Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Looking for a concealer? These are my five current favourites

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I absolutely cannot live without concealer.  It's one of my 'essential' products.  Even on a rare no make up day I do sling a dot of concealer here and there to disguise blemishes that I want to forget are there so I don't shock myself when I glance in the mirror.  You know, like the odd spot, stuff like that.

When I was thinking about writing this post I thought about all the concealers I've ever used.  In my (much) younger days before I was a full on foundation person, I just used to use a little foundation as a concealer.  Gradually, I needed more and more concealer and I found the perfect one from Witch Hazel, it doubled as an antiseptic/healing stick as well as a cover up.  I used that literally for years and years until quite recently when I realised that they had discontinued my colour (pale) and gone over to just one colour which was just a shade too dark for my skin so I stopped using it and invested in a proper concealer, or two, or three ...

I find that not all concealers are the same and not all concealers are for the same place on your face.  That's why I seem to have so many now.  I've got different ones for spots, blemishes, non-spot blemishes, dark under-eye circles, dry skin patches and cold sores (yes I know you're not supposed to cover them up but I just can't NOT cover them up a bit).

So I am sharing my favourites.  Of course I'm always on the look out for the holy grail so no doubt there will be more to come but these few are the ones I'm using at the moment.

Hard Candy - Sheer Envy
Something I found in the States, I think you can get Hard Candy over here in the UK but it's not widely available.  This one is great for under eyes because the brush is very thin and the colour is almost an exact match for me (fluke!).  It lasts for ages, I never notice that it's come off during the day.

Avon Extra Lasting
Anything with the words Extra Lasting in the title has got to be a winner, right?  Right.  But not for under eyes, or at least not my eyes, far too heavy and matte.  Brilliant for spots and blemishes.  It doesn't budge and you can pop bit of powder over the top and there you go, spots all gone.  Avon do a few shades in this, I think this is the fairest one.

Physicians Formula - Youthful Wear Spotless
Spotless - that's what we all to want to be, right?  It took me a while to get to grips with this because this is actually a concealer in a roller ball pen style with liquid and I found it difficult to get the right amount on my face.  It's much better if there's a larger area to cover because you can sort of scribble it all over your face and make up sponge it from there.  Not great for individual spots but super for a larger area.  I think (not sure) it might also have something in it that helps spots to heal so win-win there.

I'm not sure what this one is called, I only know that it's from Neutrogena and I love it and I'll be upset when it runs out.  This, alongside my beloved Hard Candy is the one I wear under my eyes.  You literally cannot see it once it's blended in, it's amazing it looks so natural.  Neutrogena is kind to the skin as well so no allergy flare ups or anything.  I haven't tried using this on blemishes as I don't want to waste it on those when I need it for my eyes!  I bought this in the States as well, it's on my list to replace next time I go.

Physicians Formula Super CC
Another Physicians Formula (and yet another brand that you can't get in the UK - flipping heck sake!) the super CC concealer is a mixture of everything you need to sort your skin out, whether it's covering redness, or grey under eyes or whatever.  It's a brush and you twist the end of the pen to get the liquid to come through, it takes a while at first and then whooshes out all in one go.  It's great for precision 'painting' if you've got a very specific and small area to put it on and I have also used it for under eyes but it's slightly more matte than the Neutrogena and Hard Candy so better for blemishes I think.

Love, Maria


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Waterproof Mascara removal - try this Nivea Eye Make Up Remover

The other day I went to remove my eye make up with my usual micellar water and found that it wouldn't budge.  Well, the eye shadow did, the mascara didn't.  It took about five minutes for me to realise that I'd inadvertently put a waterproof Max Factor mascara on that morning, instead of my usual 2000 Calorie.   Durr.  This was annoying on two counts, one, because I thought I'd picked up a non waterproof one in the shop and clearly I hadn't and two, I was really tired and now I was going to have to faff about getting this off, for god's sake.

I tried unsuccessfully with two eye make up removers, a MAC and a Clarins, usually the Clarins is good unfortunately the Max Factor waterproof was too stubborn for it, either that or I'd layered it on too thick so it was going to take a chisel to get it off.  I was getting cross now.  Then I remembered my trusty Nivea.

Well, the thing is that I've been meaning to review this eye makeup remover for a while now, because I am seriously impressed with it.  Originally, I bought it because I started wearing a waterproof eyeliner that did not come off with any of my usual nightly skincare products, then I spied this which I thought would work because it is for waterproof mascara.

