29/04/2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz





Ah brows, many girls out there have a long brow history I'm talking over tweezing and even shaving in some instances but without sounding like that annoying girl everyone loves to hate my story is rather short. Through my teenage years I was guided in the right direction by my mum who introduced me to the world of waxing. I tend to get my eyebrows waxed every four weeks (if I'm not feeling lazy) it's my preferred choice as it's quick, easy, gets right to the root and gives me a lovely natural shape.

The only downside to waxing is the growing back process thing's can get a little messy, sparse and you generally loose the overall shape initially created. I truly do believe brows frame the face/eye area and can really change your overall appearance so finding the right brow products to tie into your routine can be a little tricky. I've never really had much luck the majority have never really matched my hair colour as often the darkest shade is brunette. Some of the brow products I've tried (that are intended for us darker haired girls) have been rather tricky to use and in return I've ended up with unnatural brows (that drawn on look!)

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is different. It's become an everyday staple for me, my finished look just doesn't look quite right without this now. I was after a product that maintained that natural brow look but would fill in sparse hair-this product achieves everything I want and more. Not only does this add shape this also adds definition and enhances my overall brow shape. If you're a brow beginner don't shy away from this, as I can honestly say it's one of the easiest brow products I've ever used. It'd be difficult to go wrong with this product as even with a heavy hand thing's never look unnatural.

I chose the shade 'Ebony' it's a perfect match, I believe this comes in a whopping six shades-there really is a shade for everyone! This shade matches my hair colour perfect, unlike other 'black' brow products I've tried this manages to somehow still appear soft (not bold) it also has some slight grey tones in there although it sounds odd I think these grey tones mimic my natural hair colour perfectly. This waxy pigment creates such a natural full looking brow. I have to admit I'm not really into big brows (sorry Cara) but I do think if you're after a bigger more dramatic brow that look can also be achieved with this. This is a versatile product that can be used for a natural look, or a dramatic brow.

As you can see from the pictures (above) I like to use the spoole brush through my brows. I then begin to fill them in I finish with a final brush and that's it. I do feel like I need a brow gel to finish off the look (the Anastasia one being pretty high on my wish list) just to set the brow and hold them in place.

All in all I'm in love with this product, it's so easy to use and I know as soon as this runs out I wouldn't hesitate to repurchase, I wouldn't even give it a second thought as I can't imagine being without this now.

Have you tried Brow Wiz? What products do you use in your brow routine?
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27/04/2014

Soap And Glory-Translucent BB Cream


Soap and Glory Translucent BB Cream

After reading a review over on Annie Writes Beauty I was intrigued by the Soap & Glory Translucent BB cream, after a quick tweet to Annie with confirmation that the product is indeed totally translucent a prompt purchase was made.

Well first thing's first ignore the BB in the title. This is a primer. Slightly disappointing as this did appeal to me as I haven't seen/heard of a translucent BB cream before. This product won't provide you with any coverage at all (something I would expect from a BB) this isn't tinted, it doesn't adapt to your skin tone- it's a primer.

So how does it perform as a primer? Well what can I say, it's love. This feels super light weight in texture, unlike some other products I have tried that add 'that glow' this doesn't feel heavy on the skin. The texture doesn't feel tacky, sticky or silconey like some other primers I have tried in the past. My skin feels…like it can breathe, I know this sounds ridiculous but does anyone else apply primer and feel like their skins coated in a film (maybe just me.) This doesn't prolong make up, or reduce oiliness. But for someone who suffers from dehydrated dull skin this really does give a boost. I feel like the overall finish after make up is a little brighter, slightly more dewy and radiant.

As with all Soap and Glory products this is scented, and after reading reviews on the Boots website it seems like quite a few people have suffered with breakouts after using this product. However if you have used S&G products before your skin should be fine. My skin is very sensitive and easily irritated, I haven't had any problems with this- all skin is different though.

It may be worth mentioning that this product also acts as a sun block, UVA/UVB SPF25. So this product will protect the skin to some extent (I still recommend a separate SPF for the summer time.) I like to apply this before a long run, especially if the weather is sunny as it does feel like it protects the skin. Soap and Glory also claim that this has skincare benefits, an in built serum. Although I can't say I've noticed the biggest difference in my skin, this does feel very hydrating, foundation doesn't cling to dry patches when I've applied this primer.

I see this product as the perfect transitional product, to transform those heavy matte bases into something with a slightly dewier finish. This works well applied under make up, and over make up. I also like to mix a little of this product into matte bases for a slightly more radiant finish.

Have you tried any Soap & Glory make up products? Are you a fan of a dewier base?
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24/04/2014

Eye Creams I Just Don't 'Get'

Eye Creams

Eye creams are something I never truly got on 'board' with. After a free Origins facial last summer the skin consultant explained the importance of eye creams, and how they help to keep the delicate eye area hydrated. I have to admit I nodded, agreed but remained cynical. Let's face it thing's are going to get baggy and thing's are going to get dark it's called 'ageing' for some it may be less noticeable but for most of us our eye area will change as we age. Now I truly believe no pot of cream is going to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, eye bags or dark circles, I do however believe that we should show this area of our face a little TLC if like me you like to wear concealer and eye make up on a daily basis you'll be no stranger to the tugging that happens daily to remove product around our eye area, so I do think an eye cream that hydrates is essential.

