Monday 31 March 2014

Makeup Monday: Blogger Makeup Bag

For March's Makeup Monday Blogger Makeup Bag post, I'm delighted to introduce Jo from Patent Purple Life. If you're not familiar with the blog, I highly recommend that you head on over by clicking here to check out Jo's fantastic variety of reviews- from food to books and of course, beauty- all accompanied with gorgeous, clear photography. Without further ado, I hand you over to Jo...

Like many beauty bloggers, I have a HUGE stash of makeup. Huge and I love it all but with the help of my Trish McEvoy Makeup Planner, I have created a capsule wardrobe of products that will cover my everyday needs, from office to vamp and most things in between. The products in my capsule makeup wardrobe change regularly but I have a strict one in, one out policy. I had the opportunity to try this set of products out when I visited my parents recently and it worked pretty well so this is what I'm sticking to... for now!

Tools: I am a really big fan of Louise Young makeup brushes and I use every brush from the five piece set every day. I also have a push liner brush (perfect for brows and dramatic eyeliner looks) and eyeshadow brush which is perfect for packing on colour, both from bareMinerals. My Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File fits perfectly as well so I can file and shape on the move. A hand cream is an essential in any makeup bag. L'Occitane's Amande is light so it absorbs easily but is still moisturising and a quick fix for dry cuticles.


Eyes: I always buy a new eyeshadow palette which will be my go-to palette during the year. The only requirement for my palette is that it has a matte black which I use as eyeliner and for brows. My current choice is the Tunisian Nights palette that Sam Fine created for Fashion Fair. The rich blue and mulberry shades are beautiful on their own or smoked out, while the shimmery oyster shade is great for a dramatic look and inner eye highlight. My mascara and kohl are both from Elizabeth Arden. Kohl is soft enough for tightlining and the black has great depth. The mascara gives length without clumping and is very buildable and very black.

Lips: My signature lippie is YSL (Pourpre Divin) and it goes everywhere with me. I also have MAC Goes and Goes which is a mid-tone purple that goes great with lashings of mascara and a feline flick.
I love the Hourglass Opaque Rouge formulation and I have a couple of full sizes but Icon is a perfect red and the mini size is perfect for my makeup bag. As much as I am obsessed with purple, I appreciate the need for a red lipstick.
The only lip pencil I carry with me is Plum from MAC. It's a nude (a purple nude) and I can wear it with a gloss or balm over the top as well as to line my lips.
My lip gloss is from Guerlain. Violine is a muted opaque raspberry that provides shine without being glossy.

Face: Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation in Walnut gives a flawless finish and is easy to apply with the fingers or with my Louise Young Foundation Brush. I set it with Fashion Fair Sugar Pressed Powder and finish off with my Guerlain Red Hot Blush Duo (the colours are more terracotta than red on the skin).
It's been great fun writing this post- I would love to see a Skin Deep Blogger Makeup Bag post!

A big "Thank you" to Jo for taking part- I've had my eye on the Trish McEvoy Makeup Planner for a while now and this may just be the final convincing to invest!

For more from Jo, visit or follow @PatentPurple on Twitter.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Speed Review: The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub

In an attempt to slough off those dulling dead winter skin cells, I've been reaching for my body scrubs more regularly recently. With that in mind, today's review is of The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub.

The scrub is presented in one of The Body Shop's signature plastic tubs, which I have to admit that I'm not a fan of. I'd have preferred the functionality of a tube.

As the name suggests, The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub has a rich, creamy texture with exfoliating particles of crushed almond shells which are fairly concentrated within the scrub. This means that it's a satisfyingly abrasive scrub, ideal for use at this time of year. You don't need to use a lot of the product for a thorough exfoliation.

The granules also give the scrub a comforting scent with a hint of almond that lingers slightly following use. The downside is that, unlike sugar or salt based scrubs, the granules don't dissolve so my shower was left looking pretty messy following use.

My skin was left feeling soft and smooth. It didn't feel tight or stripped, however, the creamy element didn't provide sufficient nourishment for me to be able to forgo moisturiser. There's no moisturising residue left on the skin following use so it would be a good choice for those who dislike scrubs which leave an oily residue. Personally, I don't mind such scrubs- in fact, I appreciate that they save me the chore of moisturising- although scrubs which leave a residue don't lend themselves well to use before fake tanning, so if you prefer to bronze from a bottle then this scrub would be a good addition to your body care routine.

At £12.50 for 200ml, I do find The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub to be slightly overpriced. However, I enjoyed it and feel that it's worth checking out-  maybe just wait until it goes on offer before picking it up.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Speed Review: Dermalogica PreCleanse Wipes

Regular readers will recall that it's not so long ago that I reviewed Dermalogica PreCleanse, a lightweight cleansing oil (click here to read the review). I was impressed with the cleansing oil so when I heard that the brand was introducing an extension to the PreCleanse range, in the form of cleansing wipes, I was intrigued, despite not normally liking cleansing wipes.

The wipes are presented in a sleek grey packet in the Dermalogica signature minimalist style. I usually prefer wipes to have a clip fastening which I find to be more effective at preventing wipes drying out, however, Dermalogica PreCleanse Wipes have a sticker which is sufficiently adhesive. I liked that it was easy to remove one wipe at a time as opposed to them being placed in the packet in a concertina effect, whereby numerous wipes are often pulled out at once.

The fabric of the wipes themselves is average- it was relatively easy to rip under my "tear test" and they were on the drier side, which I don't like as it encourages excessive rubbing of the skin. Having said this, they had a slight oiliness which provided "slip" when passing over skin. They have a strong scent which I didn't find particularly pleasant but it's not unbearable and doesn't linger on the skin following use.