Bingo!  Nivea Daily Essentials Eye Make up Remover to the rescue!

Two quick wipes and the mascara started to move (I was relieved as my eyes were starting to feel sore).

This make up remover is hypoallergenic and has been tested by the eye doctors, thus is fine for people who wear contact lenses or who have sensitive eyes.  As you can see from the photo it is oil based so you need to give the bottle a good old shake before you use it to mix up the liquid.  Then just get one of those little make up remover pads, pour a little bit on there (a little bit goes a long way) and gently wipe over the eye lid and round the eye.  I am always amazed at how much make up comes off with one of these, even when I've cleansed already, this really does get rid of whatever's left.  It's really nice to go to bed knowing that my eyes are "clean". 

I'm trying to remember how much I paid for this, I think it was £3.50 maybe £4.  Either way, it wasn't a lot and it's a very good product and definitely worth purchasing if you're a waterproof mascara or make up person, there's no faffing about and it doesn't make your eyes sore.

Love, Maria


Friday, 22 September 2017

Theirry Mugler Angel (and a little bit about Aura)

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One thing I do every day, regardless of whether I am flopping round the house at home or going out, is put perfume on.  I love perfume.

My first perfume was Estee Lauder Youth Dew, wow that takes me back.  I got it for Christmas one year and I absolutely loved it.  Do Estee still sell this, I must find out.

Anyway, digressing as usual.  The one I'm on at the moment is Theirry Mugler Angel.  Now, Theirry has come out with LOTS of lovely fragrance over the years but Angel is my favourite so far, although I must admit that I've spied the new one called Aura (beautiful green bottle) and that's the first thing on my Christmas list.  Eeek, did I say the C word?  Forget I said that.  I don't really think about Christmas until the third week of November normally, it's just too stressful.

Theirry Mugler Aura - please Santa, can I can this for Christmas?

Theirry Mugler Angel - so pretty

Anyway, I asked for Angel for my birthday a couple of years ago and was lucky enough to receive not only the perfume but also a lovely Angel gift set which consisted of perfumed body oil spray, shower gel and hand cream too (the hand cream was great, even after I washed my hands I could still smell it).  Since then it's all been used up and I'm on my second bottle of Angel.  The dry oil body spray was gorgeous, particularly good for summer as it wasn't heavy and lasted well in the heat.

The scent itself is fairly sharp with what I would describe as fruit tones but there's also definitely vanilla in there somewhere which is probably why I liked it in the first place, I love anything vanilla flavoured or scented.  The bottle is lovely too and great to carry round in my handbag because it's not too bulky or heavy.

Actually, come to think of it, a lot of my perfumes are running low, it's probably time to re-stock.  I've got a lot of Avon ones I use for every day but I'm short on Tresor, Poeme and Chanel No5.  I've got an anniversary trip to New York in October, I can hear Duty Free calling, you know I love a bit of Duty Free!

Love, Maria

Thursday, 21 September 2017

September Glossybox - first look and impressions

I think it's fair to say I'm waaaay behind in my Glossybox posts and that's because I'm waaaay behind in actually opening the Glossyboxes.  I've said before that this year has been mad and that's why they've taken a back seat (along with quite a lot of housework and other non essential jobs).

Anyway, September's here and I'm rectifying my sloppiness with Glossybox right now!

This is the September 2017 Glossybox in all its glory.

I love the perfectly pink box (my favourites are the themed boxes, sometimes I like the box more than the stuff inside it but maybe that's just me and my packaging obsession).

Inside the perfectly pink box is:

September 2017 - contents of The Glossybox

So, first impressions, what do I think?

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream
My first thought about this was "oh no, not another hand cream" because I'm really bad at putting it on and therefore I have absolutely loads lying about the place.  But when I looked further I could see that it was a fragrance free hand repair cream which treats and manages eczema, dermatitis and dry skin conditions.  That's when I started to get a little excited because my hands are terribly sore in the Winter and two of my three sons also really suffer, I think they don't dry their hands properly at school then go out into the playground without gloves and their hands end up all sore and cracked.  I'm really hoping this can help.  It's got shea butter, vitamin e and almond oil in it so it sounds quite promising I think.

