Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Little Magazine Spree, a NOTD & Next Month's Freebies!

Today my Twitter feed has been full of people talking about this month's brilliant magazine freebies and yes, I was one of them! Predicting that these freebies would be in high demand, I left a little earlier this morning and detoured to Tesco!

Here's what I picked up:

  • Ciate Paint Pots in Bon Bon (left) and Purple Sherbet (right) - free with Marie Claire. There is also another shade available called Jelly Bean, which is a fuschia pink. Worth £9.00 each.
  • Benefit POREfessional 7.5ml and That Gal brightening primer 7.5ml - free with Glamour. The POREfessional is worth £10.00 and That Gal is worth £15.00. There is also a BADgal Lash Mascara in black to collect, worth £10.00.
  • The Body Shop Big and Curvy Mascara in black - free with InStyle. Worth £10.00. You can also collect The Body Shop Eye Definers in Black and French Navy (worth £16.00 together). 
All in all I spent about £15.00 on magazines but got £53.00 worth of products! Hell yeah! :-)
I've already applied the gorgeous Bon Bon shade to my nails, I'd describe it as a very dusky mauve or a purple-y grey. It's a very subtle but I love it. Can I also say how cute is the bottle with the little bow?! It's the kind of thing you don't want to hide away, but display proudly on your dressing table! The pics below are taken in different lights so you can get a better idea of the shade.

So can we expect any freebies next month you might be thinking? Well I have some good news - yes you can!

  • Marie Claire will have a choice of three Avon mascaras, worth £10.00 each. Choose from Super Extend Extreme Mascara, Super Shock Max Mascara and Super Curlacious Mascara. I'm tempted to try Super Curlacious, as I'm on the look out for a budget brand that matches Benefit They're Real (if it exists!!).

  • Glamour will have a choice of four products from a range called Balance Me - Balancing Face Moisturiser 20ml (worth £11.00), Wonder Eye Cream 7ml (worth £11.00), Pure Skin Face Wash 50ml (worth £11.00) and Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve 10ml (worth £12.00). I looked up this range online as I'd never heard of it. Made in the UK, the range promises to be free from parabens, sulphates, petroleum, mineral oils, silicones, dea, pegs, propylene glycol, artifical fragrances and colours. I like the sound of the lip salve and eye cream!
  • InStyle do not seem to be giving away actual freebies with next month's magazine; it's not very clear but the statement "Terms and Conditions apply" is linked to the products with a star in small print, which makes me think that perhaps the magazine will have some kind of voucher for them? Can anyone shed any light on this? Anyway, the products are Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara worth £7.00 and Shiseido The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam worth £7.00. I seriously want to try the mascara, I've read so many rave reviews on it!

All these magazines are on sale on the 5th July. Aren't we spoilt!!

What freebies have you picked up this month? Will you be picking up any freebies next month too?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Witch Anti-Blemish Liquid Concealer

I came across this concealer hidden away on a bottom shelf in a Boots skincare aisle. I was looking for a concealer specifically to put on spots that would not only conceal them but also treat them at the same time. For £6.99 I thought it was worth a try! It is available in two shades; Light and Medium. I bought it in Light.

Here is a bit of a blurb from the back of the packaging:

"Witch's liquid concealer enriched with antibacterial actives helps target spots and blemishes while smoothly covering them, helping you to achieve a clear looking complexion instantly. Mineral pigments and soothing ingredients help calm and clarify the skin. Providing medium coverage and a natural, matte finish, this lightweight formulation is also suitable for use under eyes."

The formula is also fragrance free and oil free.

I would prefer it if the shade was slightly lighter. I am extremely pale and with the concealer only being available in two shades, "light" has to cover a range of tones. But with a good bit of blending it turns out fine.

The formula is quick thick but does blend easily. In terms of coverage, it covers spots and blemishes really well. It's also easy to build up the coverage as required. It also, surprisingly, works pretty well on dark circles!

So does it actually help spots/blemishes? I don't think you can rely it as a treatment alone, but I have noticed that it does help dry up whiteheads and small blemishes quicker. 

