Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review: Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Mattifying Moisturiser

The Super Facialist range is one that I discovered a few months thanks to the wonderful world of blogging! Super Facialist was started by Una Brennan, an accomplished facialist and skincare specialist based here in the UK, in order to offer an accessible and affordable skincare range containing natural extracts, high performance ingredients and exquisite aromas. There are currently four ranges available; Rose (hydrate), Tea Flower (deep clean), Neroli (firming) and Vitamin C (brighten).

I have combination skin with an oily t-zone, one that a few months ago was just getting so oily in the day, I was in real despair with my skin. So I decided to try out the Mattifying Moisturiser from the Tea Flower range after reading some positive reviews from other bloggers, including Pampered Prince. It costs £12.99 for a 75ml tube.

Super Facialist say, "Rebalance skin prone to oiliness and breakouts with this must-have mattifying moisturiser. Salicylic Acid blends with an anti sebum complex derived from a trio of watercress, horsetail and nettle extracts to help mattify and balance skin and reduce the appearance of pores. Elderflower delivers added hydration to leave skin moisturised, clearer and healthier looking."

I really like the formula of the Mattifying Moisturiser. It has a medium consistency but doesn't feel heavy or greasy when applied and absorbs quickly. It has quite a strong natural fragrance, but this doesn't bother me really. In terms of mattifying, it definitely makes an improvement and makes my t-zone significantly less oily, but it's not a miracle worker and I do still need to use shine absorbing sheets or a dusting of powder. Unfortunately the Mattifying Moisturiser is a little drying for my normal to dry cheeks, so I use this only on my t-zone and use a separate, more hydrating one on my cheeks. I have also found that when my oiliness goes back to "normal", the Mattifying Moisturiser is a little too much.

I really like the fact that this moisturiser contains salicylic acid, which is great for breakouts. I don't think that it has particularly reduced my breakouts, but it seems to keep existing ones in check and prevents them getting worse. I have also noticed a slight reduction in the appearance of my pores once applied. 

The Verdict
In summary, the Mattifying Moisturiser is ideal for extra oily skin. I think it is a great product for the price; the 75ml tube should last me for ages. It's a shame I can't use this all over my face or use it all the time, but I think it's expected for my skin type. I would re-purchase and I would quite like to try their Tea Flower Pure Purifying Clay Mask from the same range.

The Super Facialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Mattifying Moisturiser is available to purchase from Boots here.

What's your favourite moisturiser for oily skin? Have you tried anything from the Super Facialist range?

Beauty Bird xx


Friday, 27 September 2013

Review: Real Techniques Starter Set

I've been meaning to do this post for ages, ever since blogging about the Core Collection (here) back in January. There are lots of Real Techniques reviews out there, but hopefully there's room for one more! As with the Core Collection, the brushes come with a 2 in 1 case and stand, which is great to keep the brushes in when travelling or going on holiday. The brush bristles are hand cut from synthetic taklon and are cruelty free.

 Left to Right: Base Shadow Brush, Deluxe Crease Brush, Accent Brush, Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush, Brow Brush

Base Shadow Brush
"Applies a smooth, flawless foundation of color"
This is a lovely, soft and fluffy brush. The round, fairly chunky (but not too much) brush head really does make applying an all over base shadow effortless.

Deluxe Crease Brush
"Soft, oversized design for effortless contouring"
This is the brush that I mainly wanted this set for and I'm not disappointed. I'm not the best at eyeshadow application, but having a thinner and slightly more tapered brush head than the Base Shadow Brush, means that applying and blending a second eyeshadow along the crease of the eye and outer corner is a whole lot easier.

Accent Brush
"Designed for precision detailing, spotlighting, highlighting, and smudging"
I really underrated the Accent Brush when looking at the set, but as the description states it is a great multi-tasker. I mainly use it for applying a light coloured eyeshadow on the inner corner of my eye and on the brow bone. It's also great to use if you want your eyeshadow to have a more precise winged shape - create a line of eyeshadow using the Accent Brush from the outer corner and blend with the Deluxe Crease Brush.

Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush
"Tapered cut is ideal for dense or fine eyeliner application"
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this brush - I don't think it works well for a fine eyeliner application. I prefer to use the smaller eyeliner brush that came with the Maybelline gel eyeliner. However it's great if you want an instantly thicker line. I also use it to apply eyeshadow as an eyeliner by slightly wetting the end of the brush.

