Wednesday 26 February 2014

Speed Review: Lavera Basis Sensitiv Foot Cream

Today's review is of Lavera Basis Sensitiv Foot Cream which contains organic Macadamia for its softening properties and healing clay which is deodorizing. After all, just because our feet are tucked away in winter boots is no reason to neglect them!



Lavera Basis Sensitiv Foot Cream is presented in a functional tube. It has a lightweight texture, which could almost be described as whipped and it's thanks to this that the cream is easily absorbed into skin. I'd say it's more akin to a lotion or a soufflé than a cream. There's no greasy residue but skin is left looking and feeling hydrated and conditioned.

It has an earthy scent with a hint of citrus, making it a good choice for those wishing to avoid the standard peppermint scented foot lotions. At £5.45 for 75ml, it's an affordable option for regular use.
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Friday 21 February 2014

Speed Review: Anatomicals Don't Just Clean It Woman, Scrub It! Body Scrub

Today's review is of Anatomicals' Don't Just Clean It Woman, Scrub It! Body Scrub. Anatomicals is an affordable brand which I'm not overly familiar with, yet have heard good things about. Nonetheless, given the price tag of just £3.60 for 200ml, I wasn't expecting anything indulgent nor did I feel that it would contain quality ingredients.


The tube instantly caught my attention thanks to its use of bold, playful colours and of course, the quirky name. What's more it provided functional packaging- after all, regular readers will know that I'm not a fan of tubs, particularly as a format for scrubs because I find them to be messy and unhygienic.

Anatomicals Don't Just Clean It Woman, Scrub It! Body Scrub is a clear gel with micro particles of walnut shell suspended in it. I really liked the scent- a fresh and zesty grapefruit which didn't come across as synthetic, as some fruity fragrances can. It created a generous lather.

My problem with the scrub, and the reason why I'd neither repurchase nor recommend it, is that it wasn't a remotely effective body scrub. It was so far from abrasive that I'd describe it as a shower gel with a very subtle exfoliating effect. It may be an affordable product but I don't feel that it delivers value for money and was left feeling disappointed at the results.

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Tuesday 18 February 2014

Speed Review: Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Moisturising Bath & Shower Gel

 


Today's review is of Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Moisturising Bath & Shower Gel.
Presented in a functional tube, it's a clear gel which has a strong floral fragrance with a hint of sweetness that nods towards exotic blooms. It's easy to detect sweet jasmine and this gives the shower gel a perfume-like scent, which I found very pleasant. Having said this, I didn't notice that the scent lingered on my skin after use.

It takes a little work to create a lather but I was impressed at the foam that was produced given that this is free from SLS. I wouldn't say that I agree with the Moisturising name. It didn't leave my skin feeling tight or stripped but nor was it left feeling nourished or moisturised. I still needed to reach for my body lotion afterwards.

If you like sweet floral scents then I'd definitely recommend checking this out, particularly because it's an affordable way to add a sense of indulgence to your everyday shower routine at just £4 for 200ml.
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Monday 17 February 2014

Makeup Monday: Blogger Makeup Bag

For February's Blogger Makeup Bag, I'm delighted to introduce Laura from the lifestyle blog, Laura's Haven. Featuring beauty with a splattering of movie, theatre and book reviews along with the occasional giveaway and more, Laura's Haven is well worth a look. The blog is written in a friendly and informal style so it feels as though you're catching up with a friend. Visit Laura's Haven here.
Without further ado, I hand you over to Laura...


Today, I'll be talking about the products in my everyday makeup bag. The bag itself isn't too exciting- it actually came with an Elizabeth Arden gift set but it's perfect in that you can squish loads inside if you're jetting off on holiday. However, if you're packing light for a night away, you can fold it away into the bottom of your bag. Win- win! But I'm sure what you really want to see are the products inside that I use on a daily basis.


The only two concealers I own are constants in my makeup bag. Benefit Erase Paste is salmon-toned for covering dark circles but does a pretty great job on blemishes too! If I've had a really sleepless night, I will layer a tiny bit of the YSL Touche Éclat on top for a brightening effect. This can also be used as a highlighter which is really handy if you need to save space in your makeup bag.


I tend to rotate between two bases depending on how my skin is looking. I won't wear primer every day but if I'm in need of long-lasting coverage, I'll go for The PoreFessional by Benefit. The Dr Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream has been my staple when I'm after a dewy glow. If your skin is a little drier, I'd certainly recommend giving this a go for a light coverage. It comes out looking quite a scary colour but it blends into paler winter skin pretty well. This is also great for summer as it contains SPF25 but this means you can't really wear it on a night out- nobody likes looking ghostly white in photographs! On occasions like this where I'd like a little more coverage, I reach for the Inika Liquid Mineral Foundation. This is still a light coverage foundation but is particularly great for covering redness.

My blusher of choice is the much-loved Nars Deep Throat. The colour is a natural pink flush without too much shimmer for daytime wear. In all honesty, I've not experimented with powders too much as my skin never used to get shiny but if I do need to touch up, I'll reach for this one by Physician's Formula.