Over the past two years I've tried my fair share of eye products, and lets just the say the majority have left me very underwhelmed. Here are my thoughts on some of the formula's available on the high street-

Cooling eye gels

Eye gel's are a funny little product, although there's no denying that the metal applicator on most can be cooling/satisfying to use I have to admit the majority I have tried have left me underwhelmed. On application the metal tip is cooling and in effect slightly reduces puffiness. I haven't found many that reduce dark circles (as I mention above though I don't think there's any product for that.) I just don't know…every eye gel I've bought (inc Origins No Puffery) I've regretted buying. Although as I say they're fun to use, and cooling I don't find them to be all that hydrating on my eye area-certainly not a necessity in anyones skin care line up.

Greasy eye creams

Oh yup, we've all been there the tub says 'hydrating' this has to be the one right? Wrong, perhaps I'm picky but even when bedtime comes around I don't want to use heavy greasy pore clogging products on my skin. Thick creams feel greasy and seem to sit on the skin around my eye area (unlike others that seem to disappear on application.) Some thicker creams have even irritated my eyes in the past, as most seem to be packed full of essential oils (something my skin doesn't seem to like anyway!)

Illuminating  Glitter eye creams

Hands up, who wants disco ball eye bags? Yup thought not. I mean who really wants glitter particles in an eye cream, of all the eye creams I've tried these are the ones I truly don't understand. I initially thought this sort of eye cream may be for someone with a paler skin tone but after talking to friends and family it appears that the glitter particles are just as noticeable on paler skin tones. I understand where brands are going with this I truly do I mean everyone wants a brighter more awake eye area, but glitters really not the way to go guys. The Origins Ginzing sample is so glittery I've even resulted in using as a  highlighter on my brow bone and cheekbones! The Superdrug offering (pictured above) isn't any better in fact I think it's worse than Ginzing as this one also has a matte affect once you apply the product turns stiff and almost powder like on the skin so I was left with two white glittery smears under my eyes…yup very attractive.

So there we have it the eye creams I just don't get I'm yet to try one that truly hydrates and provides a nice base for concealer if anyone has any recommendations please leave them in the comments below as it's a step in my skin care line up that's not quite right.

Do you like eye creams? What are your faves?
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22/04/2014

#BloggersDoItBetter- 7 D.I.Y One Step Face Masks


D.I.Y Face masks

Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter, if you're anything like me and over indulged (just a tad) then this post couldn't have come at a better time. Yesterday and today I stepped up the cleansing and got a little busy in the kitchen whipping up some D.I.Y face masks to help clear my skin, and fight the chocolate induced spots I'm currently sporting. Today I thought I'd share my tried and tested face masks, some of these have been favourites of mine for years others are fairly new discoveries, I also thought I'd include a little 'Why does it work' bit as it's all said and done telling someone to rub milk on their face but if your mind's anything like mine you'll most likely want to know the how's and whys! 


1. Plain/Natural/Greek Yogurt 
I've used yogurt as a face mask for years, it works so well on my combination skin, I find that yogurt not only balances any oily patches but also hydrates dry skin. When my eczema flared up this calmed the irritation and cooled the itching. I just love this mask, unlike other masks I'll mention this one is easy creates minimum mess and stays put on your face. 

Why does it work? Well ladies and gents here's the science bit for you, yogurt contains a high level of Zinc, Zinc contains anti-inflammatory properties (hence calming my eczema) that can help reduce red swellings caused by acne or rashes. Zinc also helps regulate oil production in the sebaceous glands. Yogurt also contains lactic acid, this can help smoothen rough skin, exfoliate and even moisturise dry skin types. So go buy some yogurt it's a good un.  


2. Egg Yolk 
Not my favourite D.I.Y mask as I'm just not an egg person, but egg yolks always leave my skin looking smooth, hydrated and clear. Whisk the egg yolk in a bowl, reach for an old flat foundation brush and spread the yolk evenly across the face, leave for a few minutes then wash away. Although as I say I'm not an eggy person (unless it's chocolate) but this mask isn't a pain, minimum mess and the eggs (to me) are pretty much scentless (it doesn't smell like you've rubbed your face in scrambled egg.) 

Why does it work? So it's Zinc again folks, egg yolks contain Zinc (read above.) Other nutrients include vitamin B3 which not only hydrates the skin but also calms any inflammation. Yolks also contain Vitamin A, this can help to heal dry flaky or itchy skin. 


3. Egg Whites
Separate your egg whites, whisk (but not to much folks you might make meringue mmm meringue) apply to a cleansed face, unlike egg yolks the whites should turn stiff on your face meaning things are a little less gloopy. As soon as the egg whites are stiff rinse away to reveal radiant hydrated skin. Fun Fact: Did you know that egg white is actually the healthiest part of an egg?