The Verdict

Would I re-purchase? Yes, I already have a couple of times now. It's such a good price at £6.99 and for that you get good coverage and a multi-tasker that you can use on your face and eyes. The big positive for me is that I can apply it daily knowing that I am helping to treat spots not just cover them up! I think ideally there could be a bigger range of shades though.

What concealer do you use? Have you tried any products from the Witch range?

Beauty Bird xx

Monday, 28 May 2012

Foundation Find: Cover FX Natural FX Water Based Liquid Foundation SPF 15

I purchased this foundation after reading a review of it on The Sunday Girl blog (click to view). I haven't used foundation for years, but had been on the look out for one to buy for the days where concealer and powder just isn't enough! When I read about this I had to buy it, it has so many amazing features!

Why does it sound so amazing? It's a long list, but here goes! (Information from Cover FX's website and the actual foundation.)

  • It's a 2 in 1 foundation AND concealer
  • Provides moderate coverage of skin imperfections such as acne, redness, under eye circles, uneven skin tones, post-surgical bruising, vitiligo and tattoos
  • Creates a natural, dewy looking finish
  • Contains Vitamin E to nourish and protect, and Bisabolol to help reduce inflammation
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Contains non-comedogenic ingredients (will not cause/worsen blackheads)
  • It is free of oil, fragrance and parabens
  • Dermafix technology provides all day wear, water resistance and the ability to build extra coverage in "problem" areas
  • Contains SPF 15
  • Available in over 20 global shades

I purchased this from the House of Fraser website, which offers a free "collect in store" delivery. (Order before 5pm and it will be available in your chosen store after noon the next day! Impressive.)  I purchased this foundation in shade E0, which is a very pale shade. I used the shade selector on the Cover FX website (link here) which helps you select your shade based on the colour tone of your skin. It isn't ideal, but I decided to risk it as none of the House of Fraser stores near me had a Cover FX counter. Thankfully, I think E0 is pretty spot on for me.

My Verdict

Coverage - describing it as "moderate" is spot on really. It covers blemishes and spot scars really well, so I only have to top it up with a tiny amount of concealer - much less than normal. Bigger spots require a few layers of foundation, but this is easy thanks to the Dermafix technology. It evens out my skin tone and my pores appear smaller. It is also fantastic on under eye circles! Such a great multi-tasker! Yet it doesn't even feel like I'm wearing any foundation, it's so light on the skin.

Finish - it is quite dewy and I do prefer a matt finish. But I always dust some powder over my face anyway, so this doesn't bother me.

Staying power - roughly 6 hours unprimed, it tends to need topping up around my nose, which is a bit shiny. With primer, about 8 hours.

Would I re-purchase? Definitely! At £37.00 for 30ml it isn't cheap, but considering I barely need to use concealer now (it's more of a backup), I think it's worth it. Plus I can wear it knowing that it's not going to break me out in spots! 

Have you discovered a great foundation recently? What's your current favourite?

Beauty Bird xx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

My Daily Skincare Routine

I would say I'm just as obsessed with skincare as I am with makeup. I follow my skincare routine religiously and I rarely stray from it. I personally love reading these posts, so hope you enjoy it too!

I've been following this routine for about two years, though it's simplified slightly in the past year and it's primarily focused on my spot prone skin.


Left to Right: Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser, Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster, Dermalogica Active Moist and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye.

First of all you will notice that the majority of the products I use are Dermalogica. These products are guaranteed when professionally recommended. I have personally been recommended these products (based on my skin) and how to use them. To see how I discovered this range, please click here.

Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser - I love this cleanser! It is recommended for skin with excess oil production and doesn't contain any artifical fragrance or colour, which is the same for all Dermalogica products. It makes my skin feel squeaky clean and is not at all drying. It also soothes skin with the ingredients cucumber and sage, and revitalises it at the same time with menthol.

Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster - I use this after cleansing but before moisturising. I apply this direct to spots only to reduce irritation and accelerate clearing of the spots. Its active ingredient is Benzoyl Peroxide (5.0%), which is often used in spot treatments. 

Dermalogica Active Moist - I then apply this moisturiser, which is another product recommended for skin with excess oil production. It's lightweight, oil free and does the job of keeping my skin hydrated perfectly!

