Beauty: Skin Saviours by Vichy for the busy bee

Vichy Idealia Life Serum and Normaderm Night Detox Reviewed.

I’ve been a little snowed under lately, and loving it! Usually when things are getting hectic my skin suffers, thankfully, however two things have helped me keep the signs of fatigue and stress away from my skin: Good nutrition, and Vichy!

You know what I mean when I say the signs of fatigue and stress; dry skin, spots, general dullness and two products from Vichy have helped to keep things in control.

In addition to my usual skin care routine, typically involving Nip and Fab Glycolic Cleanser OR Soap and Glory’s Micellar water, Vichy’s Normaderm hydracare cream and La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Duo+, I have been using Vichy Idealia Life Serum and their Normaderm Night Detox. 

Vichy Idealia serum review

Although from different ranges I find these two products work great together, using the former in the morning and the latter at night.

The results of the Life Serum, which I began using first, were immediate and personally astonishing.

It claims to battle the following complexion issues:

Dull, grey complexion (yep, that’s me)

Marked and uneven toned skin (check)

Tired looking skin, drawn features (um-humm)

and Enlarged pores with oily and dry patches (It’s like reading a biography of my face!) 

I used this first on a Thursday evening, heading to personal training with no make up on so I could see if it really made a difference. My trainer said I was “glowing”. This was the first time in my life anyone had said that to me so the Life Serum immediately got full marks from me. Prolonged usage has led to a more even complexion and less annoying dry patches on my forehead. the serum itself appears thick but it’s actually quite light on the skin; ideal(ia) for anyone with sensitive skin, prone to react to heavy creams and serums. While I’m not swanning around in a make up-less face, I feel less self concious and a lot fresh than I had before.

Here’s the scary part. It’s almost €40.  I always say that I would never spend that amount on a skin product but it’s so damn good, I can’t imagine not buying it when my current bottle runs out. If you have very problematic skin I can’t recommend it enough.

The Vichy Normaderm Night Detox is a good evening partner to the idealia serum. Less of it is needed; literally just a dot on your hand of this light serum-like cream will do.

Normaderm Night Detox Review

I was using this for a while before I remember to check the results. The detox treats your skin in a more subtle way that the serum; the serum adds an instant glow and lends a dewy effect to your skin. The detox, on the other hand, absorbs into your skin, tackling your sebum levels.

To get a little scientific, sebum is the stuff secreted from your sebaceous glands under your skin. It is the culprit for hormonal spot outbreaks, especially those nasty whiteheads! Did you ever wake up in the morning and feel a little bit… greasy? That’s your sebaceous glands going into overdrive when you sleep. Night time is the best time to treat it and that’s where this product comes in.

I find with stress and air conditioning in work I am in an endless battle against that horrible, heavy feeling on my skin and this has certainly helped with that and to help that pesky reappearing spot disappear. Huzzah!

This comes in a smaller tube but is €10 euro cheaper so, if you are buying something to ease complexion problems I would commence with this before trying out the serum, just to save the pennies.  Normaderm is Vichy’s anti-blemish range so if you are often plagued the annoyance of spots and red marks, it is certainly worth checking out. Sidenote; I find the detox solution works particularly well with the normaderm cream I mentioned before, you can get this in Boots for about €13.

For more on the Normaderm range click here. 

 

Beauty: Fuschia Eye Shadow Palette Review

If you are a regular reader of Irish blogs you will have read quite a bit about Fuschia Make Up. 

They sent some products out to what seems like every beauty and lifestyle blogger in the country, some of which were amazing and others not so great.

Most bloggers focused on the (non) issue of Private Labelling, however as I sincerely don’t think that this impedes on the quality of the product or genuineness of the brand.  Read about Private Labelling here. 

First, a bit of background on the company.

Fuschia Make Up is a multi award winning Irish make up brand and salon. They initially launched in November 2005, opening a salon in Scotch Hall, Drogheda, and they seem to have done nothing but grow ever since.

With an additional salon in Swords and stockists throughout the country, Fuschia is becoming a familiar brand in Ireland. Next stop, it seems, is off these shores.

In the pack they sent out to me I was only really taken with one product, The Eyeshadow Palette. While other products such as the lipstick and lacquers and lip pencil were of somewhat decent quality I found them to be oily/waxy and very sloppy so I only used them once. The eye brow wax palette I was sent couldn’t be compared to the Wet N Wild one I use every day so, again, it only got one trial.

Fuschia Eye

The Eyeshadow palette, however, is a different story. Much like MAC, Fuschia give you the option to create your own palette. The colours they send me were soft, neutral colours that I probably would have picked myself.

The texture of the shadows is soft, they blend exceptionally well and they last all day. That is three of the boxes ticked when it comes to eyeshadow quality.

