Wednesday, 28 August 2013

MUA Review Series #2: Matte Perfect Loose Powder

This week there was a clear candidate for review: the MUA Product I use the most.

Sadly with skin that is oilier than is convenient, I'm never going to be able to slap on some foundation and float off to work for the day looking dewy and ethereal, it's always going to be so-shiny-you-can-almost-see-your-face-in-it come lunchtime.  I've had to powder since about the age of 13 and now aged 25 I think I'm justified in feeling a little short-changed with the skin I have acquired.
I've gone through numerous different powders in search of the best option to keep my make up in place and limit the dreaded shine.  I concluded several years ago that pressed powders are not for me; they don't last long enough before reaching the bottom and cracking (packaging, not face), and I've never liked any I've tried - most notably Rimmel Stay Matte and No7 pressed powder which is that bad it deserves it's own post.

Now although loose powder is despised by my mother and boyfriend alike due to it's messy nature I am happy to overlook this for the finish it gives and the fact it lasts longer than a month before cracking and smearing it's contents over my make-up bag...yes, you again, No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder.
For a while I had an extended dalliance with No7 Perfect Loose Powder: I like both the smooth finish and the sweet little packaging it comes in, but I do not like the price - £10.50.  Think on's essentially dust to put on your t-zone, and you aren't high end. While I'm on the subject, your mascaras are overpriced too.  There, I said it.

MUA Matte Perfect Loose Powder came into my life rather suddenly and without any prior research. Living life on the edge. Naturally suspicious of anything seeming too cheap to be true, I fully expected to be palming it off onto my freeloading student sister within a week. 
The colour despite purporting to be 'transparent' looked rather too dark for me and I feared orangeface.
As it turns out it really is transparent and it gives a smooth finish as good as any more expensive powder I've used. The staying power is average on me - I first apply around 6.30am and generally need to touch up my t-zone by 11am ish. I've never had a powder that has lasted all day so I'm happy with this. It doesn't give me flatface, or sit in my pores. The main ingredient is talc, so it has the potential to irritate, but I've had no issues.

MUA's description is as follows, and I can't disagree with any of it:
"Make-up Academy’s Matte Perfect Loose Translucent Powder is an extremely lightweight sheer and silky setting powder. This finely milled loose powder fixes your foundation in place, perfect for minimising oiliness and unwanted shine. The micro fine featherweight texture means that it never looks powdery or feels heavy over foundation. It disappears on the skin brightening up your make up whilst keeping it in place throughout the day."

The reason I know it's good is that my head is so easily turned by make up, yet I haven't even looked to buy any different powders. I've used it every day since buying it and I'm now on my 3rd little pot of it. I've recommended it to my sister and friend and they both really like it too. I'd say it lasts around 2 months for me, and that's probably with 2 touch ups during the day.

However, MUA, in case you thought you were completely home and dry, I do have a few gripes; packaging.
1)Firstly, I know it is cheap, but must it look so cheap?! A horrible white lid, with childish pink writing that rubs off rather too easily, is not something I want to get out to touch up in public.
2) Having oily skin, I need my powder to accompany me throughout the day.  As there is nothing to stop the powder coming out, every time I take off the lid there is a messy pool of powder sat looking at me on top of the sifter bit.  Would it really cost that much more to put in a little extra layer to stop that happening?  My aforementioned mother and boyfriend would be most grateful..!

Actually, I thought I had more gripes than that.  2 is pretty good going. Buy it! :)

MUA Matte Perfect Loose Powder is available from Superdrug priced £2.50 and MUA's website at £2.30.

Have you tried this? What are your favourite MUA products? I'd love some more recommendations!

If you missed #1 from my MUA review series you can catch up here.  

Suzy xx

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

#theSOproject WEEK 1: SKINCARE

So welcome to theSOproject!
I haven't done an introductory post to this series as I think it's pretty widely known and no one wants to read 150 versions of the same thing do they! It is going to be 10 weeks on different themes relating to starting out with make up and beauty, with a view to giving younger and less experienced readers some handy hints and tips about super duper products and techniques for using them.