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye - This can be applied morning and night, so I do both. The formula is more of a serum than a cream and it is the only thing that has made a noticeable difference to my eyes. The skin is more hydrated, the texture improved and my dark circles are a little lighter. This really deserves a full review!


Left to Right: Garnier Fresh Essentials Refreshing Cleansing Lotion, Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser, Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub, Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel.

Garnier Fresh Essentials Refreshing Cleansing Lotion - I use this makeup remover for normal to combination skin to remove any eye makeup. It's great at removing my stubborn Benefit mascara and Maybelline gel eyeliner. I only use it on my face if my makeup is quite heavy or has been re-done that evening - a lot of it has naturally worn off by night time ususally.

Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser - I double cleanse at night, first to remove surface dirt and leftover makeup and the second time to get right into the skin and into pores.

Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub - I use this twice a week as my exfoliator in conjunction with the cleanser. It isn't too harsh on my skin, which is great. 

Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel - Recommended for breakout prone skin, I use this pretty much all over my face after cleansing as it helps clear skin congestion and prevent future breakouts. This stuff is amazing, for me it's a holy grail product! Its active ingredient is Salicylic Acid (2.0%). 

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye - As mentioned before, I apply this day and night.

I do not apply moisturiser over the clearing gel as advised, but I may on certain areas of my face which are prone to dryness - mainly around my nose. 

So there you have it, my daily skincare routine!

Do you use any of these products? Do you have a skincare routine that you follow every day?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Review: Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Brown

I bought Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner 24H recently (or Maybelline Gel Eyeliner for short!) after discovering Maybelline had launched it in brown. I’m pretty pleased about this as I had considered purchasing Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner in one of their brown shades, which is over half the price and doesn’t include a brush! Maybelline Gel Eyeliner is only £7.99 and comes with a brush. This is a great price, especially if you’re trying gel eyeliner for the first time like me. My signature night time look is black liquid eyeliner, so I was keen to try brown for daytime. I’d also heard that gel eyeliner was easy peasy to use. 

The pot is quite plain but at the same time quite expensive looking I think. The brush also seems of a very good quality.

The colour is quite an intense, rich brown, which I really like. I tested out the brush first on my hand, just to get a feel for the application really, I’m not always the most steady handed!! As you can see the brush is so precise that it’s very easy to achieve a thin line and build up the colour gradually into a thicker line.

I was surprised how easy it was to apply the eyeliner on my eyes, even for a novice like me! As mentioned before the thin brush is very precise and it’s just generally easy to handle. I found it much easier to achieve a straight, even line than with liquid eyeliner. However if you do muck up it’s more difficult to correct the mistake as it dries really quickly. Once on, I also noticed the colour has a hint of bronze sparkle, which glints subtly in the light. Lovely!

Now what about Maybelline’s claim that it lasts 24 hours and is non transfer? Well I can’t say that I’ve worn it for 24 hours, but I wore it for about 12 hours and I’m pretty impressed with its staying power. However, the only downside for me is that some of the eyeliner on my right eye did transfer onto the upper section of my eye. This eye is slightly hooded and I’ve had this problem with kohl eyeliner before, it’s such a shame that it has happened with this. I’m not put off the eyeliner but for this reason I don’t think I’d wear it on a night out- I want to enjoy myself rather than keep checking whether my eyeliner has budged or not!

In summary, I am a gel eyeliner convert! I love the formula, the colour and ease of application. There is a small issue for me with transfer on one eye, but I think I can put up with this for daytime wear.

Have you tried gel eyeliner? What’s your experience with using/wearing it?

Beauty Bird xx

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Review: Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer

Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer was a bit of an impulse buy - I was already buying Maybelline's gel eyeliner (review to come!) and at the time Boots had an offer of buy one Maybelline product and get a second half price. Seemed a bit silly to ignore! So instead of paying the normal £8.99 for this, I got it for £4.50, which is a bargain!

This is my first time using a primer as I've only just branched into the world of foundation (a little crazy I know!). According to the Superdrug website, the primer claims to:
  • Blur away imperfections
  • Refine skin texture
  • Create a perfect canvas for makeup application
  • Can be worn alone or under makeup

In the 7ml pot you get a clear, gel formula. It looks very thick and gloopy, but once on your skin it smooths out nicely, has a velvet soft finish and feels very light. To me, it almost felt a little greasy when first applied, but I think this is partly pyschological (I get very nervous about putting new products on my face because of my problem skin), and partly because it just hadn't had time to absorb.