The Palette has been awarded everyday usage status in my house, noting that even my mother has sneaked it a few times. Yes, ma’, if you’re reading, I know what you’ve been up to; I know my shades!

For something I’ve been sent by a company or PR to work it’s way into my daily routine is a testament to it’s quality, particularly with eyeshadow as I tend to be loyal to MAC, Bourjois and MUA in that respect.  Top marks on quality and shade for Fuschia’s custom palette.

However, and I regret that there is a however, that I find the price bothersome. The price list I was given states that the five pan palette is €40, although the company is endeavouring to lower prices as a result of blogger feedback. While I don’t want to get bogged down into Private Labelling, as I said, I don’t think it’s an issue so long as the product is usable, the price is a little jarring because you could probably get it else where for cheaper. Crown Brushes, one of the most successful private label brands, offers a 26 colour palette for around €26 and a counter palette which is a duplicate in terms of packaging for Fuschia’s eye palette for €28. This does make you think.

Overall, I’m impressed with Fuschia as a brand; I think how they have grown their business in less than ten years is phenomenal and I commend their business acumen and enterprise skills. Although some of the products they are selling a below standard, I feel the palette could be their saving grace if they price it a little more fairly; at €40 I wouldn’t be in a rush to purchase it, particularly when I can get an Urban Decay Palette for only a couple of euro more.

Beauty: Waxperts Ingrown Hair Pads

Could this be solution to pesky ingrown hairs? 

While I was getting laser hair removal done with Urbana in Dublin I experienced the discomfort of ingrown hairs on my legs. At first I thought it was a rash but my laser therapist, Michelle, assured me that it was ingrown hairs and that this is very common.

Michelle suggested that on top of my daily exfoliation I use ingrown hair solutions, recommending I take a look in Boots.

The range available in Boots was a little pricey for my taste, so I went online to find cheaper alternatives, starting and finishing with Irish business Waxperts.

Waxperts Wax ingrown hair pads reviews

Who are Waxperts?

First of all, I’ll give a little round up about who Waxperts are. Waxperts Salon is lauded establishment in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin set up by Ellen Kavanagh and providing a boudoir salon experience.

Since the business was born, out of savvy and determination, the brand has expanded in the a range of Waxing products, with many beauty bloggers agreeing that it is the most supple, effective wax they have yet to try.

Waxperts Ingrown Hair Pads- do they work? 

Put simply, these ingrown pads, available on dolledup.ie for just €8, are a very effective tool to have in your problem solving kit.

Let’s face it, we all want smooth legs, and unsightly lumps and red spots take away from that ideal. I’ve been using, and have twice repurchased, these pads, which I think is a testament to them; I rarely rebuy, always on the look out for something new, something better value and something more effective.

Using after a shower and after shaving, prior to application of , I noticed how easy and effective these simple pads are. They look like the cotton pads you would use to remove make up and you lightly rub the area you want to treat with them, bringing the ingrown hairs to the surface and tackling any unwanted redness, thanks to the inclusion of salicylic acid. On top of this, the packaging is lovably retro. Always gets you extra marks here on Music & Everything.

Waxperts Wax reviews

The best part about these pads is that they are gentle. One would think a product like this would be abrasive on the skin but even my sensitive skin can deal with daily use.

This comes with a thumbs up from me; they are Irish, which is a bonus, they are effective, they are gentle and they don’t give off an offensive smell. Adding to that the exceptional value, you have yourself a winner. Boot’s own brand ingrown hair solution is over €1 more expensive, and brands like Nair expect you to pay €11 or more; Waxperts pads work and they are friendlier on the purse.

To find out more about Waxperts Wax’s products visit www.waxpertswax.com.

Beauty: What a waste of money- Beauty products to avoid

Beauty products I wish I never bought

You know when you spend money on something, no matter how little, and your expectations are high and then… it lets you down. Thankfully when it comes to pricier products I research, research, research and tend to stick the brands I know; these budget buys are ones I recommend you avoid.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lip Crayon

I thought I had hit the jackpot when I came across this product; I love lip crayon, hate gloss, so this would be the ideal combo. Wrong, so very wrong.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine

I pressed the tip to my lips and it broke immediately with little or no pressure applied. Minus several points right there. Add to that the smudgy, sloppy consistency of the crayon it was a use once and destroy kind of beauty product.

Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara

After reading a post by another blogger ages ago (I can’t recall who it was) about the dangers of using your Mascara for, well, years, I binned my beloved Max Factor Excess Volume and sought a similarly lengthening alternative. I had read good things about Soap and Glory’s product range so I decided to give them a try. I picked up this particular one in the hope that would give me the extended look it promised. It didn’t.

I still use it, but only for work because I don’t like to over do the make up just for sitting at a desk and because I spent €13 euro on it, I’m not going to throw that out so easily.

Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner

Lately I haven’t been in the position to pick up my usual MAC eyeliner for quite a while now and I’ve been through quite a few not so good alternatives, least impressive of all being this particular one.