Why does it work? Well unlike egg yolks the whites actually contain magnesium, magnesium helps to promote radiant skin (by adding lots of hydration.) Whites also contain potassium again another nutrient that does a fantastic job of hydrating/moisturising the skin. This mask really is fantastic for dry dehydrated skin types. 


4. Honey 
Prior to applying honey I use a warm flannel and coat my face, I feel like this allows to honey to soak deeper (some say this opens pores but I'm unsure about all of this pore opening and closing!) Using a flat foundation brush smear the honey across face (try not to lick it all off) leave for 15 minutes and wash away using cold water. 

Why does it work? Well Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it's great for acne treatment and prevention. Honey is also extremely moisturising and soothing, so it helps create 'that' glow. Fun fact: Try honey as a cleanser it's very effective, and less sticky then you think


5. Banana 
I hate Banana the smell, the texture (yak) so yes this D.I.Y mask isn't one of my favourites although I do have to admit that glowy radiant skin that follows certainly makes this mask a little addictive. I feel it's only right that this mask comes with a prior warning though, things get messy…real messy. Apply over a large bowl to avoid clogged drains/a bathroom that smells like ripe bananas. 

Why does it work? Banana is a great natural moisturiser for the skin. They contain Vitamin A which helps to restore lost moisture this also helps too repair damaged, dull and dry skin. If you suffer from dry skin, Banana will really help to get some of the moisture back. Even if your skin isn't dry I highly recommend this mask, as it's just leaves the skin looking super radiant and soft. For an added boost  try adding some honey for double benefits. Banana's also contain lots of vitamin C- a dull skin hero.


6. Avocado 
Hair, skin, gut, immune system- avocado is super good for us apparently. It's a shame I detest the stuff, the taste and texture really does not do anything for me (sorry avocado lovers!) 

Why does it work? These little green slimy goodness are filled to the brim with healthy fats. They also contain Omega-9 which helps to reduce skin redness and irritation and is involved in repairing damaged skin cells. Avocado's also contain a high level of vitamin E which helps protect the skin against sun exposure. Oh and yes they also contain a high level of vitamin C! 


7. Milk
Maybe Cleopatra was onto something here folks. As well as making a great face mask, milk also works really well as toner, this post here is really good as it tells you all the different uses for milk. I however have only used this as a mask/toner with a little honey mixed in. My skin always looks a lot brighter/smoother after using milk 
Why does it work? See number one. 


Are you a fan of D.I.Y masks which ones are your favourites? 
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20/04/2014

Three Way's To Save Money



From a young age I've been money conscious (the stars of 'Superscimpers' would be proud) I'm a little weird in the sense of I enjoy saving, I like to see money grow. In Secondary school I managed to secure myself a few cleaning jobs for family friend's (glamorous I know.) Although the wage was peanuts (at the time it seemed like millions) I learnt that if you work hard, you earn money (drilled in from a young age.) Although as I say these jobs didn't pay well I loved having the opportunity to save and although I didn't quite realise it at the time working and earning really taught me the value of money, and the key difference between 'wanting' and 'needing' items.

Without sounding like my mum (scary) saving is so important, there's no harm in starting young too (friends of a similar age still think it's crazy that I have a pension.) My main purposes for saving are rainy days, a car and eventually my own place. I have lots of little money boxes scattered around my room for loose change you'd be surprised how quickly they all add up. I also have an ISA account for larger savings, if you have an ISA (like me) the most effective way to use this is to set up a 'direct debit' (assuming you have a regular monthly salary) this allows the money to build and also allows you to budget money knowing your savings have automatically been taken out. When setting up the direct debit I also recommend a realistic figure, remember a small amount is better than nothing.

So here are my three tips for reducing monthly outgoings (for everyone this will be different, as everyone has different lifestyles but for anyone who's similar to me this may be helpful!)

1. Subscriptions

Come on hold your hand up we're all a little guilty of this one. Whether it's home/garden magazines (like my mum) or the latest beauty boxes we are all likely to have had some subscription service at one point in our lives. The majority of subscription services are not contractual (meaning you should be able to cancel at any point.) I was previously a subscriber to Birchbox which I really truly did enjoy receiving. Priced at £12.95 they seem pretty affordable right? £155.40 a year, still sound attractive? Thought not. When I worked out how much the yearly cost of Birchbox was I simply couldn't carry on with my subscription. Although to some £155 may not seem much, for myself it was money I'd rather see in my ISA. So after reviewing my personal finances I cancelled all subscriptions (no more Allure for me *insert sad face*) All the money that was previously going on subscriptions I now save in my ISA.

Total saved- £277.40 per year (by cancelling all subscription services, I'm now a boxless beauty blogger.)

2. APP Subscriptions & Gym Membership

If you own android/Apple products it may be worth checking any in app subscription services, although most apps only charge 69p for monthly renewal this can add up if you have several apps with the charge plus if it's not an App you use why keep it! To check any in app subscriptions go to iTunes-Open Account- iTunes Store- Purchase History.