Once absorbed I noticed a slight reduction in the size of my pores around my nose, but I didn't think it blurred imperfections - it didn't make much difference to any blemishes or spot scars I had anyway. For that reason I personally wouldn't wear this alone without makeup. However it made my foundation much easier to apply- it pretty much glided on and blending it in was almost effortless! 

Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer doesn't seem to claim anywhere that it will make makeup last for a X amount of hours. But I've been wearing this for about four days to work and I have noticed an improvement in my foundation's lasting power - particularly where I've concealed any spots or blemishes. Unprimed, my foundation lasts about 6 hours and primed I would say about 8 hours. However where I have pores on my cheeks around my nose, which is a bit of a shiny area, foundation didn't seem to last so well and the reducing effect of my pores had disappeared. So perhaps it doesn't deal so well with oily skin... not 100% sure on that one.

The primer contains very few ingredients and doesn't contain anything that I recognised as being skin clogging or pore blocking. But the jury's still out on this at the moment. 


Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer definitely does the job in creating a smooth base for makeup and does seem to improve the staying power of foundation. I will definitely continue to use it unless I experience any problems with my skin. However I'm not sure that it's a "holy grail" product for me and I would still like to try Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer as per my recent wishlist post (which you can view here) to compare. 

Have you tried Maybelline Dream Smooth Primer? What's your holy grail primer?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 13 May 2012

NOTD: Feeling Blue(bell)

There's a lot of people feeling the love for the free Nails Inc varnishes (worth £11.00 each) with this month's Instyle magazine (June edition), which definitely includes me! I decided to pick up Bluebell, which is a gorgeous purple-y blue shade, as I haven't got any other varnishes quite this colour. It was also my first Nails Inc varnish! 

I've taken the pictures in a couple of different lights so you can get more of an idea of the shade.

I've had quite a few people compliment the colour and I have to say, I'm completely loving it too! 

The varnish started to chip after about 3 days of wear. 

I've thrown away the packaging now, but I'm pretty sure I read that this is a limited edition shade exclusively for Instyle, so if you haven't already, I'd recommend picking up a £3.80 magazine so you can get your hands on this £11.00 beauty!

I'd be interested to know of any other shades similar to this, so I can get a replacement when this runs out! If you have any recommendations please let me know! :-)

What do you think of Bluebell? Have you picked up any other great magazine freebies this month?

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Magazine Freebies Coming 31st May!

There have been some great freebies out this month so far with the June editions of a number of magazines- my favourite the free Nails Inc varnish with Instyle (NOTD hopefully coming soon!). But there are even more to come!! On the 31st May (or the July magazine editions) I'm aware of the following freebies on sale;

  • Glamour will be offering travel sizes of That Gal brightening primer (worth £15.00), POREfessional primer and BADgal lash mascara (each worth £10.00). I will definitely be attempting to collect all three of these, especially the POREfessional primer as I've heard great things about it!
  • Marie Claire will have a choice of three Ciate nail varnishes in the shades Bon Bon, Jelly Bean and Purple Sherbet (worth £9.00 each). I've never tried Ciate nail varnish, so it's time to change that! All the colours look gorgeous! I'm guessing that Bon Bon is the bright pink shade but I'm not sure which is Jelly Bean and which is Purple Sherbet out of the two colours below. I particularly like the look of the one to the right, a dusky mauve sort of colour - perhaps this is Purple Sherbet?

  • InStyle will also have a choice of freebies, either The Body Shop Big and Curvy Mascara in black (worth £10.00) or The Body Shop Eye Definers in Black and French Navy (worth £16.00 together). I don't really use kohl eyeliner very much, but I'd quite like to try the mascara. 

Do you know of any other great freebies? Which of these will you be picking up next month?

Beauty Bird xx

Monday, 7 May 2012

Review: Model In A Bottle - Makeup Setting Spray

I first heard of Model in a Bottle when it was reviewed, among other beauty products, on a Daily Mail internet article. This makeup setting spray claims to keep your makeup looking fabulous all day long, with no need for touch ups.