They're better than some wipes at removing eye makeup, however, I didn't find them to be thoroughly effective and still needed to use a separate eye makeup remover following use.

To use, the wipes are passed over the skin as with normal cleansing wipes & this leaves an oily residue on the skin. I noticed that the majority of my makeup was removed onto the wipe. Then, the wipe is dampened with water before passing over the face again to remove the remaining makeup and oily residue. This two-step process is unusual for wipes, although I seem to recall some wipes following this procedure when first launched onto the market. I did find that my makeup was removed more effectively than with most wipes. The idea is that you then perform a second cleanse with your usual cleanser.

My skin wasn't left feeling dry or tight as it can after using some other wipes, although I still needed to moisturise following use.

Dermalogica PreCleanse wipes are different to any other cleansing wipes that I've tried and definitely live up to the PreCleanse name. In this respect, I feel that they deliver on the claims.

They're a nice idea and by no means did I hate them. My problem with the wipes is this: I'd only use cleansing wipes in a worst case scenario, i.e. on those occasions when I'm too tired or worse for wear to perform a full cleanse, when they're better than nothing. These wipes lack the convenience of traditional cleansing wipes because there's still a number of steps to be performed following use and I don't feel that they'd be suitable as a one-step solution owing to the oily residue that's left on skin.

I also feel that it's a waste of money to buy them to use as the first step to incorporate into a cleansing routine- at £14.60 for 20 wipes, these are at the expensive end of the scale for cleansing wipes and I feel that the money would be better spent on a good quality balm cleanser which would be sufficient to offer a good, thorough cleanse.

Friday 7 March 2014

Speed Review: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

I love using a balm cleanser to thoroughly remove my makeup at the end of the day and I've recently been reaching for the award-winning Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish.

As the "hero" product in the Liz Earle line-up, Cleanse & Polish is available in a range of different sizes and formats- choose from an introductory set which includes a washbag and oversized muslin cloth, value sets or trial sized miniature tubes which are also travel friendly, to name just a few options. I chose the 100ml version which is presented in a sleek and functional pump dispenser with the only downside being that the packaging isn't transparent so it's difficult to know how much product is remaining. In future, I'd probably be more inclined to opt for the 200ml tube which is better value for money and furthermore, could be cut open to avoid wastage.

Compared to the oil based balm cleansers which I'm accustomed to, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish has a thick, rich cream texture, despite being inspired by the cult Eve Lom Cleanser, which has an oil base. It contains beeswax and cocoa butter (it is free from mineral oil) and I was initially worried that it would be too heavy and prove unsuitable for my acne prone skin, however, I was pleased that I didn't experience any problems. It also contains glycerin which is a wonder-ingredient for those with dehydrated skin. Having said that, those with very sensitive skin may find the inclusion of eucalyptus and rosemary pure essential oils irritating.

It's the inclusion of eucalyptus oil which gives Cleanse & Polish its scent and for this reason, I think it would be particularly enjoyable to use when suffering from a winter cold.

As with a balm cleanser, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish should be massaged over a dry face and neck. I found that the cream formula didn't lend itself to facial massage quite as well as my usual cleansing oils and balms. The cream sank into my skin and I felt as though my dehydrated winter skin was drinking up the product. Having said this, a little goes a long way.
The next step is to remove the cleanser with a hot muslin cloth, providing a gentle manual exfoliation and giving the product the "Polish" part of its name. I decided to use a flannel (washcloth) as I find that they hold the heat of water better and what's more, they're cheaper to buy in bulk. It was quick and easy to remove the cleanser although I found that it wasn't as effective on stubborn eye makeup as my oil based cleansers. On occasions when I'd worn heavy or long-wearing eye makeup, I needed to follow up with a separate eye makeup remover.

My skin was left feeling nourished and hydrated following use, with a glowing appearance. It didn't feel tight or as if it had been stripped.

I was particularly impressed to note the affordable price tag, with a basic 100ml pump bottle available at a very wallet friendly £13.25, making it a good budget option compared with other hot cloth cleansers.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is ideal for this time of year thanks to the hydrating benefits and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking to boost their winter skincare regime.


Thursday 6 March 2014

Speed Review: Organic Surge Nourish 2-Minute Moisture Mask

I don't believe that I've ever tried a haircare product from affordable natural brand and blogger favourite, Organic Surge before. However, when I saw that they offered a 2-Minute Moisture Mask, my attention was captured. I like to treat my tresses with hair masks every couple of weeks but sometimes lack the patience to use masks which have to be left on for more than five minutes so this one, which emphasises quick results appealed to me.

Presented in a plastic tub, the packaging is unassuming but not offensive. I'd have preferred the functionality of a tube dispenser.

Organic Surge Nourish 2-Minute Mask has a lightweight, silky texture which meant that it was easy to work through my hair. The mask has a coconut oil base and this is evident in the scent, although I couldn't detect it in my hair once it was dried and styled.

I was impressed that the mask was relatively easy to rinse out. My fine hair wasn't weighed down but was simply left feeling soft. I didn't notice any improvement in the shine and it was a little fluffy so needed some work when it came to styling. Despite the claims, I'm not convinced that this would be suitable for those with very dry or damaged hair but nonetheless, this is a good mask for giving hair a quick boost.

At £6.99 for 150ml, I'm not sure that I'd repurchase it. It's affordable but there are better wallet friendly masks on the market.
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