A few months ago I also cancelled my gym membership, this saves me a total of £32 per month. If you have a gym membership find out your monthly payment, view price list and see how much a single session would cost (I know in my gym this was £5 a time) work out how many sessions in the gym/pool etc you would need to make your money back does it balance? If not, cancel. Don't worry you're not banned if you find yourself missing the gym you can always reactivate your membership or pay for single sessions. If you're not getting your money's worth it's really not worth keeping- and think of all the extra money you'll save.

Total I saved - £392 per year (whoa, that much money saved from cancelling my gym membership and app subscriptions.)

3. Spend your money

I know what you're thinking how will spending money save me money but hear me out. What I actually mean is don't pay by card and limit online spending. I like to call this form of shopping 'blind spending' let's face it most online stores now save card details with one click of a button you've spent. Swipe your card, enter your pin- again it doesn't really feel like you've spent a penny. Ladies and gents go old school, draw money out, hold money, budget with money. If anything I think this brings back the reality of spending. When you start the day with a purse full of money and end it empty, it brings back the harsh reality of spending and also allows you to think about your money more and limit impulse buys.

So there are my 'tips' I'm not sure if this post will be helpful to anyone but here are the three things I did over the past few months in order to get my finances back on track. For anyone who wants to start saving I would firstly recommend sitting down with pen and paper work out monthly outgoings/incoming -include small thing's e.g transport to work, weekly food bill. This will allow you to see how much money you have left and how much potentially you will be able to save.

What are your top  tips for saving money? I'd love to know, any help is greatly received as I've seriously been curbing the spending over the past few months.

P.S Totally unrelated but I recently got Pinterest I'm addicted if you'd like to follow you can here
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17/04/2014

BareMinerals Ready SPF20 Foundation


I'm a lazy oaf. Yeah that's just me I'm that girl who will quite happily choose five extra minutes in bed, and why yes I'm that girl that's looking into a tiny mirror on the bus with wonky eyeliner smudged across her face.  So ladies and gents here's me saying for a quick, easy, fuss free slap on and go with minimal blending type of base you need BareMinerals Ready foundation. 

Now, I'm no stranger to a bit of Bare Minerals, after trying the matte mineral powder a few years ago I was left underwhelmed. I found the matte powder emphasised dry patches and despite having combination skin it just wasn't for me. This made me hesitant to explore the brand further. 

However fast forward a few years and here we are, I'm glad to report my experience with the 'ready foundation' is all glowing (literally.) As you can see this is a pressed powder (odd for me as I usually favour loose powders) the packaging is very similar to NARS black, sleek but easily dirty. I like that this compact comes with a mirror super handy for touch ups. As with all foundation I recommend popping along to a counter for shade matching even more so with powder, as it’s much harder to rectify a dodgy shade (at least with liquid you can get mixing.) My shade is 'R430' although this does look a little orange toned in the pan I I find this blends seamlessly and isn’t at all detectable on the skin. I like to take my Real Techniques Multi task brush, swirl in the pan and gently buff the powder. I did initially use my RT buffing brush but I found that it was a tad too dense,  and picked up a too much product a lighter fluffier brush makes all the difference with pressed/loose powder. The finish (in my opinion) is natural, radiant and just looks like skin. I love wearing this as I don't get the "your foundation looks great' I get the "your skin is aaa-mazing" Oh yeah. 

On my combination skin this lasts well, skin gets slightly dewy towards the end of the day but never overly oily. On my make under the sales assistant used a finishing powder which made my skin look so flawless (mineral veil in tan) it was promptly added to my wish list but for now I simply set the powder with my Laura Mercier translucent powder. For those with drier skin types you may find powder on powder too much however the BM powders are designed to be used in this way, layered without cakiness.

The coverage is buildable; I will however mention that for those girls who like a full coverage product this may not be for you. Although the product is buildable and you can create the desired amount of coverage I still like to go in with my trusty NARS concealer too cover up any blemishes and pigmentation. That being said I have found myself reaching for this powder on an everyday basis. There's something about this that's…addictive to me, it's convenient to use and mess free. The finish is radiant, and this just makes my skin appear a lot clearer than it actually is. I like that my skin can still breathe, this doesn't feel like it blocks my pores.

I also find that this powder works brilliantly layered over sheer bases such as tinted moisturisers, BB creams if I require more coverage (spotty face!) I do however find myself wearing this on its own almost every day. I can imagine this being the perfect base for summer time too.

Are you a fan of mineral make up?
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15/04/2014

Topic 8: Monochrome Madness


On 'Rinica Writes' there not been many fashion related posts (translation zero) all with good reason though as I'm pretty much a jeans and sweater kinda girl. Although I love reading endless fashion blogs (I admire your style you're all gorgeous) and I seem to spend a lot of time browsing the latest styles and trends I'm just sadly not very confident when it comes to fashion or embracing new trends. 2014 is hopefully the year I get my confidence back and try some new trends. One trend that I will pretty much be rocking every single year (whether it's on trend or not) is monochrome. It's easy, it's simple and it pretty much suits every shape and size.