This post is all about skincare, which I think could be a difficult one for me as I can tend to wang on about this to anyone that dares to look in my direction! I shall try and keep it short, sweet and not too ranty, however.
I should probably mention that I have oily skin, which results in the odd spot and perennially clogged pores. So my routine might not suit those with dry skin as you'll maybe need more moisture.

Keeping skincare simple and without 1000 steps is what's important as far as I'm concerned.  Who has the £££ to be buying superfluous lotions and potions and more to the point who the heck can be faffed with a gruelling 30 minute routine either in the morning or evening?! I'm pretty much of the opinion that if you're putting on 10 layers of various toners, serums, oils and moisturisers, at least some of them are cancelling each other out.  Pointless.

So keep it simple: cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturise.  Then leave well alone and get on with the rest of your day!

If you are using soap...STOP. It isn't 1945 and we don't still have rationing. I find it bizarre that soap even still exists! It strips away your natural oils, dries your skin out terribly and most are so heavily perfumed that they're likely to irritate your skin and cause nasty spots.
Cleansing wipes: these really are vilified in beauty circles.  Okay, the ingredients wont do your skin any good as such, and they should never be used as your only cleanser, but for me, as a quick first cleanse, to get rid of my eye make up especially, I haven't found anything I prefer.  Bioderma is ineffective at removing my mascara and I have to use far too much of it, which is expensive and time consuming. In my opinion as long as you're washing it off with a proper cleanser afterwards, a face wipe is absolutely fine for a pre-cleanse.
At the moment I'm really enjoying using Boots Essentials Fragrance Free Wipes, which are £1.50.

Next you need a proper cleanser: preferably not a foaming one as SLS, which enables the cleanser to foam, strips the moisture from the skin. I'm currently using Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Cleanser, which is 70% organic and wonderfully gentle on my skin.
A cleansing milk also gives effective but gentle cleansing, I love Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Milk, as it can be gently massaged into the skin to remove the make up and dirt, and then washed off with water and a flannel. 

I recently wrote about using a cleansing brush such as Clarisonic, or No7, which is something to think about but certainly not an essential purchase when you are first getting into looking after your skin.


To have lovely clear skin you need to be exfoliating regularly.  I don't mean the god-awful manual exfoliants that my Fiancé describes as rubbing bits of rock on your face, but an acidic exfoliant, to clean out the pores. It doesn't hurt at all, despite sounding quite extreme.

I use Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion morning and night as it is so gentle, but efficiently cleans my pores with salicylic acid. I have also tried Pixi Glow tonic, which didn't go so well as I explained here.
I also love Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion for this purpose, as it does a wonderful job on any blackheads.  I usually use this at night, never in the day because the BHA can cause sun damage if not protected by using an SPF.

It might seem a little extreme to essentially double tone - exfoliating toner and then normal toner, but it's important to get some moisture back into your skin after the acid has worked it's magic.
The toner should never contain alcohol as it defeats the purpose by drying out the skin.
I'm using Michael Todd Blue Gree Algae Toner which I blogged about recently as it is super moisturising due to the hyaluronic acid it contains. I also like Lancôme Tonique Douceur, but for £22 I don't feel there are enough skin care benefits compared to the Michael Todd which is around £11.50.

Moisturiser is the area of skincare I feel least qualified to talk about: I still don't feel I've found what completely works for my skin and I'm still pretty much on a merry-go-round of trying new ones out.  The one I've stuck with for the longest, purely because it protects me with a high SPF and it doesn't irritate my skin is Clinique Superdefense, but I don't feel like it's working hard enough to justify the colossal £38 price tag. I'm going to have a look at REN next for moisturiser, but on the more budget-friendly side, Adam absolutely swears by Aldi Lacura Aqua Moisture Cream, and he has ridiculously sensitive skin so it must be good!

What products would you recommend for cleansing, toning and moisturising?  I would love to hear about them!

Suzy xx

Monday, 26 August 2013

My Bank Holiday Weekend

Bank holidays are a wonderful creation.  Everyone is so much happier and nicer at the prospect of a longer weekend and shorter working week and we all feel somewhat compelled to arrange activities outside of our usual routine that we wouldn't do any other time!
I'm potentially the least outdoorsy person I know - I own not a single pair of jeans or a fleece and I suffer a minor meltdown at the sight of a spider or wasp.  In spite of this I find myself on a camping trip every August. I'm telling you, bank holidays do strange things to people. 