Taylor's 32 Natural Whitening Toothpaste
I've never had a toothpaste in one of these boxes before, not that I can remember so this is quite a departure from the usual things that go in the boxes.  It's Classic Mint flavour, definitely going to try this.

Pixi by Petra Brow Tamer
Anything from Pixi by Petra is a welcome addition to my make up collection, this is a fun brow tamer.  Glossybox are really good at giving us all the brow products, the powders, the pencils, the pens so this looks great although I wouldn't say I've got wild eyebrows but they could do with a little coiffuring!

Siligel Blender
I was really pleased when I saw this,  I've recently stopped using my foundation brushes and started using those little make up sponges.  So far I've only used the cheap small ones from Superdrug or Tesco which are working perfectly fine, and better at blending than my brushes but this is pretty impressive looking so I'll definitely use it.

Monuskin Firming Figi Facial Oil
I'm always slightly wary of face products because I've got quite sensitive skin but given that this product is for dry/sensitive skin I'm assuming that it'll be OK.  It doesn't say on the bottle to put it on morning or night so I might just try it at night so it's got time to sink in and do its work!

Kinder Bueno Chocolate Bar
Ah, chocolate.  Enough said!

Watch this space for the results!

Love, Maria


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Positive Goals 2017 - how far have I got?

This year I decided not to have resolutions because frankly I'm rubbish at them, they last about five minutes and I never get anywhere.  I decided to have goals this year, goals sounded so much more achievable, I really thought about it and wrote them down and then I wrote a blog post on them.

This is the original blog post - click here to read

Actually, there were 8 positive goals and I remember I did that because I thought it would be inspiring (for me, not anyone else).  I was happy with them.  Then, the other night when I couldn't sleep I got to thinking about them, and the fact that we are in September already which is really freaking me out and I wondered where the year had gone.  And, indeed, if I'd managed to achieve even one of the things I set out to do.

It's fair to say that for me personally, this year has been trying for me, caught up in family stuff which will always come first and everything else taking a back seat.  It's about priorities and this year literally from Christmas I've been spinning plates, dropping some of them but mainly keeping most things in the air.  I guess that's why there weren't many blog posts written until a few weeks ago, I didn't have time or energy or the brain power to write and it was very frustrating because I really wanted to but couldn't.

So, that's a bit of the background.

Let's go over the goal progress.

Goal 1 - Grow my Avon business
I think it's fair to say that it hasn't grown but it is ticking over and I've had quite a lot of success selling excess stock in my shop on eBay, something that I hadn't even thought about when I wrote about these goals.
Goal Met?  Not really.

Goal 2 - Get rid of all the shoes I don't wear 
I have had two shoe clear outs this year and am due another one as I've still got two or three plastic boxes of shoes that very rarely get worn.  Also, some of them have very high heels and they'll have to go because they make my knees ache.  I'm reluctant to get rid of my beloved heels but I do need to be able to walk and it's really horrible having stiff and achey knee joints.
Goal Met - Yes!

Goal 3 - Sort out my utility/laundry room
This was a biggie and had to take a back seat because room renovations were not on the top of our list with other stuff going on.  However, I have recently had a look for cupboards and I've got an architect coming round to tell me what will fit and I've had a conversation with the guy who's going to do the fitting so ... I'm hopeful it'll be done before Christmas and if not, early 2018.
Goal Met - Nearly.

Goal 4 - Lose half a stone and increase my pilates classes
How I laughed, lose half a stone ... put half a stone on more like.  Oopsie, fail.  However, I have increased my pilates classes - go me!  I've also been pretty consistent at the gym, though over the summer I hardly went at all but now school has started again I've got more time in the day and can go then.  I've also had a bit of an epiphany about body image this year which I'll write more about in a different post. 
Goat Met - Half met, half not.

Goal 5 - Read all the links I've saved on Facebook
Ok, so I haven't read them all but I have gone through them and deleted the ones that are no longer relevant.  Having said that I have now added new links to read 'sometime' so .... I think I might be back to square one.
Goal Met - Not really

Goal 6 - Increase traffic to my blog
In a nutshell, no it hasn't increased but then it hasn't decreased either.  What's changed though is that I am ok about it not increasing whereas before I was a bit "I must get hundreds of views on each post".
Goal Met - Nope!

