Thursday, 19 July 2012

L'Oréal Color Riche Nail Polish (207 Babydoll)

In my previous post I mentioned that I picked up three L'Oreal nail polishes and found there to be considerable differences between the three. Whilst the previous one was disappointing, this one performed miles better.

Babydoll is a lovely pale pink with a strong oyster/pearl finish. For this one I went for about 3 coats. With Rose Paradis I commented on the poor, uneven application. Babydoll definitely yields a more even application that's for sure. The only serious issue I had with the formula for this one is that it can appear a bit streaky (i.e. the lines of the brush show up a little) but this can be very common with metallic shades like this as it causes the brush strokes to show up more. I didn't find it so obvious so it actually didn't bother me as much.

Again, my complaint with the L'Oreal Color Riche nail polishes is their pricing point. They work out at £9.98 per 10ml which really puts it in league with brand like Nails Inc and Ciaté as opposed to its other drugstore rivals. Naturally, I'm then inclined to compare it to such brands and as such the formula isn't as great. Sure the drying time is pretty quick but for that price I would prefer a more opaque finish in a single coat.

Initially I wasn't such a fan of the shade, it looked a bit too pale on me but I received a lot of compliments on it. It's a very femine/girly shade - not so neutral as Rose Paradis - therefore it might go against certain styles of makeup/clothes. However I feel it's a shade you either love or hate.

Monday, 16 July 2012

L'Oréal Color Riche Nail Polish (201 Rose Paradis)

A few weeks ago I bought three L'Oreal nail polishes whilst there was a 3 for 2 promo at Superdrug. I held up on the reviews until I had tested all three and could genuinely compare.

I gotta say that the differences between the three shades is crazy. And this one was probably worst.

If you're into really sheer shades I would not recommend this shade based on the poor application. It's very uneven in each coat. Even after 4 coats I still can spot patches where the formula did not apply evenly. It's a shame really because the shade itself is actually very flattering. Normally I'm very wary of pastel colours because of how they sit against my skin tone but this one is actually looks very natural against my skin tone.

201 Rose Paradis (please excuse the cut on the polish of the ring finger, I got quite careless with some scissors!)

The only real bonus is the design of the bottles. It's actually quite efficient because the brush pretty much goes all the way down the the bottom. And because they only contain 5ml, the bottles are very slender which again adds to the efficiency (and makes storing it a lot easier). The brush is the 1-stroke fan type that spreads out to cover the nail when you apply it, supposedly for an even single application (which, with this formula, I didn't get).

If the pricing was cheaper I don't think I'd be so annoyed but the simple fact is that they're priced at £4.99 (£9.98 per 10ml) here in the UK. Bear in mind that Nails Inc usually retails for £11 per 10ml. For almost £1 difference, there is a massive discrepancy in quality between the two. The fact that I needed 4 coats to even get it semi-opaque is quite laughable. With Nails Inc you'll usually get it opaque in 1-2 coats.

I really did want to love Rose Paradis, especially as this is a universally gorgeous shade that would suit almost anything. It's just a shame that it was let down by the poor application.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Caudalíe Merlot Friction Scrub

I am forever on the hunt for a good scrub. Being somewhat cursed with slightly dry skin means I require an exfoliator that does exaclty what it says on the tin/tub/jar/bottle. So whilst sorting out through my things, I came across this little beauty, the Caudalíe Merlot Friction Scrub.

The website describes this scrub as "mint butter" which "tones and shapes up whilst energising, reducing tension, leaving your skin silky and firm". I thought this is exactly what I need! Needless to say, I was rather disappointed when I found, after several uses, that my skin was not silky. Nor was it energised or firm. And I'm not sure how I would detect a scrub's ability at reducing tension, but it definitely didn't do that (it more likely increased after I became so disappointed by it).

Compared to the other popular scrub by Caudalie, the Crushed Cabernet Scrub, this one is not very coarse and, as mentioned above, has more of a buttery texture. In fact, once it hits your damp skin, it melts. At this point I realised that I'm just covering my body in a minty-esque film that does nothing to improve my skin tone.

The only thing I like about the product is the jar. Yeah, that's about it. It's a nice jar - I'll definitely find a use for it in the kitchen! Aestheitics aside, this is not something I recommend especially when it costs £21.50 for 150g (£14.33 per 100g) that does absolutely nothing to improve tone and texture. Considering Caudalie is such a high end brand, I was really expecting it to work wonders - talk about a let down!


Guess the hunt continues...

July Magazine Beauty Freebies!

Maybe it's because I'm Asian (the Southern variety) that I'm a sucker for a good bargain. I really like to get my money's worth - and that's exactly what I did when I was perused the magazine section in Tesco the other day!