This year we decided we would go to Austwick, North Yorkshire. 

We didnt get off to the best start when upon arrival after work on Friday night, in the rain, we headed over to the toilet blocks, which were of questionable cleanliness and full of spiders and the biggest daddy-longlegs I've ever seen! I did wonder how I would get through the 3 days at that point! 

Waking up to glorious sunshine and ready for a day of exploring the local area, I didn't even complain (too much) about the freezing cold shower.
We went to Settle for the day, and did one of my favourite things - spent hours wandering around all of the unusual little shops.  So in love with the quirkly little boutiques was I, that I saw Boots and didn't even want to go in!
Settle is a peculiar place; it could be any little northern market town, but it is slap bang in the middle of the most beautiful scenery and interesting landscape. It's hilly and a real pain to drive around but it's well worth the effort.

On Sunday we had a really lovely Sunday Lunch at The Harts Head Inn, in Giggleswick.  It was an unusually perfect combination of olde worlde charm and excellent food. Plus the desserts were amazing: Lemon Ice Cream Brûlée. I can't even describe...

We then decided to go Malham, to see the Cove and the Tarn and following a really rather difficult drive there on single track lanes and 14% inclines we made it to the beautiful tarn where we had a long walk and then sat in the sunshine for a while contentedly drinking Elderflower and Blackberry juice.  We had a drive up more treacherous roads to see Malham cove and then went back into the village to the most beautiful pub, where we sat at a table outside and watched the world go by for a little while. 

We all had a really fun and relaxing weekend, and North Yorkshire is stunning, but I can't describe how ready I am for a hot shower, a warm comfy bed, and phone reception!

Hope you enjoyed having a little nosey at what I got up to this weekend.
What did you spend your bank holiday doing?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Michael Todd: Blue Green Algae Toner

Just a quick post today to tell you about my favourite facial toner - Blue Green Algae from Michael Todd True Organics.

 I use this as my second toner, both morning and night.  First I use an acidic toner such as Clinique extra mild clarifying lotion, or Paula's Choice BHA and then Blue Green Algae Toner to put moisture back into my skin and as an antibacterial layer.

It smells wonderfully fresh and it definitely contributes to a reduction in spots. It's really moisturising due to the hyaluronic acid, is anti-inflammatory and l would basically drink the stuff if it wasn't a terrible idea.
It contains no alcohol or other nasties and is 97% organic. The ingredients list is reassuringly natural:

Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, Ascophyllum Nodosum (Organic Kelp) Extract, Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae (Organic Blue Green Algae) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Salix Nigra (Black Willowbark) Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Fruit) Pulp Powder, Sodium Chloride (Dead Sea Salt), Polysorbate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Essential Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Glucolactone, Citric Acid, Lavendula Angustifolia (Certifed Organic) Hydrosol.

You get 230ml of product which is great as it lasts ages - I've been using this bottle for about 4 months and after using twice daily (and Adam sneaking a few uses) I have just under half left.
The only drawback, (literally only, and it's rare I have no criticisms of a product) is that MTTO is an American company, and although they do ship to the UK, you have to pay import duty at 20%.
However, even with the import duty added MTTO products are still significantly cheaper than products of equivalent quality from the uk, and delivery is pretty speedy.
Even better is that they currently have a ridiculously generous 30% off everything on their website running until Sunday 25th August at midnight (code BTH30).

The toner is available here \and is $18 - around £11.50, so with the 30% off it's a real bargain! I'd be happy to pay full price though, it really is that good! 

Have you tried this toner or any other Michael Todd  products?


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Never again: Pixi Glow Tonic

I've needed to get this off my chest for a few weeks now: Caroline Hirons, I love you, but this stuff is never coming near my face again!
Why I did it to myself I don't know; I had several perfectly functioning acidic exfoliants that worked really well, but the grass is always greener, isn't it?!
One tweet that the glow tonic was back in stock and I had a bottle on it's way to me within 5 minutes. Is it just me or is there something about a product being stock limited that does crazy things to your brain?