As you can see I'm almost half way through the 60ml bottle, which is meant to contain more than 300 sprays. This one is the "normal skin" formula for normal/oily skin but it is also available in a "sensitive skin" formula for sensitive/dry skin.

I bought this as I was fed up of spending ages in the morning doing my makeup, particularly concealing any spots and blemishes, for it to have half disappeared by lunchtime. The product also states that it absorbs excess oil and doesn't clog pores, so I thought perfect!

As soon as I received Model in a Bottle I started using it on a daily basis and WOWEE was I impressed! I squirted a couple of sprays over my face at 8am before work and on returning home at 5pm my makeup looked exactly the same as it did nine hours earlier! Amazing!

However there is a big negative for me - it did clog my pores. After a couple of weeks of using this daily I began to breakout in spots really bad. I didn't link the two though at all. I continued to use the product and every night I was looking at my makeup free, spotty skin thinking, why aren't my spots going? When I went for my Dermalogica facial my therapist picked up on it immediately and asked me if I'd changed anything in my routine. Using Model in a Bottle was the only new product I'd been using on my face. 

Once at home I checked the ingredients in Model in a Bottle and compared it against a small list of cosmetic ingredients my therapist advised I avoid, ones that would aggravate my skin. One ingredient that is in Model in a Bottle and was on this list was SD Alcohol. I've looked up this ingredient online and it is a pure form of alcohol that is often used in products for oily skin, as it temporarily gets rid of oil. However with long term use the skin will begin to overproduce oil to make up for the oil that has been removed by the alcohol. Once I stopped using the spray it took a couple of weeks, but my spots did clear and my skin went back to normal.


It's an amazing product that really does work, but if you have acne or spot prone skin I would avoid using this on a regular basis. I now only use it if I am going on a night out, which might be a couple of times a month at the most. At the end of the night I can confirm my makeup looks as good as it did at the beginning of the night, I don't even really have to touch it up!

You can purchase Model in a Bottle from Victoria Loves Beauty.

Do you use makeup setting spray? What's your experience?

Beauty Bird xx 


Friday, 4 May 2012

Beauty Wishlist #1

There are so many great beauty products around right now and I'm sure I could add more to this, but these are the top 5 I'm coveting at the moment.

1. I am obsessed with sparkly, shimmery nail varnishes at the moment, so how could this gorgeous shade from Model's Own Beetlejuice range not be on my wishlist? The shade is Indian Ocean and is described as "a calming, iridescent blue with soft pink undertones". Plus, with £3.00 off if you buy 3 and £7.00 off if you buy 5 on their website, I may have to pick up a few other shades too! :-)

2. I've looked at so many primers recently, but Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Light is the one that stood out for me. I have spot prone skin and this one specifically states that it is suitable for oily or spot prone skin due to being oil free and 60% water based. It claims to reduce fine lines and pores, maintain a matt finish all day, minimize imperfections, even skin tone and promote collagen production. Wow! 

3. So on top of my primer I need a foundation. I'm not a massive foundation user, but I think I need a bit more coverage, especially for those spotty, blemishy days. This one is Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation. I was introduced to the Jane Iredale range by my beauty therapist, as their products don't contain talc, fragance or any chemical nasties, plus they're oil free and non-comedogenic so won't block pores. I already use their face powder and blusher, which I love! 

4. Oops another nail product! I really want to have a go at nail art so this Model's Own Nail Art Pen in Black is ideal. It has a brush end and a nib end so should be good at allsorts of different patterns.

5. I've heard some great things about gel eyeliner, so I really want to give it a try and see how it compares to liquid. I quite like black eyeliner for night but I'm thinking brown might be more suitable for daytime, especially as I'm so pale. I did consider Maybelline and L'Oreal's gel eyeliners but they only come in black unfortunately, whereas Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner comes in a range of colours including three brown shades. I've only just realised when writing this that the brush has to be purchased separately, so if anyone can recommend a good but cheaper eyeliner brush (theirs is £21.00!) please let me know :-)

What's on your beauty wishlist?

Beauty Bird xx
© Ramblings of a Beauty Bird. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig