Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Summer Evening Pamper

Now it's summer, my evening pamper routine has changed. Instead of soaking in a hot bath of bubbles with a face mask, it's all about a lukewarm shower and sorting out the skin on my body.

Once I'm in the shower, after cleansing it's all about the scrubs! I'm trying to work my way through my big stash and the one I'm currently using is The Body Shop Chocomania Body Scrub. It has a sweet, chocolate scent and the grains are small and concentrated, so you get a decent exfoliate (I hate body scrubs that are too soft and sparse - I like them really scrubby). This preps my skin for my gradual tanning lotion later. I'll then sit on the edge of the bath and give my feet a good scrub too using the Organic Surge Gardeners Hand Scrub*, which isn't just for hands! My feet get really dry and horrible in the summer and with it's olive stones, I feel like this scrub really gets into the contours of my feet.

If I'm washing my hair I'll pop on the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque, which is just the best hair mask ever. My coloured hair can easily go dry and frizzy in the warm weather and this product makes me feel like I've had my hair washed at a salon. It leaves my hair feeling nourished and soft, plus it smells amazing! Macadamia products aren't cheap, but I picked up this 250ml tub from Beauty Bay on sale at around 25% off. (Note - the sale is still on so pick one up while you can!)

Out of the shower I apply the Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion Sun-Kissed Look in Light on my body (not my face), which is basically a gradual tanning moisturiser. I don't use this every day, but about 3 times a week just to take the edge off my pasty skin - especially my legs! It's builds up a lovely, subtle colour very gradually, so it looks nice and natural. The apricot scent is lush too!

Finally, it's all about getting some colour on my nails - both my toes and hands. I love my pastels but I love my brights too, so I just go with whatever I feel like at the time. Some of the polishes I love for summer especially are the Rimmel Salon Pro in Cocktail Passion and Peppermint, Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay Gel Nail Color on Uptown Blue, Barry M Peach Melba and anything from the Models Own Fruit Pastel range.

Do you change your pamper routine for summer? What products do you use for a summer evening pamper?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review: Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora

You know when you hear a LOT about a brand you've personally never tried, then get really excited when you finally own a product from that brand? Well this is what happened with the Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora - my first ever Illamasqua product!! When I opened up the package I did take a moment to admire the quirky, black packaging so synonymous with Illamasqua before getting to the highlighter inside.

The Gleam Highlighter is a cream highlighter containing "lustrous pearl pigments" to create a light reflecting glow on the cheekbones, browbones, cupids bow and inner corners of the eyes. The shade Aurora is described as an iridescent champagne (there is also a Supernatural shade, which is described as a warm bronze). Whichever shade you buy, the Gleam Highlighter costs £20.00.

This is one of those products that you almost don't want to use as it's just looks so pretty in the compact. The champagne shade leans more towards gold than nude, however the gold tone is more subtle once blended, leaving a light glow with some very fine shimmer. Although solid in the packaging, when you apply the formula it is so creamy that it is a dream to apply and blend with fingers, though it does dry quickly so I wouldn't recommend being hasty with blending this one! I tend to use it just on my cheekbones to bring some radiance to that area of my face. In terms of wear time, the Gleam Highlighter begins to fade after about 5 hours, which isn't much different to what I get from my No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter. I have only ever used two highlighters so I don't know whether this is an average sort of wear time, but of course my oily/combo skin may play a part in this. 

All in all, the Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora is a beautiful, good quality glow-giver. For the price it would be nice to have a longer wear time, but you get a good amount of product in the compact and I don't use much, so it should last for ages. You can find the Gleam Highlighter on the Illamasqua website here.

Have you tried the Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora? Which Illamasqua products do you love?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains a PR sample. This does not affect my opinion of the product.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Review: Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30

One thing I feel I fall down on skincare wise is facial SPF. I'll apply a cream one first thing in the morning under my makeup (when I remember) but re-applying after three or four hours just isn't possible. Then last year I saw the Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30 on Kat's blog Tales of a Pale Face - problem solved! I went online and purchased it from a website called Effortless Skin for £22.50.

The Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30 is a mineral sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. The product itself is basically a powder brush with the powder inbuilt into the bottom of the tube. In order to release the powder to the brush, you simply turn the bottom section of the tube to the left and turn it back when you've finished so as not to waste any product. Being mineral, this does not contain any harsh or irritating ingredients and will not block pores. Ingredients include Zinc Oxide, Green Leaf Tea Extract, Honeysuckle and Chamomile Flower Extract. 

The powder itself is very finely milled and is translucent in colour. When I apply the Susan Posnick Brush on Block over makeup it doesn't add any colour nor does it interfere with my makeup. If my skin is looking a little oily it also mattifies it at the same time, saving me reaching for a separate powder to take the shine away. The only thing I would say is that because it's a fine, translucent powder, you can't see how much you've applied and if you've missed any areas of the face, so I tend to brush it over my face twice just in case. The tube is so compact that it slots easily into my makeup bag, making sure I do re-apply throughout the day.