I had such high hopes for this stuff.  In theory it should have worked wonders for my skin; glycolic acid to clean out the pores, and witch hazel, ginseng and aloe vera to tone, smooth and stimulate the skin.
Sadly, the glycolic acid seems to have reacted with my skin in a way salycilic acid or BHA doesn't and after 5 day's use I ended up with very angry, red skin.  I developed spots the like of which i've never seen; nasty cystic acne-type under the skin mounds, and I even ended up with a little pimple just inside my nose. Attractive.

I didn't care for the smell either.  My fiance decribed it as smelling  like 'old pensioner' and I think that's fairly accurate. The packging is actually lovely though, I really like the simple bottle with squared sides, and it has a pump which means you don't waste any product.

This wouldn't put me off trying Pixi products in the future and I'll definitely be popping into the store next time i'm in London, probably in September as their make up line looks beautiful and I'd like to try their face masks too.  Just not this.  Ever again.

Pixi Glow Tonic is available only by mail order or in their London store (not on their website) I paid £16.50, plus postage. 

I've now gone back, with my tail between my legs, to my old faithfuls: Paula's Choice BHA and Clinique Extra Mild Clarifying Toner, which do a wonderful job of clearing out my pores, and the horrible spots on my face have gone, thank goodness!


Monday, 19 August 2013

My current favourite foundation: Rimmel Match Perfection

I'm a hard one to please with foundation. I've spent absolute fortunes on the stuff trying to find the right one and have unfortunately fallen for Internet hype on some occasions (I'm looking at you healthy mix serum), leading to a drawer full of expensive mistakes looking mockingly up at me when I open it..!

I have two main problems with finding a foundation to suit:

1) I have oily skin. Companies are pushing dewy-look foundation and if I go down that route we'll have a landslide on my face come lunchtime. Matte foundations dry my skin out and cling to any spots so that's no good either.

2) I have really pale skin. I'm always the palest shade (except in MAC) and even then the palest shade is sometimes too dark, especially with cheaper foundations. Higher end make up counters seem determined that I'm a shade darker and always match me up to their equivalent of shade 2, rather than shade 1, so I've had several expensive purchases I've been unable to use for fear of brightorangeface; lesson learnt!

Then came along a complete whim of a purchase: Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation. It was my '3' in my 3 for 2 in boots and I wasn't expecting it to be brilliant cos it was fairly cheap and I've hated every rimmel foundation I've tried. But I was happily proven wrong and I'm on my 3rd bottle now.
The shade 100 Ivory is perfect for my skin tone and the finish on the skin is lovely; it doesn't 'set' like a matte foundation but its not ridiculously dewy either. It needs powdering to keep it in place, but I do that with any foundation anyway. It doesn't cling to spots or dry patches and it doesn't settle in my fine lines (sob sob :'( ). It's a medium coverage, which is what I want for every day. It has SPF 18 too, which is a nice little bonus.

The lasting power isn't exceptional and by 5 when I'm driving home from work it looks a bit patchy, especially around my mouth where I've been drinking. But I do leave the house at 7am so it's a really long day for any foundation to last. 

Another thing I've found, perhaps disgustingly (don't judge..!) is that I can put another layer on top later on and it doesn't cake at all, it just blends in. Handy for if I get home and have like 10 minutes to get ready before going out for the evening.

The higher end product I've used that the  I think the finish is most similar to is Clinique Even Better Foundation, which I also loved, but for £24 I can have 4 of these and I don't think I'd get that past my boyfriend's raised eyebrows!
Even better has a slightly lower SPF, of 15 too, so it can't even really draw me in with that.

Currently available at Boots for £4.99 - bargain!


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Tag: The Liebster Award!

Today's blog post is going to be a little different - I was nominated by LouisaLoves217 for the Liebster award this week so I now get to do my own post and nominate some more new bloggers.
  In case like me you've never heard of it, the Liebster award is an award given to new and up and coming bloggers with small followings (less than about 200). It helps new bloggers connect with each other, and find each other! I'm led to believe that Liebster means Dearest/loving in German– which I can't confirm as all I can remember from my 3 years of High School German is how to say 'I am 12 years old' and 'I live with my family in a semi detached house', which wasn't even accurate.. Time well spent I reckon..!