I love trying out new things and beauty products is no exception to my curiosity. The only problem with beauty products is that they can end up being very expensive. Buying a full sized product at retail price can not only be costly but very disappointing if it's not what you hoped for. Hence why I love monthly glossies - they give you the chance to check out the brand that you'd be hesitant to buy in normal circumstances.

So I ended up picking three magazines: InStyle, Marie Claire and Glamour.

First up is InStyle (featuring Cameron Diaz on the cover) which cost £3.90. This month they are offering two choices - either The Body Shop Big And Curvy Mascara (worth £10) or two of The Body Shop Eye Definers (in Black and Navy, worth £8 each). What's great about this is that you're getting full sized products so it's fantastic value for money. I opted for the mascara because I have so many eyeliner pencils already. After flicking through the mag I noticed it contained a sachet sample of the new L'Oréal Hair Expertise EverPure Shampoo & Conditioner.

Next is Marie Claire (featuring Eva Mendes), £3.70. They're offering a free, full sized Ciaté Nail Polish (worth £9) in three shades. I ended up going for the bright pink shade "jelly bean". Inside you'll also get a sample of L'Oréal Hair Expertise EverPure Shampoo & Conditioner. You can also get a whiff of L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent (nice of them to consider the lads in this one!).

Finally it's Glamour (featuring either Fearne Cotton, Eva Longoria or Kylie Minogue) for £2. Glamour is giving away sample sizes of the following from Benefit: BADgal Lash Mascara (worth £10), That Gal Brightening Face Primer (£15) or The Porefessional Pore Minimiser (£10). Again, I opted for the mascara (because I always wanted that one!). Inside you'll get a sachet of the new Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Shampoo.

I really can't wait to try out these samples!

Have you picked up any of these magazines? If so, which ones? What did you make of this month's beauty freebies? Drop a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Finish It! #1

This is the first edition of a monthly (or so) series of posts. It will be in the format of many "Operation Use It Up" posts that you find on beauty blogs, where the focus is on the products that I finish at the end of the month and my opinions of each product. The title "Finish It" was inspired by the Mortal Kombat video game series whereupon a character is approaching death the gamer is told, in no uncertain terms, to "Finish Him!".

The products featured in this months edition are:
  • The Body Shop Neroli Jasmine Eau de Toilette (30ml)
  • DKNY Delicious Night Eau de Parfum (30ml)
  • Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl Cologne Spray (30ml)
  • Aussie Mega Shampoo (300ml)
  • Simple Kind to Skin Exfoliating Body Wash (250ml)
  • Original Source Almond And Black Cherry (250ml)
  • The Body Shop Passion Fruit Body Butter (200ml)
  • Good Things Stay Clear Purifying Cleanser (150ml)
  • Good Things Total Wipe Out Cleansing Wipes (25 wipes)

First off are the fragrances. The Body Shop Neroli Jasmine was an impulse buy (that's not to say that most of my beauty buys aren't impulse buys!) to feed my need for a floral perfume. I like floral perfumes but most of mine tend to veer to the gourmand or modern chypre variety, preferably with lots of patchouli! I bought it because I wanted something cheap and cheerful and that's exactly what I got. What I love about it is the size of the bottle - it's not gimmicky and oversized, instead it's rather compact and despite being 30ml it's fairly travel friendly. The scent it lovely but it requires several sprays and the scent didn't last long on my skin but because of it's inexpensiveness I can imagine myself repurchasing this. Delicious Night by DKNY is one I've had for years and was bought at the start of my perfume intrigue. At that time a lot of my perfumes were daytime delights but in the quest for my first evening scent this was my purchase. Oddly it's is not really connected to the original Delicious perfume in the sense that it's a very blackcurrant based floral-oriental scent compared to the original's apple based fruity-fresh scent. For a long while this was my go-to evening party perfume and whilst I'd recommend it, I think I'm over it. Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger was a perfume donated to me by a friend who didn't want it. At the time she gave it to me I was 22, which is just 10 years too old to be receiving this perfume. Had my cousins been in their early teens at the time I would've happily passed it to them. It's a very clean scent and not very overpowering but the citrus top not is just too nauseating for me and I ended up using it a toilet spray.