When this runs out there is a refill available, which slots onto the end of the brush. This is great as when the powder runs out you only have to spend £11.95 on the refill instead of purchasing the whole thing for double the price. I will definitely be buying the refill because I love the convenience and ease of using this SPF.

Have you tried the Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30? What facial SPFs do you use?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Review: The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

I mentioned the The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil in my recent Taking The Day Off post and a lot of the comments on the post were about trying it, so I wanted to share with you all a full review of this product. To be honest The Body Shop isn't one of the first places I think of when I'm looking for new skincare, however I found myself drawn to the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil; I'd read countless good reviews on it and with a 40% discount offer sitting in my inbox, the bottle found its way into my bathroom and my life. The 200ml bottle normally costs £10.00 but I picked it up for just £6.00 - an absolute bargain.

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil contains ingredients like Soyabean Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil. This isn't a completely natural product, however these oils are right at the top of the ingredients list. This also contains Camomile Oil, however it's disappointing that this is the second to last ingredient when the product is named after it! Being right towards the end of the ingredient list means the concentration of it will be very low. 

Moving on from my ingredients gripe, this oil is designed to remove makeup (including waterproof makeup), be suitable for all skintypes and leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed. When The Body Shop named this "silky" in the title they really did use the most perfect word to describe this formula, because it is oh-so-silky! Using it for my first cleanse in the evening, I apply 1-2 pumps and massage it over my entire face. This oil literally glides across my skin; it's light, not at all greasy and my makeup, including mascara, literally disappears in front my eyes within seconds. I then add a little water, which emulsifies the oil into a milky consistency, making it easy to remove and not leaving any residue behind. It certainly leaves my skin refreshed yet hydrated (note I have oily/combo skin) and doesn't aggravate any breakouts I have. It also has a very light, floral scent.

If you've never tried a cleansing oil or just want to expand your skincare collection, then I highly recommend The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. I do wish it contained more Camomile, but aside from that it is a product that really delivers without having to break the bank, even if you pay full price for it! You can find it on The Body Shop website here.

Have you tried The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil? What is your favourite oil cleanser?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Taking The Day Off

At the moment I am obsessed with cleansers. There once was a day where I only owned one full size cleanser and used it for my morning and nighttime cleanse, however I've really branched out recently and I have so many different types now. There are so many formulations to choose from, some designed to remove makeup and some not, but at the end of the day they all help to take the day off. I have oily/combo skin but I don't think you just have to strictly stick to cleansers designed especially for your skintype. Here's a rundown of what cleansers I'm using right now.

The Oil Cleanser
If you have oily skin don't think you have to avoid oil cleansers; this one from The Body Shop is suitable for all skin types. I love using for my first cleanse at night as it removes all makeup, including eye makeup, superbly well. The formula is silky as per its name and when you add water it emulsifies into a milk, making it super easy to remove with no residue left behind. It's a great price too.

The Cream Cleanser
Green People is a natural brand and this creamy cleanser contains lots of natural oils and butters to balance and nourish. I love how this feels on my skin - it's like a moisturiser that never absorbs, I feel like I could massage it on my skin for hours! It gently removes all my makeup and feels so soothing. This is a cleanser that I will use in the morning and for either of my cleanses at night, especially if my skin is feeling dry or irritated.

The Clay Cleanser
I'm on my third bottle of this because it's the nicest clay based cleanser I've come across. It's no good for removing makeup but this is one you really want to get onto bare skin. It's ideal for oily and blemish prone skin because it calms those pesky spots without being drying or stripping; I find it actually re-balances my skin. I prefer using it as my second nighttime cleanse but do sometimes use it in the morning too.

The Foaming Gel Cleanser
This is quite an expensive cleanser but if you're going for a foaming cleanser I'd recommend a higher end one, as budget ones can contain very stripping ingredients. This one is 94% natural and contains no SLS, parabens or artifical fragrance. You don't need a lot of this thick gel to create a good lather, which removes impurities without drying your skin or giving it that horrible "squeaky clean" feeling. I love using this one especially when my skin is feeling extra oily (morning or night) and I want to use a lighter cleanser. 

The Balm Cleanser
Suti Cleansing Balm / Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm - Sample Sizes
As you can tell, I'm pretty new to balm cleansers! I had these samples in my stash and have been trying out the Suti and Merumaya balms. These are best for a nighttime cleanse, either first or second, as they remove makeup brilliantly. My preference out of these two is the Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm as I like how the velvety formula is more viscose and then emulsifies into a milk, making it easy to remove. The Suti one melts into a thick oil, which takes longer to feel like it's completely been removed from my skin. I will be buying the Merumaya one full size.

What are your favourite cleansers to take the day off? Do you use any of the ones in this post?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains a PR sample. This does not affect my opinion of the product.