Anyway, thanks to LouisaLoves217 for her nomination and definitely go and read & follow her wonderful blog!

The rules…
So there are 6 rules for this award and they are as follows:
  1. Link back to the wonderful person that nominated you
  2. List 11 facts about yourself (it’s optional, but makes it more interesting :) )
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you for the award.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs/bloggers who themselves have 200 or less followers.
  5. Think up 11 different questions for the people you are nominating to answer.
  6. Then you need to notify your nominees so that they know and can answer and join in!
So… 11 facts about me!
  1. I am 25 and from Manchester
  2. I studied Law at university and then qualified as a law teacher in 2010
  3. My favourite number is 18 - my birthday, house number and we're getting married on the 18th July. I also hate odd numbers. No particular reason, just can't abide them!
  4. My boyfriend proposed to me on Boxing Day 2012 in the middle of a football pitch, which was a complete shock!
  5. I met my best friend the day we moved into uni almost 7 years ago, we lived in neighbouring rooms for all 3 years and we still text constantly. We have the same brain and constantly do the saw thing at the same time without realising!
  6. One of my favourite things to do is to write lists.. Sometimes I include things in a list that i've already done just so I can tick them..My desk at work is completely covered in post-it notes and I reckon I go through a packet of them every month!
  7. I really really want to travel across America  and I want to go to Hawaii, fingers crossed we can afford it for honeymoon!
  8. I'm hoping to train in make up artistry over the next few years and I'd love to have a sideline in doing wedding make up until I can afford to give up teaching!
  9. I love Clinique high impact curling mascara and it will take some kind of magical alien created mascara to sway me.
  10. I am obsessed with Caroline Hirons and my family are consequently sick of hearing about salicylic acid and the evils of muslin cloths and make-up wipes.
  11. I can't leave the house without a minimum of mascara. This is non negotiable, probably even in an emergency.
  12. I can't stop myself from buying Clinique when it's on bonus time even though I never use 90% of the contents of the free gift
Now the 11 questioned from LouisaLoves217:
1. How did you come up with your blog name?
My Fiancé :)
2. Who inspires you most?
I have no that terrible?!
 3. What are you most proud of so far in your life?
Forcing myself to finish my PGCE.  Worst 9 months of my life, but it was worth it in the end :)
4. What is your No. 1 beauty product and why?
As mentioned above, my Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara, I just love it, it doesn't flake, it makes my lashes long and it lasts for ages without drying out.
5. What product would you recommend most highly?
Paula's Choice BHA - amazing for unclogging pores and it lasts for ages!
6. What 3 famous people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party and why? 
God, Caroline Hirons and Paula Begoun from Paula's Choice - I reckon between the 4 of us we could come up with a recipe for perfect skin for me ;)
 7.What film/tv character are you most like? 
8. How do you wind down?
I sit on the sofa and paint my nails whilst watching say yes to the dress on youtube.
If its been an extremely bad day then a face mask and a bath with candles.
9. What is your signature scent? Daisy by Marc Jacobs at the moment. 
10. What top tip would you give to any new bloggers?
Ha, I hardly know myself yet! I guess don't be afraid to ask for help and being friendly is good. Also don't talk in clichés, no one likes a clone :)
 11. If you had a theme song to your life, what would it be?
Mr Brightside. If the DJ at my wedding doesn't play it I will throw the biggest bridezilla strop ever seen!
Okay so now for the blogs I am nominating! We have….
Crazy Blonde Gal
Life's a Cup of Tea
Darryll's Beauty Blog
Introducing AK
Ash Horton
Mere Mai

My questions to you:

1) How & why did you get into blogging?
2) What do you do in the real world?
3) If you could only use one make up product for the rest of your life, which would you chose?
4) Who is your favourite you-tuber?
5) How do you choose what to blog about?
6) Where in the world would  you  most like to go shopping, and why?
7) What is your all-time favourite book?
8) What's the best advice you've ever been given?
9) What is the biggest fashion mistake you've made
10) If you won the lottery what would your first purchase be?
11) What's the worst film you've ever watched?
Thanks if you persevered through this exceptionally long post :)
Suzy x