Goal 7 - Start to research my ebook
Well, when I wrote this I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about and while I haven't changed my mind about the subject, I have got different ideas as to the format of the book.  So I guess you could say I have started to research it, and I've definitely researched the publishing side of things (that's a whole ebook in itself frankly).
Goal Met - Yes

Goal 8 - Start a newsletter (get to grips with Mailchimp)
Dearie me, this made me laugh who was I kidding about a newsletter when I have barely been able to write and publish blog posts all year.  Plus you really need a regular readership to warrant a 'newsletter' so I think we'll just shelve this one.  Maybe I'd been at the New Year sherry when I wrote this one?
Goal Met - No, and I'm ditching it!

I guess considering I haven't been very goal focussed so far this year I've done pretty well and I'm pleased that I've revisited them because normally I just write them and that's it.  It's good to revisit to have a think about what I've done and how far I have (or haven't) got, and whether these goals are realistic or need tweaking or, as in the last one, need ditching altogether!  

Also, we are still in September (though if one more person tells me how many more weeks it is to Christmas I will literally run screaming into the night) so there is definitely time to tie a few more goals up and if not, we can always carry them over to next year, can't we?

Love, Maria


Saturday, 9 September 2017

Avon Mark Gel Shine Nails - Nutty Berry

Quick Saturday post about nails, I'm a bit obsessed with writing about nail polish at the moment.

Today I changed my nail polish, I've been wearing Rita Ora Rimmel in a sort of pinky colour all week but it's finally chipping so I decided to change it.  As we are into Autumn I've been delving into my berry and brown shades and I found this one, its Avon Mark Gel Shine and it's called Nutty Berry.

So, on my nails are two coats (and a Sally Hansen strengthening undercoat which can also be used as a top coat - bonus) and then the clear Avon Gel Shine on top.  My top coat needs changing though as it's nearly used up and is a bit gloopy so I need to order a new one next time.

I'm not usually a brown nail polish kind of person, I'll be honest, I'm into pinks and nudes and pale colours, sometimes red.  While I love the colour of this one I'm not sure it looks that good on my hands, I think they are too pale and the brown isn't warm enough, does that make sense?

In terms of the colour, Nutty Berry is recommended but I'm not sure it suits me particularly.  If you want to read a review on the Dazzle Pink colour from the same brand, click here.

Love, Maria

Avon Mark Gel Shine Nutty Berry

Beautiful shade of Autumn brown - Nutty Berry


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Avon Anew Cleansing Water

As I was removing my make up last night I thought that I really must do a post on the Avon Anew Cleansing Water as I've had it for ages and almost finished the bottle and I still haven't mentioned in either on Instagram or on the blog yet.  I did have good intentions, I took the photo ages ago when I'd only used it a couple of times!  Anyway, If you're an Avon fan or customer then this might be worth a read. 

Cleansing Water

I'll be honest, I'm a bit late to the party with cleansing water (or micellar water) as I've only really been using it for about the last year.  Prior to that I was on and off with various toners but since I've used cleansing water as part of my skincare routine I've noticed a massive difference in my skin, it's softer and in the evenings I really feel like all my make up has been removed.  I'm always amazed at how much extra make up comes off on the cotton pad with the water after I think I've cleaned it with a cleanser or face wash, particularly around the eye area, it's really good to get all that mascara and eye make up off.

So, onto the Avon Anew Cleansing Water.  It is relatively new to Avon, alongside their Comforting Cream Cleanser which I've also tried and really like.  It's a 3 in 1 which means that it cleanses, tones and removes make up.  And it states that it's anti-ageing.  I've said before I hate that term, there's nothing wrong with ageing, I just want nice soft skin, stuff the ageing thing!  Anyway, given the backlash in the media recently (e.g Helen Mirren interview with magazine regarding anti ageing) maybe the next bottle will have different wording, who knows?  


But I'm digressing.  What I should be saying is that this really is a very nice product, it's got a lovely gentle smell to it, it does indeed cleanse, tone and remove make up and there's no alcohol in it so it doesn't make your face sting, it's very gentle (it says for all skin types on the bottle).  It costs £6.50 and can be purchased through your Avon rep or through the website. 

Scroll right down to the bottom for photos of me removing and the results!

**Update February 2018, this product is now £4.00 in the sale.

Avon Anew 3 in 1 Cleansing Water

Don't I look lovely!  Ha!

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