Brow Brush
"Distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows"
The tapered Brow Brush is the perfect size for me and puts my eyebrows back into a nice, tidy shape. I use it to apply the Benefit Brow Zings wax instead of the teeny tiny brush that comes in the set.

In summary, this set covers all the main brushes you need to define your eyes and brows. For someone like me, who only owned a basic eyeshadow brush from E.L.F. prior to this, it's a great value for money way to start out - the perfect Starter Set!

You can buy the Real Techniques Starter Set from Boots for £21.99 here.

Do you own the Starter Set? Which is your favourite brush from the set?

Beauty Bird xx


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Autumn Nail Varnish Haul

Ever since the temperature dropped, I have been obsessing over autumnal and wintry colours, desperate to get some more muted, moody hues into my life. Since I haven't had any time to go clothes shopping yet, I have indulged in my obsession by buying some new nail varnishes for the Autumn/Winter season. Oh boy, are these beauts!

First of all I picked up four OPI nail varnishes from Fragrance Direct, which are just £3.99 each instead of the usual £13.95. I have never tried OPI before, so I am very excited about having some in my nail varnish collection! All of the shades available on Fragrance Direct seem to be from previously released collections and at the moment there is a huge selection of shades to choose from! I picked up Color To Diner For (cranberry red with a light red shimmer), Diva Of Geneva (a metallic, pink toned purple), Dutcha Just Love OPI (a deep purple with a light gold shimmer) and I Have A Herring Problem (a green toned blue with a light silver shimmer).

I also did a cheeky online Boots order so I could get my hands on Models Own Obsidian from the Velvet Goth Collection. The base colour is black but the nail varnish is packed full of different size silver glitter particles. This would look amazing with a LBD at Christmas! 

When I picked up my Boots order from the store, I also used my £3.00 No7 voucher and bought the No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Thunderstorm. This is a deep, purple toned, stormy grey, which I think is perfect if you want a nail varnish that isn't too dark as it has a lovely hint of colour.

I can't wait to get all of these on my nails, the problem is... where do I start??!!

Have you been buying any nail varnishes for the coming cold season?

Beauty Bird xx


Monday, 23 September 2013

NEOM Organics Perfect Night's Sleep Kit

For the month of September, NEOM Organics have launched their Perfect Night's Sleep Campaign in association with The Sleep Council. As part of the campaign, NEOM have released a Perfect Night's Sleep Kit containing three of their products from the Tranquility range, which combines pure English lavender essential oil, basil and jasmine. I love using lavender based scents at nighttime; I find the scent so soothing and relaxing, which helps me clear my mind and get off to sleep easier. Studies have even revealed that inhaling the scent of lavender oil increases the amount of deep sleep. 

I personally think that a Perfect Night's Sleep Kit is such a good idea and it really appeals to me as I'm such an erratic sleeper, often due to stress or anxiety. It's not neccessarily going to solve sleeping problems, but it certainly will help them. The NEOM Perfect Night's Sleep Kit follows a three step guide devised by NEOM;

Step 1 - Light the Tranquility Home Candle a few hours before bedtime to fill the room with the perfect amount of scent. 

The lavender scent of this candle is surprisingly subtle and delicate, but it's just right as it's not too overpowering or overwhelming. I also love the simplicity of the packaging; the glass pot justs screams luxury.

Step 2 - Take a bath with the Tranquility Bath Foam (SLS free). The mixture of essential oils and a calming bath promotes deeper sleep and leaves skn beautifully soft too.

I just love this bath foam! The lavender scent is a lot stronger than the candle and a little heady, but it is really the first hit of lavender you get while you've left the candle burning in the bedroom. Despite the fact it's SLS free, you get a very good amount of bubbles and as promised, my skin was left lovely and soft. Other ingredients include sweet almond, coconut, aloe leaf and marshmallow.

Step 3 - Spritz your pillow with the Tranquility Room Mist just before bedtime, so the essential oils continue to work into the night for a long, peaceful sleep. It's so pure that the whole family can use it.

I often use room and pillow mists and this one is just perfect to use in the bedroom. Again the scent of lavender is quite strong, so you really don't need to use a lot. One or two sprays of this is all you need, as it is designed to cling onto anything you spray it onto. 