Aussie Mega Shampoo is just my standard shampoo. In a previous post I made note about the fact they added Aloe Vera to the formula. With this product I didn't notice the difference so much. What's great about this shampoo is that's it's great for everyday cleansing but can effectively remove product build-up. If I straighten my hair I use a heat protect spray followed by a finishing serum so it's important to get that out when I shower again and this one does it just fine. I find the scent is just up my alley, lovely but not overpowering. I bought Simple Kind to Skin Exfoliating Body Wash because I wanted to try an effective fragrance-free shower gel. Whilst I don't detect any scent in it, I found this to be quite an under-performing exfoliator - it's just didn't smooth my skin at any level despite containing loofah bits. The opposite to this shower gel would be Original Source's Almond and Black Cherry. I'm rarely disappointed with Original Source's shower gels (save for one or two products) and this seasonal edition is perfect for cold months, it's has a sort of spicy cherry bakewell tart scent that people either love or hate. Upon my first use of The Body Shop Passion Fruit Body Butter I couldn't help but think that it smells exactly like a fresh can of Rubicon passion fruit drink! It's recommended for normal/dry skin but I have fairly dry skin and found this to be very hydrating yet light and easily absorbed into my skin. The only downside would probably be the scent, you could only get away with wearing a fruit based perfume on top of this body butter! However I only see this one when they have a sale going on so it might be discontinued.

Finally we hit the skincare. Two products, one brand! Good Things Total Wipe Out Cleansing Wipes are biodegradable wipes that contain raspberry and cranberry extract. I bought these because I've been a fan of the brand for well over a year now and wanted something to take of make-up at night. I'm not a fan of these at all. Whilst they were refreshing to use, the scent was just too strange and overpowering and it just wasn't effective at removing my make-up. Good Things Stay Clear Purifying Cleanser on the other hand is my star product. This was the first product I bought from the brand and it remains on my repurchase list! I suffer from cystic acne and whilst I have yet to be cured, this cleanser has really helped things calm down. It contains mango and blueberry extracts and like all the products in the range it's free from parabens, sodium laureth sulphate, mineral oils and animal ingredients.

What did you think about the products mentioned in this month's post? Did you use any of these products - if so, which ones and would you recommend it? Would you buy any of these? Or do you think you think there's a product that I should check out? Tell me your views by leaving a comment!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Rimmel Lasting Finish Nail Polish (198 Azure)

Last weekend was so lovely and sunny that I decided to paint my nails a suitably bright colour. I randomly reached in the drawer and pulled out this little beauty. I bought the little 8ml bottle from Boots a few months ago but decided that day was a good time to give it a try.

After 1 day

The colour is gorgeous, though I must say my camera phone isn't doing the shade much justice! I was a bit put off it first because I thought it wouldn't suit my dark skin tone, but I can imagine this colour flattering people of all skin tones! The Rimmel website describes the range as:
"Hardwearing, chip resistant, long lasting colours for a great colour finish. Choose Lasting Finish nail polish for the latest, up to date shades. Great funky pack! Super Value! Great impact!"
So I applied two coats to get an opaque coverage but to be honest in the bright light of the sun it looked like I should have gone for three, which was a bit disappointing. I did use a top and base coat (Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Duo), but I didn't initially intend to review it! Old habits die hard I guess!

After 3 days

Given that I used a base and top coat, I'm a little disappointed by the wear. As you can see from the last photo, after six days there is a very noticeable chip on my index finger. This would've been sooner and greater if it wasn't for the top coat I used. Having said that it's only £2.99 for 8ml (£3.74 per 10ml) so I think I'll be able to live with it!

After 6 days
[This is not a paid review. I purchased this product with my own money. All views expressed here are my own]

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Spot the difference?

I used to hear about it with others but I was never a victim of it myself. I just thought some people were being fussy. But now that I am on the receiving end, I'm not quite sure what to make of the situation...

[Figured it out yet?]

Here is one of my favourite haircare brands, Aussie. One product, two bottles. But one very defining difference. They've added Aloe Vera to the Mega Instant, Colour Mate, Aussome Volume and Miracle Moist shampoos and conditioners.

I'm currently using Mega Instant shampoo + Miracle Moist conditioner. These, plus Take the Heat, are my favourite ranges. I only recently opened the conditioner bottle and it's the new version containing Aloe Vera.

I know that aloe vera has beneficial properties but I really didn't like the texture of the conditioner. It looked more like a shampoo. Previously the Miracle Moist conditioner had a very light creamy texture, whereas now its a clearer gel like formula. The former felt much more moisturising compared to the latter.

Aussie are changing their product line up - for better or worse, I'm not sure yet. First they got rid of the Take The Heat hair serum (and replaced it with a cream version) and now they're changing actual product formula in four of their ranges.

Maybe I just need to endure an adjustment period. Since I don't really like to waste, I'll use up the newly changed versions and see how they work out. Who knows, I may end up preferring the new formula!

How about you? Have you ever continued to use a product after the formula/ingredients were changed? Did it make it better or worse? Leave your own experience in the comment box below!
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