Leather Jacket- Mango 
Playsuit- Misguided 
Boots New Look (sold out)
Bag- Zara (sold out)
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13/04/2014

A NARS Wishlist


Okay so it's pretty well documented that I'm in love with all thing's NARS (see here, here, here and here.) I'm not sure how they do it but everything I try from the brand just seems to work wonders on my skin. NARS fill a lot of categories in my make up collection they provide me with my all time favourite long lasting base (in my perfect shade), they give my dull skin radiance with my favourite powder, and for those late nights NARS has me covered (again) with one of the best concealers I've tried. I'm just fully in love with the brand, which is quite sad really as they don't currently have counter in the city I live in (Sheffield) and when it comes to make up I really do like to touch/feel and swatch. However, that hasn't stopped my wish list from growing over the past few months so today I thought I'd put together a little wish list of all the NARS products I'm currently coveting after-

NARS Deep Throat

This is an everyday kinda blush for me. On a visit to London last year the MUA showed me 'deep throat' (that sounds dodgy) I actually looked bemused with my darker complexion I truly did question wether this would even show up on my skin tone. However this adds the perfect peachy glow to my cheeks, it also doubles up as a highlight for me as it seems to chisel my chubby cheeks a little. I recently hit pan (I never hit pan on blushes) and need to repurchase this asap as I didn't realise until it was gone how much I actually used it. Also on my NARS blush wish list is the 'Taj Mahal' it's a golden (very golden) bronzy colour that apparently works perfect as a contour on darker skin tones. Watch-this-space.

Eyeshadow Duo in 'Kalahari'

Bit late to the party on this one as this seems to be a popular duo in the blogosphere. After googling lots of swatches and reading lots of reviews I'm come to the conclusion that this would be a lovely neutral pallet, I do believe it could work nicely on my skin tone for a everyday eyeshadow look. I also think the colours would provide a nice base for other eye shadows, a moss green colour combined with these  colours could look lovely (I'm trying to get more creative with my eyeshadow looks this year.)

Contour Duo

There's something about this product that just appeals to me, available in 3 shades that cater to all skin tones these sets are basically a bronzer blush hybrid and a highlighter in one easy to go to kit. Contouring is something that I haven't quite mastered yet (as I often don't notice a difference!) I'd love to experiment with this kit though and I can imagine the darker shade working really well with my skin tone.

Radiance Primer


In January I had a trip to London (I visit London an awful lot perhaps I should just set up base there) on a make over at NARS the MUA used this primer. Primer is something that I'm not at all happy with at the moment, I'm currently using one that does nothing for my skin (I refuse to stop using it until it's finished as it was so expensive.) When the make up artist applied this primer it felt cooling on the skin, had a gel none silicone texture and made the biggest difference to my dull skin. At the counter the lady even showed me my skin before/after applying the primer and my complexion just looked so much more radiant! I think this made the biggest difference to the overall appearance of my skin and the finished look.

Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser


The NARS skincare range isn't something I hear much about, however this moisturiser appealed to me. With the words 'oil free' and 'luminous' in the same sentence I was intrigued. If the quality of the skincare line is as good as the make up I can imagine I will probably love. This seems like it would have a gel texture which I personally prefer during the summer time as my skin gets super oily.

Arabian nights pallet 

Wow. That's the only word I can use to describe this pallet. I have lots of eye shadows in my collection but I do think I'm missing something like this pallet. Something for a big bold dramatic smoky eye look, I love how this has a dark purple shimmery shade too it adds some interest and I think it will provide a unique take on a smoky eye. Obviously not an everyday pallet but I am missing something shimmering in my current collection. After googling swatches of this pallet the colours look extremely pigmented too. 

Powder foundation 

So I love sheer glow, I love the light reflecting powder, and I love the tinted moisturiser. It's fair to say I'm a lover of a NARS base, so I'd love to try this powder. As my skin gets oilier I like to switch things up and use a powder through summer time, this one looks really creamy in the texture but also makes promises of a matte base (without the cakiness) I can sort of imagine that this will be sheer in texture perfect lighter base for summer time? Perhaps.

Whew, that was wordy what a long wish list. What are your favourite products by NARS? What are you currently lusting after? 
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10/04/2014

Clinique Take The Day Off Balm



This cleansing balm from Clinique was raved about in the blogosphere towards the end of last year. Never being the sort of person who promotes waste I waited until my current make up remover of choice (Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean) came to an end, before making a purchase. 

I usually favour cleansing balms/oils to remove my make up as most micellar waters I've tried have a tendency to strip my sensitive skin, I also find they're less of a faff to use (5 soaked cotton pads, and a face still full of make up just ain't my style!) Cleansing balms/oils add a little bit of added nourishment  to my skin, and I've found that they also help to regulate sebum- my face is a lot less oily. Granted it can feel odd massaging your make up covered face in a greasy oil or balm but I find this method truly removes all make up. I think the price point is pretty spot on here, £21 for a rather large tub, as only a small amount is needed per cleanse I can see this lasting a long time. 