Supercat liner review

I love liner pens because they are quick and easy and last a long time, however this is just frustrating. It’s not as fluid as one would hope, requiring a bit of dragging on the lid. On top of this, it has no staying power. Most liquid liners last the day, but this fades within a couple of hours; yes, it’s only about €7 but I suppose I expected more from a brand that I have loved so dearly the past year.

The never ending search for a replacement for MAC liquid liner will probably end up with a trip to MAC, to be honest.

Batiste Plumping Powder

“For maximum root boost”. More like “for maximum hair mattifying”.  I was looking for something that would help add volume to my hair aside from plain old shampoo, so I figured being a reliable brand, the Batiste plumping powder was the answer to this particularly non-issue.

It calls itself “weightless” but it absolutely isn’t. It made my hair feel dirty instead of light and voluminous. I gave it a few tries; trying it on dry hair, wet hair, up dos, down dos and nothing seemed to work with it. If you want chalky, limp hair, this is the product for you.

Garnier Ultimate Blends, The Silky

I feel like there should be a good competitor for Batiste’s dry shampoo, but there isn’t. I’ve tried a few different brands and this is by far the worst. A dry shampoo that makes your hair silky while keeping it fresh between washes; that’s what you want, isn’t it? That’s not what you get though. This product doesn’t lend the volume that Batiste does, in fact it weighs the hair down making it look even more unwashed; flat, lifeless, dull hair was the result, not the promised easy to detangle, cleansed and fresh look.

The big selling point is that there is no visible residue; big deal. Batiste might have residue but it brushes out and it leaves your hair feeling fresh, not worse that prior to spraying it in.

Garnier Dry Shampoo Review

The only redeeming quality of this product is that it smells nice; I for one would rather have hair that doesn’t smell like Madagascan vanilla and looks a little less dull.

That’s approximately €40 wasted on products that let me down over the past couple of months; €40 I could have spent on a nice dinner, or a couple of reliable MAC products.  Go forth and spend wisely, don’t waste your money on these things.

Have you been let down by any beauty buys recently? Head to the comments and rant! 

Beauty: NYX Born to glow illuminator | Review & Swatches

NYX Illuminator Review – What’s it for and does it work?

I’ll admit it- I am a bad beauty blogger. I’ve never used an Illuminator before; only highlighters. So when I was sent NYX’s Born to Glow to try out I wasn’t exactly 100 per cent sure whether it was a highlighter or not.

So I did what anyone would do, I googled it. Turns out an Illuminator has a shimmer effect, unlike a highlighter, and can be used on large portions of the face to create a fresh glow. Who knew?

The NYX illuminator is the first of its kind that I have used so I’m not an expert by any means.

nyx illuminator review and swatches

If you’re an illumination virgin like me, you’ll probably want to know a little more about them, so…

An illuminator is used on large parts of your face, usually around the top half or around the jaw line, to give a softness to the complexion. It brightens your face, essentially adding what you hope people will perceive as a natural, healthy glow.

Case in point, J.Lo’s face.

J.Lo illuminator complexion

*image courtesy of Islandher.com

That is the first and last time you will see J.Lo on the blog, but her face is known for its illumination.

Take caution, though! As I learned from using the NYX products, less really is more. Too much and you like less dewy and more greasy.

The soft shimmer in both the Sunbeam, a light pink hue, and Gleam, a more golden hue, is beautiful; really light and doesn’t overly glitterise your face, instead lending a dewy glow.

Sunbeam Swatch

Sunbeam Swatch

Gleam Swatch

Gleam Swatch

Sunbeam is more my bag; a friend to the pale skinned girl, while the Gleam shade only got one run out from me because it would be better suited to someone with warmer tones than I. The latter will be ideal for anyone looking for a sunkissed glow, while the former is suitable for someone simply looking to add a softness to another wise matte or severe look.

Because, with my pale skin and dark hair, I tend to go for bold, dark lips and lined eyes I find it is a fine way to lighten things up a bit without going all-out glow.

I now use it almost every day under my foundation, starting at my nose and working out towards the apples of my cheeks.

NYX illuminator in sunbeam

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to try out an illumintator but isn’t prepare to pay for the likes of a Nars or MAC one just yet. At just €9.50, it goes a long way and is a good starting point if you want to start playing around with new looks. Like I said, though, I have no previous dealings with products like this so I can’t vouch for its excellence against other brands.

If you’re having trouble finding an NYX stockist,  I have a list right HERE  

Have you tried out any NYX products yet? Head to the comments! 

Beauty: Dream Dots- A Magical spot treatment? | Review

I’ve read quite a few reviews of new Irish Product, Dream Dots, Over the past while and I don’t like to get in the habit of reviewing “so hot right now” products. That being said, as a sufferer of oily skin and frequent outbreaks I feel it is my humble duty to add to the many reviews you may have already read. 

