitive skin then you may want to use this with caution. Alcohol and scent could quite possibly stir up a few problems. However, I would've considered my skin to be sensitive (because its prone to break outs) however this has not broke me out. The message here? never judge a cleanser by its label, or its smell, or its ingredients.....sometimes you just have to wing it, which is exactly what I did here. I mean, I am pretty sure no one would recommend soaking your nose in a strong cleanser like this, but hey, it works for me.

I had a little look online to see what I could find, I looked on the Formula 10.0.6 website and found out that this is their original product from 1933 and it is still going strong today, so there must be something in that right? the one thing mentioned that stood out to me is that the range is aimed at young skin....

For now, I will continue to use this on my nose and see what happens, I don't particularly enjoy using it on the rest of my face so I am going to use alternatives for that. I find the smell and the way it makes the skin feel after use (taught) is not really suitable for my whole face. It does however suit my large pores, anything to make them tighter is a bonus to me.

Have you tried this cleanser yet? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Primark & New look haul - clothing, home, child, beauty & more!

After a few weeks of "buy less buy better" I finally caved and headed to Primark to get all spendy. Surprisingly though, I did not buy too many pieces of clothing (and ended up in New Look!) but the bits I did get I felt were vlog worthy, so I have filmed a short vlog showing what I purchased! click the pic below to watch the vid!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Korean Beauty Skincare items I am trying // Tony Moly // Elizavecca // The Creme Shop

Have you dabbled into the world of Korean skincare? it's kinda hard to avoid it. Korean beauty has swept onto the market and claimed its multi- billion dollar stake in the industry. With South Korea being one of the leading researchers in skincare it would be silly not to take a look to see what is on offer.

For me, my main interest is sheet masks and pore treatments. I love to pop on a sheet, leave it to work its magic, dab off any residue and I am good to go, easy peasy lemon squeezy. But this of course has been filtered down into the UK market with a lot of companies jumping on the bandwagon with their own infused masks. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed said masks (I love the Garnier Moisture bomb one!) but it's nice to have a little try of the real deal, straight from South Korea (actually straight from TKmaxx but you get the jist)

South Korean beauty geeks have very thorough skincare rituals, it puts my quick "slap on a mask" routine well and truly to shame. As much as I would love to commit to a 12-step regime (as practiced by Korean's)  I don't think I would be able to stick to it. Having said that when I am having a "bad skin" day I am pretty sure I have maxed out the 12-step rule and maybe even gone for 15 with the theory that the more that's applied the quicker it works. It does make me question whether it's the process that leads to good skin or the products used? I don't know about you but when I pay more attention to how I am using my skincare products the results are always better. Maybe the Korean's have it right with their lengthy and thorough processes? is it more about the care given and time investment rather than what's used? or both? If you find the miracle time/product ratio, please let me know. In the meantime, I will continue with my double cleanse, tone, mask, treat, moisturise routine, a mere half of what's recommended by South Korean skin gurus.

One thing that I do like is the packaging, take Tony Moly for example, its cutesy rabbits and pandas add a bit of fun to what could be seen to be a boring product. OK so it is probably more suitable for my daughter then it is for me (am I the only one who evaluates on this basis?) but still fun nevertheless.

So here is my little Korean stash that I have collected from TKmaxx and Selfridges:

Pore strips:

Top left - Elizavecca Milky Piggy Strips - Bought from TKMaxx for £3.99
top right -  Tony Moly Egg Pore Nose Pack Package - £6.00 for 7 strips - link HERE
Bottom -  The Creme Shop Strawberry Nose 3-step blackhead remover - link HERE

Sheet masks (for brightening):

Elizavecca Aqua White Water Brightening mask - £3.99 from TKmaxx
Tony Moly I'm Real Tomato Mask Sheet - Radiance - £3.99 TKmaxx


Tony Moly Blackhead Steam balm - cleanses away excess oil targeting blocked pores £14.00 -  link HERE

Lastly I have some eye masks to battle the puffy eyes!

Left - Goggles Lock In Aqua Mask - I bought this from TKmaxx for £3.99 but I have found them online HERE only thing with this one is that you have to leave it on for two hours!
Right - Tony Moly - Panda's Dream Eye Patch £5.00 - link HERE

So far I have tried:

Tony Moly pore strips - I like these, effective yet not too harsh, I would buy these again and the price is fairly reasonable too (£6.00 for 7 strips)

Tony Moly Black Head Steam Balm - I have only tried this a few times so I am unable to comment at this point. I am not going to lie, I was semi-lured in by the egg packaging, without doing my research beforehand, this was popped into my basket without really knowing what was inside. But so far not wowed - To Be Continued.

Strawberry Nose 3 Step Black Head Remover - you get three sets of three in this pack for £4.99 so a good price for three goes. The first strip is a priming strip, second extracting and the third treating (as far as I could gather from the small amount of English on the pack) I could actually really feel the first strip tingling and getting to work on my pores, I was excited for the next step (y'know the horrifically satisfying sight of crud on a pore strip) but I was a bit let down, there was no stomach churning sight, maybe "urgh that's manky" but defo not the levels of disgust that I wanted. The third strip settled the skin down after the extraction with a soothing type serum,

I am looking forward to using the Elizavecaa Milky Piggy Three Step Blackhead Solution as this is from the company that sells the Hell Pore Clean Up Mask - which apparently rips your face off, sounds horrific right? well that's exactly why I want it, anything to rip off the crud appeals to me! so that is the next item on my hit list.

There's a few items on my shopping list at the mo (one being Hell Pore) the other is something snail slime infused - why? I am intrigued. I am not so struck on the donkey milk infused items I keep coming across though...

If you are intrigued like I am then you should take a look at THIS website, I am sure you will find something that interests you! what items have you tried?

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