Onto the eyebrows and for everyday, I find it easiest to use the Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil. It's the perfect colour for my brows and the handy comb on the lid stops you from going too overboard. While I won't wear eyeshadow during the day, I will slick on some liner. I'm currently using a Ted Baker eyeliner that I got as part of a gift set. It gives a nice soft look but also tends to smudge under the eyes easily. If I'm after something longer lasting or more dramatic, I'll always go for the Maybelline Gel Liner. This has been relatively hyped up on blogs but it's well and truly worth it. Benefit They're Real Mascara is another hyped up product that I truly love. I wasn't expecting to like this for some reason but it lengthens like nothing else I've tried. This sample size has lasted a good two months so far.

All that's left is a slick of lip balm and a nice thick formula for winter is the Dr Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips. With a hint of gloss to it, you'll still look done up without making an effort.

 
What's a makeup bag without a couple of tools?! I use the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to blend in my base of choice. I've never felt the need to use another brush for foundation after trying this out. The only other brush I tend to use on a daily basis is the Tapered Brush from Crown Brush. It works equally well for blush and powder. Finally, my pair of Eyeko Lash Curlers top off this post. I've only been using this for a short time but haven't been too impressed so far. They work okay but I'm sure there's better out there waiting to be discovered!

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed getting to peek at my makeup bag and thanks to Astrid for inviting me to post on Skin Deep! Laura. x

For more from Laura, check out www.LaurasHaven.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurasHaven
 






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Monday 10 February 2014

New launch & Speed Review: bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 4.0 in The True Romantic

Choosing the product for this week's Makeup Monday was a no brainer. As it's Valentine's Day at the end of this week, it made perfect sense to share with you the new True Romantic Eyeshadow Quad from bareMinerals, which forms part of their Spring collection launching this month.

 
Firstly, let's just take a moment to appreciate the stunning packaging. Presented in a floral box, which admittedly feels slightly flimsy, the compact is a gorgeous mirrored rose gold colour which feels luxurious, on trend and suitably lust-worthy. 


 


The quad is part of the Ready range from bareMinerals, which features pressed mineral powders as opposed to the loose mineral pigments for which the brand is arguably best known. Each of the shadows within the quad has a romantic name- Love It, Woo Is Me, Louder and Head Over Heels.


 


Love It is described as a light mint shimmer. I have to admit that although it appears light mint in the compact, I struggled to detect mint when swatched- for me this appears off-white with subtle shimmer particles.

Woo Is Me is perfectly described as an apricot pink sheen. This is an interesting frosted duochrome which is a fresh and young take on rose gold.

Head Over Heels is described as a warm slate. To me, this is a rich, matte mushroom which has warm undertones of plum.

Louder is described as burnished copper, which I'd agree with although for me, it leans more towards gold as it lacks the red quality that I'd traditionally associate with copper.

Louder and Head Over Heels aren't unique shades and would be dupable if you shopped around. However, it's these two shades with which I was particularly impressed. The quality is fantastic, which is important in setting apart shades which are fairly common. The pigmentation of both is incredible and they were fully opaque with just one swatch. It's notoriously difficult for companies to create good quality matte shadows which makes the execution of the mushroom shade, Head Over Heels, all the more impressive- it's one of the best mattes I've come across. Likewise, I was impressed that the Louder gave a foiled effect which is usually only achieved by applying eyeshadow with a damp brush.

I noticed a little fallout with Love It and Woo Is Me but on the whole, the four shadows are easily blendable and high quality.

At £29, it's a pricey quad- you could spend just a few pounds more and pick up one of the Naked palettes instead. However, if you're looking for something a little different to brighten up your spring makeup then the True Romantic quad is worth a look.

P.S. As you've no doubt noticed, I've taken the plunge & finally invested in a decent camera (Canon 600d). I'm really enjoying playing around with it & hope that you like the photos. Now that I've seen the quality for myself, I can't believe I waited so long to make the purchase!
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Wednesday 5 February 2014

Speed Review: Dr Bronner's Magic Liquid Soap (Peppermint)

Today's review is of a beauty blogger favourite, Dr Bronner's Magic Liquid Soap. Why is it "magic"? This handy liquid soap is wonderfully versatile, boasting 18 different uses. It can be used for shaving, as a shampoo, shower gel, vegetable rinse, household cleaner, makeup brush cleaner- the list goes on!



I love the packaging which looks like something you'd find in a chic New York apothecary. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the packaging is also functional with a flip top dispenser. I liked that I could see how much was remaining.

There are nine scents to choose from: tea tree, green tea, almond, rose, lavender, peppermint, citrus, eucalyptus and baby mild. I opted for the Peppermint scent which had a slight sweetness. I found it to be refreshing and ideal for use as a shower gel in the mornings (& the morning after!). Apparently, the peppermint version can even be used in place of toothpaste or mouthwash, although I wasn't brave enough to put this to the test!

It has a very liquid formula and doesn't give the richest lather, although it can be worked into a relatively generous foam considering that it's SLS free and this is owing to the high content of coconut oil. Thanks to the base of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils (it's this vegetable base- as opposed to traditional animal fat based soap- that gives the soap it's Castile name), my skin was never left feeling dry or stripped, although it's worth nothing there was no residue left on my skin either. I was impressed at how clean my skin was left feeling following use. Those who are eco conscious will also be pleased to note that it's biodegradable.

Despite boasting an impressive 18 uses, I've only used Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap as a shower wash because I've enjoyed it so much that I've been reluctant to remove it from my shower. It has an affordable price tag and I'd definitely repurchase it. I'm also keen to try out some of the other scents & uses.

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