Similarly to most of the cleansing balms on the market this has a solid texture, but instantly melts when it comes in to contact with heat. There’s no fragrance which I personally prefer as I find the balms that are packed with essential oils/fragrance cause my skin to freak out. 

On application this does feel oily (as you would expect from a balm/oil cleanser) never fear though as no tacky residue is left behind. I really enjoy using this, massaged into my face this feels super soothing (you can also use around your eye area) remove with a flannel and my skin is left smooth, plump and squeaky clean. 

In all honesty this balm isn’t spectacular it won't change the appearance, look or feel of the skin however if you're after a product that will remove a make up (without stripping or irritating) and super heavy eye make up then this balm may be worth a try. 

What are your favourite make up removers? Do you favour cleansing oils/balms or are you Bioderma all the way?
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08/04/2014

Lee Stafford Treatment



Woah January feels like ages ago, anyway back in January I was super lucky and won Beauty in Beta’s amazing giveaway (if you haven’t checked out her blog please do everything from fashion to beauty) I was super chuffed to win. Included in the prize was this hair growth treatment from Lee Stafford. I’m quite judgemental when it comes to brands, if I try one product from a range or line and truly dislike I’m unlikely to go back and explore the range further. I had previously tried the Lee Stafford dry shampoo which I truly would not recommend (it made my roots even oilier!) This mask however is truly divine. I do think the branding is a little gimmicky as lets face it no product will make your hair grow quicker, only regular trims can do that! Branding aside though this hair mask is a gem. 

This hair treatment has a light weight feel almost milky in texture (like yoghurt!) When I first opened and smelt this I didn’t think it would be anything spectacular, however after rinsing the product I could feel an automatic difference in the texture of my hair. With hair masks or treatments I do like to see them work, and I could definitely see and feel a difference in my hair. 

After blowdrying my hair it was smoother, softer and frizz free and a whole lot more manageable (my hair usually gets very tangly!) I'm on and off at using this (I chop and change my hair routine a lot) on the days I use it I do notice the biggest difference in my hair, it's just softer and healthier looking. 

This mask has a subtle inoffensive scent that does linger in the hair a little. Despite instructions I like to apply this to the ends of my hair (I always avoid roots with hair masks as they have a tendency to get a little oily) Awhile back I reviewed the Redken extreme range. If your after a hair mask that’s a little cheaper and does the exact same job as the Redken treatment, I highly recommend this as they're highly comparative. The only difference is colour, Lee Stafford's offering has a salmon pink colour, as appose to Redkens White colour also the Redken mask is a tiny bit thicker in texture. My favourite is actually Lee Stafford -it smells a lot nicer!  

Have you tried any hair care bits from Lee Stafford? 
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07/04/2014

#BloggersDoItBetter- Spring Skincare


Spring is here (she says looking out at the dreary rain.) Topic 1 of the #BloggersDoItBetter (click link for more information on the challenge) has us talking about all thing's spring, as I enjoy skincare I decided to take the skincare route. Sadly I am one of those people who has to swap up my skincare routine dependant on the season, through winter my skin gets extremely dehydrated I get dry patches and thing's get a little lack lustre. When summer approaches my skin turns into a grease ball. Keeping things shine free and fresh becomes my ultimate goal, I also find I'm more prone to break outs through summer (not what you want through summer) my skincare needs a revamp through spring/summer here's how things shape up- 


Oily/Balm Cleansers - Cream/foaming cleansers 

Straight away oily balm cleansers are stashed away until winter, cream cleansers and foaming cleaners are promoted from the bench. For summer without doubt I need cleansers that are going to lift excess oil, remove all traces of make up and leave my skin with that fresh squeaky clean feeling. I find cream cleansers do a brilliant job of removing dirt/excess oil without stripping my face. I like to use a cream cleanser in the evenings and something that foams in the morning. Something aimed at blemish prone skin does the trick for me, although these can be a little stripping and through the winter they cause my skin to panic though summer (as things are more greasy) I find they work well with my skin type. 


Add a toner 

Meh toners, there neither here nor there. Some work, the majority don't. I still love my Kiehl's one and I truly notice a difference when I'm using it. Through the summer though I like to alternate by introducing a tea tree toner (I love the LUSH one) tea tree has antibacterial properties this really helps calm down my oily and spotty skin. I also enjoy using the Liz Earle skin tonic (full review coming soon) it contains cucumber and aloe extract I find it to be so cooling on my skin and although it's novelty I do find this my perfect skincare companion through summer. 