Friday, 16 August 2013

MUA Review Series #1 :Frozen Yoghurt Nail Polish

 When packing to come to my parents' house for a couple of days I noticed that i've accumulated quite the collection of MUA products over the last couple of months, some of which have wheedled their way in to my basic daily make up routine and some that were relegated to my 'urgh' drawer almost immediately upon opening.
As i've found the brand to be a little hit and miss so far so I'm going to do a review series over the next few weeks to pick out the best and worst- they're only a bargain if they actually work!
 Theirs are pretty much the cheapest make-up products available on the high street in the UK - elf are affordable too but only available online at the moment and I can't help but want to swatch everything and clutch it in my little paws before I make any commitments to purchase, so I'm happy that they're available in Superdrug.

After reading that the brush had been improved, the packaging changed and the polishes were only £1, I made a
20 mile trip to the Trafford Centre (they have the best MUA stand locally), spending more on petrol than on nail polish. Logic.

The shade 'Frozen Yoghurt' caught my eye so home with me it came! I really, really love the colour, it's just so cheerful and summery. 
Formula-wise I wasn't expecting much given that its £1, but it's actually pretty good! The brush is a good size, it paints on really smoothly and it's opaque after 2 coats. Some might want to give it an extra coat but I'm of the opinion that life's too short for that!

 Without a top coat it lasts 2 days max on me, with a top coat; 5 days. That being said, any nail varnish chips on me like you wouldn't believe, even the higher end ones, so this is about average.

I find the packaging quite amusing as its such an outrageous copy of Essie's bottles, both are cute though! 

This shade is currently sold out on the MUA website, but is probably available in Superdrug stores - their stock seems to be a bit sporadic but go early in a morning and you should be okay.

I'd definitely recommend this colour and trying the £1 polishes in general. I didn't get on so well with the shade Pistashio as I found it more runny and difficult to apply, but there are several gorgeous options and its worth a go for £1!

Suzy x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Review: No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush

Having traditionally been extremely lazy with cleansing (I used make-up removing wipes every night until about 2 years ago...naughty!) anything that makes the nightly faff a little bit easier, or even just slightly more interesting is wholeheartedly welcomed into my bathroom cabinet.

A little while ago I came across the Clarisonic. It looked a little frightening for my sensitive face but I thought ooh that's a good idea, and went off to have a look.  
My intrigue turned to horror at the discovery that the various models range from £99 to around £170. For a 'cleansing system'. Whaaaaat?!?
Unless the thing is going to give me a whole new face there's literally no chance of me paying that kind of money for the same thing a flannel does.

My best friend, also having the same dilemma then came across the no7 version, which is a significant amount cheaper at £25. Then by a happy coincidence i was able to get 50% discount through my colleague whose husband works for boots. Using this, a £5 off No7 voucher and a 3 for 2, I was able to purchase my No7 cleansing brush for around £8. I was pretty happy with that!

Now, the No7 isn't exactly the same as the Clarisonic, and I wouldn't expect it to be for £25. It runs on AA batteries, which is usually something I avoid like the plague, but 6 weeks later and it's still on the batteries that came with it and I've used it almost every day!

It comes with no case, not even a cap to cover the brush, which if boots intend to continue making this product could be a big improvement for the next model, both for hygiene purposes and to keep it safe when travelling.

On first appearances the brush itself is quite alarming; the bristles look quite thick and harsh. I find it pretty soft to use though and it doesn't hurt my skin all - and I have fairly sensitive skin, especially my cheeks!
I tend to use it with my Lancôme or Michael Todd cleanser and my skin feels lovely and clean afterwards.

My only real complaint (aside from the absence of a case) is that the inside has gone slightly rusty already - despite being made for use with water!? I have stored it with the bristles down so the water can drain away and I haven't got it wet to a ridiculous degree so I just can't work that one out! 

Overall, if you feel you need some help in the cleansing department, and sensibly you don't want to spend upwards of £100 on doing so, then this could be a good option. However, it's not perfect by any means and I do get the feeling boots have rushed this out a little quickly, and I'm not sure I'd be so forgiving of the drawbacks if I'd paid the full £25.
I'd probably wait until they (hopefully) improve it before purchasing.