I love this routine; the continuous hit of lavender to the senses keeps me calm and relaxed and much more "in the zone" for bedtime. I'm very guilty of being sat in bed texting and scrolling through my Twitter feed, which I don't think helps as it keeps my mind active and thinking about things, so I find that keeping away from my phone makes a big difference too. I don't think that I sleep for longer, but the NEOM Perfect Night's Sleep Kit definitely helps to keep my sleep peaceful. But sometimes I know I will wake up throughout the night no matter what I do! I wish I could always sleep like a baby!

All together the NEOM Perfect Night Sleep Kit is worth £75.50, but is on offer this month for the discounted price of £55.00! For this you get a full size Tranqulility Home Candle, a full size 200ml Tranquility Bath Foam and a full size 100ml Tranquility Room Mist. Please note that the pictures above are sample sizes only! It is a kit to buy if you want three high quality, luxurious and indulgent products, to really treat and pamper yourself before bed. It would also be perfect as a present. Click here to get yours!

What products do you find help you sleep better? Have you tried any of the products from NEOM Organics?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Review: Bourjois Cream Blusher in 02 Healthy Glow

I hope there are some of you out there who aren't fed up of seeing Bourjois Cream Blusher reviews just yet! I just had to review this as I went on about these blushers constantly when I was on a spending ban and it was one of the first things I bought post spending ban. Thankfully, this product really did live up to the hype for me and I've worn it constantly since buying it.

The formula of the Bourjois Cream Blusher is cream-to-powder that is designed to blend effortlessly, giving a second skin feel and a healthy glow that lasts all day. It contains poppy, apricot and mango butter extracts, which work together to provide all of these benefits. I picked up the shade 02 Healthy Glow, which is a beautiful coral-peach shade. 

For me, it really is love with this product and I am totally a cream blusher convert now, having previously worn powder blusher most of the time. The formula is soft and creamy and very pigmented. I apply the Bourjois Cream Blusher in 02 Healthy Glow with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush. You only need a couple of light dabs onto the blusher with the brush to get the perfect amount of colour and it blends so, so well. The finish is completely matte but doesn't look powdery despite the cream-to-powder formula. Also it lasts to the end of a working day despite my oily/combo skin - perfect! I love the colour and it really does live up to its name, providing a gorgeous healthy glow. For £7.99 I think it's a bargain and I have now picked up 03 Rose Tender, a soft pink, to wear for the winter.

Have you tried the Bourjois Cream Blushers yet? Which one is your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Love Me Beauty Box September 2013

The Love Me Beauty Box was formerly known as Beauteco Box and has re-branded this month. The Managing Director of Love Me Beauty, Oliver Gauci, has stated that this is due to the similarity of the original name with a different business. Besides the name change and consquently an updated website, nothing else has changed. The concept of the beauty box is still the same; every month there are three menu choices to choose from, each containing five products that are a mixture of full size and sample sizes. I am going to share with you the contents of Menu One, which is made up of four full size products and one sample size product.

 Matriskin Collagen Serum 7.5ml (sample size, worth £24.15)
To prevent and cure various signs of aging. It fills and reduces wrinkles from first application and removes expression lines in just 30 days.

Murad Osmolyte Tonic 15ml (full size, worth £10.00)
This refreshing mist replenishes and moisturises to plump and firm skin. Essential nutrients increase cellular hydration, repair the skin's barrier and soothe skin.

Nip and Fab Dry Leg Fix 100ml (full size, worth £10.25)
This intensive balm helps to smooth dry and flaky skin thanks to an innovative moisturising and restructuring hydraconcept, called Aquaxyl.

Anatomicals No Old Bags Allowed Eye Gel 15ml (full size, worth £3.49)
A refreshing eye gel containing arnica and orange flower water – the essential prescription for perfect peepers.

Essential Care Lip Silk (full size, worth £5.50)
This is a tasty and nourishing blend of beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil and orange essential oil to moisturise, repair and protect your lips in all weathers.

Another fantastic choice of products this month! I haven't tried any of these brands before and they are all products that I will use. So far I've tried the Murad Osmolyte Tonic, which is a lovely, refreshing light mist and seems pretty hydrating. I'm also in love with the Essential Care Lip Silk; it's buttery and moisturising with a deliciously orange taste.