So, in case you aren’t aware of what this allegedly skin saving product is; Dream Dots are tiny little see through discs that put on the offending blemish and, it says on their website, vanishes it overnight.

Now, the few reviews I have read about this certainly innovative product have all sung the praises of this product saying they have indeed seen their spots disappear overnight or over the course of two nights and I am delighted to say that I have similar results to report.

Two days after these little discs arrived in the post a spot suddenly appeared on my face. A big one. And it was the only time I was ever glad to have a spot because it meant I could test out this new product.

Spot treatments

This was one of those red spots that no concealer could possibly hide, so before bed I stuck one of those little bad boys on and the following morning it was still there, although I couldn’t help but notice it went from offensively red to coyishly pink. Much easier to conceal and less obvious without make up. See below for initial outrageously red state of the spot and what it looked like the next morning.

Dream dots reviewdreamdots review

I tried another dream spot a second night and low and behold, it had indeed disappeared. Vanished off my face! What kind of blissful witchery is this? It’s cruelty and vegan freely witchery so we have all pluses on all fronts; a product that works and isn’t tested on animals.

I was very sceptical when I heard about the product at first but I was surprised to discover that it’s not a gimmick.

The only issue with this product are the bodies that recommend it; Rosanna Davidson and a couple of well known media outlets/figures that I for one don’t respect and wouldn’t purchase because they say it’s good.

My opinions on mainstream media aside, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is prone to sneaky spot outbreaks, and don’t they always come when you have an event on the horizon? They have become a regular in my oily skin combating arsenal.

These dots are great to have when even the best of blemish fighting products can’t hold them off.

Where to buy Dream Dots?

You can buy a pack of 24 or a double pack of 48 for €14.95 and €24.95 respectively either on the brand’s website HERE or in certain pharmacies such as Mc Cabes and Sam Mc Cauleys.

Does this sound like something you would try? 

Face Mask Files: Lush Cosmetic Warrior

A face mask for oily, spot/blemish prone skin

Last month I explained my reasoning behind finding the perfect face mask and reviewed Lush’s Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask. Read what I though of it HERE

This past month I have been using another Lush Mask the Cosmetic Warrior mask; one I had been eager to try since I started delving in to the world of Face Masks.

In the fist Face Mask File, I expressed my infallible love for Lush, so you can probably expect to see quite a few more of their masks in this series, however long it may last!

Like all of their fresh face masks, Cosmetic Warrior costs €8.95, and this particular one claims to be a friend to those of us who are graced with oily skin, prone to spots, blemishes and blackheads.

I have battled with acne and breakouts since before I was a teen so my skin is the perfect test subject.

Here’s how it went.

Texture

The mask is pretty thick in Texture, although not as thick as as Sacred Truth. It has more of a lumpy feel to it, rather than creamy, as you might expect from it’s beige colour and general look.

Cosmetic Warrior Face Mask Review

It’s lighter on the skin that Sacred Truth, presumably because the ingredients are aimed at de-congesting and treating the skin for redness and inflammation, rather than hydrating it. Because it is so light it spreads like a dream and very little is needed to get good coverage across your problem areas!

What it claims to do

Cosmetic Warrior claims to be the face mask to end all face masks when it comes to outbreak prone complexions.

It’s active ingredients, Garlic, Honey, Glycerine and Tea Tree all act to attack the things which lurk both on the skin and below the surface.

It also utilises the honey and the addition of egg white to lightly moisturise the face, rather than drying it out as a lot of acne treatments tend to.

Results

The garlic acts as a sort of antibiotic, tackling the bacteria, the Tea Tree is a natural antibacterial treatment while the honey and glycerine work together to tackle redness and soreness, soothing skin and leaving it feeling fresh while moisturising in the same way an astringent would.

I used this three times before it went out of date (Damn natural ingredients) and I truly saw a big difference. More importantly I Felt a big difference. My skin had been especially congested prior to using it due to the air con in work and the congestion that comes along with training in high 20s heat! I saw my pores shrink and my skin clear up; not that my skin is particularly dirty, but I also felt lighter and more cleansed than I have ever felt using any product, face mask or otherwise.

Marks out of 10

9/10. The only reason I’m not giving this full marks is because I am not a huge fan of the smell. It’s a little overpowering due to the combo of Garlic and Tea Tree.

Other than that, this really is the perfect mask for outbreak prone skin. It keeps loud spots at bay, lightly moisturises your skin to prevent it drying out and leaves you feeling refreshed after using it.

One use a week should be enough to keep things oil and spot free!

Remember, if you keep 5 little black pots and bring them back to Lush you get a free Face Mask!

Have you used it? I’d love to know your thoughts on this mask, or any other you may have used to combat oily skin! To the comments…