Thick creamy moisturisers- Lighter gel moisturisers

It's a no brainer with oily skin I need to switch to a lighter moisturiser through summer time. Last year it came in the form of something zesty an old blogger favourite…Origins Ginzing. However so far this spring I've returned to a sample of the Elemental Herbology Moisture milk something I had previously abandoned. I originally didn't like this but for some reason it now works with my skin, be warned it does smell a little funky. However this balances my oily skin, provides enough hydration, gives me a matte finish and also prevents breakouts. This also makes a lovely base for SPF as well as working really well mixed with oils/serums for a night time treatment 

SPF

Yes dears you're going to hear it on every blog over the next few months so I shall save you the lecture. However Spring is the time to crack out those SPF creams. I really like the Clinique sheer city block as it has a sheer tint of colour to it, it doesn't block my pores, my skin never feels tacky or sticky in the slightest 

So that's all folks the skincare swaps I'll be making through out spring/summer don't forget to keep your eyes out on my blog as I'll be putting together a spring/summer skincare wish list as there's lots I've got my eyes. Do you change up your skincare routine throughout Spring/summer?  
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06/04/2014

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Malaga

With my bedroom full of daffodils, and the sun currently shining, I can’t help but get that na├»ve (British) feeling that spring has sprung. For us make up addicts spring calls for a lighter base. Gone are the matte heavy finishes, out comes the dewy light coverage bases. That been said if you suffer from an oily complexion like myself you may still be reaching for those matte bases through summer. Luckily for me though I have my lighter base covered. 

As you can see from the picture it’s NARS again…yes it’s fair to say “My name is Rinica Warner and I’m officially a NARS addict.” But in all seriousness is there anything NARS can’t do Sheer glow is my favourite foundation, they produce some amazing pallets, the eye shadows are buttery, the blushes are pigmented and for lips…well take your pick. NARS seems to do everything and do it well and this tinted moisturiser is no exception. 

Tinted moisturisers and I have a love/hate relationship, I’ve tried so many from drugstore to high end and the majority have left me underwhelmed. Quite often they feel tacky on my skin, oil free formula's are difficult to blend, and some even leave me with a wet finish, looking super greasy come mid-day just isn’t for me. But my main gripe is in fact shade range, the majority are so limited. You have light, medium, dark even in higher end tinted moisturisers the shade range is a little off, paler shades are super yellow tones, darker shades are orange toned-so if you’re not a member of The Simpsons or an Ompa Lompa your pretty much doomed.

So, when the NARS Pure radiant tinted moisturiser was presented to me I was extremely hesitant. It started with a sample and within a week I just had to buy the full size. This isn’t tacky in the slightest; the texture is almost velvety and blends seamlessly. This doesn’t accentuate dry patches, but this also doesn’t leave my skin looking super greasy.NARS (as with all their products) have a wide shade range (available in 11 shades) and pretty much have the palest of complexions covered, with a variety of darker shades chucked in for good measure (which I like to see as ONE dark shade does not match everyone take note other brands.)

I find that this lasts and doesn’t shift on my face throughout the day, the coverage is light to medium, on application my skin appears more radiant (as the name would suggest) this definitely won’t provide you with full coverage, my dark pigmentation is covered nicely but spots may shine through however you can layer with this (without cakiness) to cover any pigmentation and spots are covered to some extent. I always go in with my NARS concealer to cover further redness.

Apparently there are skincare benefits with this, I’m not 100% sure how true those claims are as I have only used the product for three months. NARS claim that this brightens hyperpigmentation this may be down to the fact that it contains a high SPF30. 

If you haven’t guessed already I LOVE this. Skin can breathe, doesn’t feel cakey but I still achieve the desired coverage I want from a tinted moisturiser. All through summer, and my holiday I will be using this as I truly am smitten with it.

Have you tried the NARS Tinted moisturiser? Do you favour lighter bases when the sun starts shining? What are your favourite NARS products I need want more

P.S For anyone who may be interested I wear the shade 'Malaga' the picture above is the tinted moisturiser finish I haven't added powder. 
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03/04/2014

Coping with eczema


In today's post I thought I'd talk about an unglamorous topic, eczema. I'm not a trained dermatologist but after a recent flare up I picked up a few tips and tricks that really helped. I'm now at the stage where my skins looking pretty clear, and happy (touch wood) so I thought I would share some tips I picked up along the way-

Bit of background as a young child I used to suffer badly with eczema on my face and body, it used to be super itchy and super sore. If your eczema is extreme I highly recommend a visit to your GP as they should be able to provide you with antibiotics and an emollient cream. As my recent flare up was relatively minor I decided to tackle it myself- 

Tip no.1 Speak up to your GP

If your eczema is bad and your referred to your GP. Don't suffer in silence. I remember in my teenage years visiting my GP and being prescribed Diprobase (a thick nasty cream, calms down itching but blocks pores badly!) I remember thinking there was no other option other than Diprobase, it used to leave my skin shiny and cause breakouts. If you are unhappy with the mediation or cream prescribed remember to speak up as there's always more options and things to try.

Tip no. 2 Remain cool as a cucumber 

Try not to panic (easier said then done.) I had really bad eczema all along my hair line at the time I also had a lot of breakouts going on, I found myself getting worked up and stressed as products seemed to make everything worse. For every spot I cleared three more came out. What I didn't realise at the time was stressing out, constantly worrying about them and slapping on every product I own in a mild panic did nothing but make my skin worse.