- only £25 and no7 is often on 3 for 2 so it's possible to get it even cheaper
- leaves your skin feeling super super clean 
-second spin speed lets you give your face an occasional deeper clean 
-doesn't come with a case or a cap for the brush head
-battery operated
-has the potential to rust a little inside

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Real Techniques: Core Collection

When contemplating purchasing this kit around 6 months ago, having read review after review, I was led to believe this would be the best kit, with the best brushes. Ever. I hate any degree of hype surrounding a product, but admittedly these are pretty good brushes!

The core collection comes with a 2-in-1 case and stand which contains 4 brushes: contour brush, buffing brush, pointed foundation brush and detailer brush.

The case is lovely quality and nicely padded to protect the brushes and is also handy for holding your brushes upside down after cleaning them.
However, on your average morning getting ready for work it's way too time consuming and fiddly to be bothered (for me, anyway!) to put the brushes back in after use as they don't slide in easily. So whilst I started off with the best of intentions to mother and care for my new brushes, invariably I just chuck them into my cosmetics bag on my way out of the door and they have to fend for themselves along with the rest of my make-up. They seem to be holding up fine so far!

The actual quality of the brushes is really good and they are mostly lovely and soft. I haven't had a single hair fall out of any of the 4, which is impressive after 6 months' use. I love the bright colour of the brushes too and they are really easy to clean.

However, in effect I only use 50% of the brushes. 
The buffing brush I use daily: it applies my foundation wonderfully and blends it in so quickly, leaving a lovely smooth finish. I also use the contour brush every day, but usually for blusher as it's just the right shape. It's good for contouring too but I just think that's a bit overkill when I'm only going to work.

Now, as far as I can see, the other 2 brushes are really fillers in this kit, and haven't got much use out of them since my initial experimentation. 
I can't work out what the detailer brush is for; it's the least soft of all the brushes and I've tried it for concealer and around my eyes but its too sharp for either. Very strange. 
The foundation brush is bizarrely small and the finish it gives isn't worth the time it takes to paint my foundation on! It leaves a streakier finish than the buffing brush and I just can't see why you'd need both in one kit. I'd much rather have seen the powder brush (available individually) within this kit as I don't need to apply foundation twice - so why do I need two things performing the same task?!

This considered, I still think the price is pretty reasonable for this kit. I paid around £16 for mine when had a 20% off promotion on but the prices generally vary from around £17-18 online to £21.99 in Boots and Superdrug. It's great to see them available on the high street but I'm fundamentally tight and would rather pay £5 less and wait for a couple of days!

In the unlikely event the entire kit goes missing from my life, I would definitely repurchase.

- lovely soft brushes with no shedding of hairs
- handy little stand/case 
- good value for money
- widely available in store and online

- (in my opinion) 2 less useful brushes
- detailer brush a bit harsh

Monday, 12 August 2013


Welcome to my blog!
My name's Suzy and i'm 25 years old. I live in Merseyside with my Fiancé, Adam, and we both work in education.
We met at university, have been together for 5 and a half years and we're getting married next summer so my world at the moment is filled with wedding planning, saving up and going to the gym (in theory..!).

I feel like I'm supposed to explain what this blog will be about..but i'm not entirely sure myself yet. Make up and skin care blogs are my favourite to read, as well as food and moneysaving type posts, so lets call it 'lifestyle' as that's sufficiently vague! There'll probably be a fair bit on weddings over the next few months as well as I have a LOT still to do on that front!
My favourite blogs are the ones that give a little glimpse into your average person's life..I'm all for a backdrop of fairy lights and £60 candles placed at a jaunty angle, all put through an instagram filter, but my life certainly doesn't look like that -as Adam would be only too happy to tell you, he is overjoyed if I manage to get through the day without leaving stray make-up wipes or cotton pads lying around our bedroom!

I should probably also qualify the 'cynical' part of my blog; I'm on a fairly tight budget for buying 'stuff' so I want good value for money and wonderful products, I hate marketing bumf and I generally tend not to trust companies trying to flog me things, particularly beauty products with outrageous claims. Demanding? Me?! :)