In total Menu One is worth a massive £53.39 and costs just £10.00 plus £2.95 postage! The box can be bought individually every month or you can purchase pre-paid subscriptions plans for 3, 6 and 12 months.

To check out the new Love Me Beauty website, please click here.

What do you think of this month's box?

Beauty Bird xx

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


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

FOTD: Easing into Smokey Eyes and Red Lips

Base: Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation in Opal, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair, Witch Anti-Blemish Liquid Concealer in Light, Physician's Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Pressed Powder (shade not known)
Blusher: Bourjois Cream Blusher in 02 Healthy Glow
Eyes: Art Deco Eyeshadow Base, Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow and Liner Nude Collection in Trio 2 Playful, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, Chanel de Volume Mascara
Lips: Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon

I wore this makeup for my Dad's Las Vegas themed party quite a few weeks back now. (By the way I was wearing a strapless dress but you can't see it in the pictures, in case any of you thought I was au naturel!) 

I am not very brave when it comes to makeup and this is me being brave! However I did feel surprisingly confident considering I haven't really worn smokey eyes and a red lip together before (I know, what sort of beauty blogger am I!). I hadn't even planned it; it just happened and it worked for me. But both the eyes and lips are a more subtle version of what could be a lot more dramatic and the products I used are a great way to ease into this type of look. The Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon is a pinky red, so is a great choice if a true red is a scary concept!

What are your favourite products for smokey eyes and red lips?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Autumn Tag

As much as I wish I could wear flip flops all year round, I know that soon they'll be going to the bottom of my wardrobe and I'll be fishing out my boots. Autumn is coming and I've decided that this year I need to embrace it more! What better way to start than by doing The Autumn Tag by Georgina from Makeup-Pixi3 - thank you so much for tagging me Georgina!

For Autumn, what is your..

1.  Favourite thing about it?  I would say that it has to be cosying up with a hot drink in the evening as it gets cooler - I can't wait to buy some hot chocolate! I also hate sleeping when it's hot, so in the Autumn and Winter I love being able to snuggle right under the duvet!

2.  Favourite drink?  As mentioned before I do like my hot chocolate - in any variety! I'm also hoping that Starbucks bring out their Praline Mocha again, nom!

3.  Favourite scent/candle? I love the smell of cinnamon, so I think I'm going to have to get my hands on a Yankee Candle in Cinnamon Stick. 

4.  Best lipstick? I have quite a lot of light pink shades but I think Autumn is the time to rock a deeper shade lip - can anyone recommend any for pale skin? Georgina did a post about Autumn lipsticks here and I do like the look of Revlon Black Cherry and Rimmel Kate Moss Matte in 107.

5.  Go to moisturiser? I'll be using Neal's Yard Power Berry Daily Moisture, which I've started using quite recently and contains lots of lovely organically produced ingredients. It's just a great all round moisturiser - hydrating but not heavy and makes my skin look healthier and brighter. It smells just like mint sauce too!

6.  Go to colours for the eyes?  To be honest I tend to wear the same eye colours all year round - neutrals in shades of brown, bronze, taupe and grey. Although I do like the look of MAC Cranberry eyeshadow, which would be perfect for Autumn!

7.  Favourite music or band/singer to listen to? Again I don't tend to vary much, but I think as the summery dance/pop songs slow down I'll definitely be listening to a lot of bands; I'm loving Bastille and Paramore at the moment.

8.  Favourite outfit to wear (i.e. boots & a scarf combo)? Typically I'd say jeans, boots and a chunky jumper or cardigan, but I got bored of jeans last Autumn/Winter so I want to make sure I wear more wintry dresses with tights and boots this year. I love the colour burgundy!

9.  Autumn treat? (i.e. a new scarf or bag you have your eye on)  I need a new coat this year and a few new pairs of boots as mine are getting to that really worn stage. Plus more burgundy items in general!

10.  Favourite place to be? Aside from at home (there's no place like home after all!), I'd say going a walk in the woods or in the park with my fiance and my dog; she loves playing in the leaves!

I hope you enjoyed reading this tag, I tag all of you so send me your links if you do it! :-)

What's your favourite thing about Autumn?

Beauty Bird xx

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