Tip no. 3 Condense your skincare 

Don't pile on products. If you notice a flare up the best thing you can do is condense your skincare and I mean go right back to basics. Cleanser, toner, moisturiser. No serums, oils or face masks. Zero treatments. I noticed the biggest difference in my eczema when I stripped back the products I was using, whenever you have a break out, or something like eczema which can leave your skin pretty dry the obvious thing to do is pile on hydrating products, serums, spot creams. When really all this will do is aggravate skin further.

Tip no. 4 Review your skincare

Take a quick look at the products your using, I personally found that foaming cleansers were aggravating my skin. Try to look for a skincare line targeted at sensitive skin, alcohol free and clean ingredients. Try to use products from the same skin care range, this way you know they will all have similar ingredients if one product works chances are your skin should be fine with the rest 

Tip no. 5 Not just skincare

If your suffering from eczema on your body, review the shower gels, creams and bath products your using. However boring it sounds try to use fragrance free products or ranges aimed at sensitive skin. Oddly enough I only had eczema around my hairline, which made me point the finger at haircare. If like me you suffer with eczema near your hair line review your hair care routine. Look for shampoos and conditioners that don't contain sulphates these are known to aggravate eczema. 

Tip no. 6 Food & exercise

Eczema can be triggered by certain foods in your diet. It may be worth visiting your GP as certain food allergies have been linked to eczema. I also encourage regular exercise, this will help with tip no. 2 regularly sweating it out will help your skin anyway, but especially when suffering from eczema as I found my skin to be dry, and a little lack lustre. 

Tip no.7 Consider supplements 

Eating a balanced varied diet is important anyway. But I highly recommend introducing Zinc and evening primrose oil supplements if you suffer from eczema, I noticed a difference within 4 weeks they really helped to calm down my skin

So there we have it, a few obvious but simple tips to dealing with eczema, I hope this post may have being helpful to some of you.

Do you have any tips for sensitive skin, or eczema? 
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01/04/2014

Topic 7: Month Of March


For topic 7 of the #2014Bloggerchallenge Gabby asked us to share some pictures in a ‘day of the life’ or ‘my week in pictures’ post. In all honesty I don't lead the most glamorous of lifestyles in fact I’m pretty much your average Joe. I work, study, party and eat. However I guess I am quite fortunate in that I get to travel, and have mini weekend breaks in the UK on quite a frequent basis. Anyway hopefully this post won’t be too much of a drag, I decided to put a few pictures together that I’d taken throughout the month of March...

Bridlington- Bridlington pier is kind of pretty. I have a friend who recently moved to Bridlington for work, so I decided to hop on a train and have a visit. Bridlington is a pretty little town in Yorkshire in all honesty though it's a bit of a ghost town. I probably wouldn’t recommend for a weekend away as well... there isn’t much to do! 

Escape to the country- This picture is of my nans pooch we were on our way to Castleton (a lovely village in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, England.)  I love the country and Castleton truly is beautiful.  There's just something so relaxing about going somewhere that’s quiet, still and unruined. I come back feeling refreshed and although it sounds cheesy it really does clear my mind- I'm such a country girl at heart.

Tuesday pool day- Every Tuesday me and the fella go play pool. As we both get Tuesday’s off it’s become a perfect date day. However we’ve quite taken to pool, were both pretty competitive though it never ends well but either way we enjoy our Tuesday pool day.

A day in the Peaks- This landscape shot is actually from the Monsail trail in the Peak District. If you live near the area or fancy a drive out I would highly recommend. The scenery is stunning, and the bike trail itself is super enjoyable. The cycle route is built around the old Midland Railway line and is 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, ends in Bakewell.  It's a great day out (weather permitting.) Luckily throughout March we had some pretty lovely weather here in the UK so I took advantage and spent a lot of time outdoors (I’m a summer chick at heart!) 

Gym Goer- I eat loads, I used to be that girl everyone hated the kind that could eat loads of crap, drink lots of booze but maintain my size 8 figure. Sadly those days are gone and I only have to look at cake and I gain 6 pounds. So I’m a regular fitness fanatic, I love going for a run or working out at home. I have lots of work out DVD’s that I enjoy or I sometimes do the Blogliates videos which I love.

Tour of Torquay- Another landscapey picture but I was also lucky enough to have a little weekend in Torquay throughout March, it’s my second time visiting. I highly recommend Torquay there’s beautiful scenery, the best chip shop and a whole high street full of shops. I highly recommend a visit to Meadfoot beach it’s simply stunning.We also managed a day out at the zoo. No matter what anyone tells me your never to old for a day at the zoo. I had such a good time. 

Seeing old friends- I got to spend a lot of time with an old school friend who was back in the UK for a few weeks (she lives in Australia now!) It was fantastic to spend some time with an old friend, it reminded me how important it is to put time aside and spend time with old friends. 

Being Bold- Through March I got creative with my lips and rocked some pretty bold lip colours (bold for me!) If anything it taught me how a strong bold lip can brighten up my complexion even when I looked or felt a little poo wearing a bright lip colour made me look brighter and feel happier. 

What did you get up to through the month of March? I'd Love to know. 

P.S Don't forget to follow me on Instagram if scenery/food shots are your kinda thing @rinicawrites
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