skincare posts

Christmas Lust-List

December 4, 2017

Also known as the things I – as a 24-year-old woman – have shamelessly begged various members of my family for, until they have now stopped replying to my texts.

christmas-lust-list

Gabrielle by Chanel

They say you should change your scent with each new man you date, which is something I forgot to do with my fella and we nearly murdered the other recently – so I thought I’d give the poor lad a break and invest for superstition’s sake.

After riding the Estée Lauder Modern Muse train all the way from 2015, the natural progression from ‘pretending-I’ve-got-my-shit-together’ to ‘oh-fuck-I-might-actually-have-my-shit-together’ scent came in the guise of Chanel’s latest offering: Gabrielle. Inspired by the leading lady herself, this youthful take on the timeless Chanel family will hopefully let me convey some semblance of togetherness – on the premise that you can only smell me; not see me smearing lipstick all over my chin on the tram.

chanel-gabrielle-perfume-christmas

EVE Memory Foam Pillow

Given that a good’s night sleep is about as fabled as Father Christmas himself these days, I’ve somehow convinced myself that spending over £50 on one pillow is wholly justifiable. Whether it’s the cat pissing in the corner of the room (I wish I was joking), or waking up early to hairdry my knickers clean (should really put a new washing machine on this list); getting more than 6 hours zzz is a nightly struggle.

At this price, I’m still hoping it’s going to give me a lap dance too.  

eve-memory-foam-pillow

Zoeva Makeup Brush Set

I had one of those day-crushing moments last week, where the world instantly slams to a halt and you have to swallow a scream on the packed bus: I only went and dropped my trusty makeup sponge on public transport. Given I merely have to think about being 15 to sprout a new chin spot, there was no way the ‘5 second rule’ was coming into play here.

What was a girl to do? Stop being a greb who uses artful finger blending teamed with a circa 2012 Mac blusher brush, of course – enter the Zoeva *insert whatever the hell it’s called*.

zoeva-classic-brush-set-christmas-selfridges

Kiehl’s Haul

On the note of dodgy skin, the haunting calls of true womanhood (hi finelines, hello dull complexion) led to me scouring the Kiehl’s website (with a handy 20% off Black Friday code clutched firmly in my Ctrl+C, that is). I’m not going to tell you what I ordered just yet – a) in case it’s shite and I’m a lost cause b) I’ll review it in the New Year. Although I did order that Midnight Recovery stuff and – swear down – if Karlie Kloss herself doesn’t emerge out of my pores, shit is going to hit the fan.

kiehls-midnight-recovery-christmas-present

Oral B 3D White Whitening Strips

Shout out 2 my ex for introducing me to these badboys (lol jk, you’re an absolute weapon). Given my sister and I haven’t a well-functioning maternal bone between us, we have opted to thoughtfully split a pack of these dodgy af imported whitening strips for our respective Christmas presents this year. Any excuse to FaceTime her at 3am with just me teeth out.

3d-oral-b-whitening-strips-christmas

What’re you hoping to find under the Christmas tree? Peace, love and an unlimited Wagamamas card aside, that is… Drop me a comment, you never know: might buy it for ya.

Okay, that’s a lie – but worth a try, no?

 

REVIEW: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

May 31, 2014

loreal-micellar-cleansing-water-review-blogger-beauty

Check me out: three posts in as many days, I’m well and truly back bitches – I mean, ladies/(gents?). Today, I’m going to be writing up a cheeky review of my new wonder product, and seemingly, the wonder product of the entire blogosphere: the drug-store holy grail that is Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water. Generally, I’m the reigning queen of lazy make-up apathy: the traditional, three or four step wash? You’d be lucky. I save that for showers – don’t judge me. Given that face-wipes are universally known as the beauty devil incarnate, I’ve recently revoked my love affair with those too and, following the finals of my third year, a replacement was needed and it was needed yesterday. If you spotted my post from Thursday, you’ll be aware that I am now currently living off scraps and thin air after a (£91) Boots binge – during which I picked up this critically acclaimed Bioderma dupe and a L’Oréal Skin Perfection Toner, anticipating something mildly wonderful to happen. Although, there is one thing I do have to question with the concept of switching up your skincare routine and actually getting results: how do you know it’s not merely an improvement simply because having a new product is a novelty factor and therefore, you’re more inclined to use it religiously? To be honest, I think in this case, it is very much a mix of the two and, as someone plagued with the odd mega-spot party at the (surely-too-old) age of 21, I sure ain’t complaining either way.

The formula is applied with a trusty cotton pad and smushed around the face until you feel all make-up has been suitably removed. Or, in my case, halfway through the pad packet by the time you’ve scrubbed the panda eyes away. The beauty of this product is that you can be as lazy as you like – personally I keep the product and pads next to my bed – so I can idly wipe everything off in the screffy fashion I did with face-wipes, but I wake up the next morning pristine and, most importantly: hydrated. Instead of essentially burning your skin cells off with removal, the water is perfectly hydrating and doesn’t even leave me cringing to use astringent-y toner afterwards. I would totally, totally recommend this product to anyone who hasn’t got their life straight enough to even sort out a sensible bedtime, nevermind construct a lengthy, religious washing routine. However, I’m not advocating true laziness: I always use St Ives Apricot Scrub in the shower. Squeaky clean ladies, squeaky clean…

At £3.99 instead of £4.99 in Boots at the moment, I am totally advocating a little shopping time.

Who else is a fan of this product? Let me know in the comments or drop me a tweet @Ebzo.

 

Review: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in SB02.

January 15, 2014

illamasqua-skin-base-foundation-02

I’ve had this foundation for quite some time now – the second anyone mentions it on Twitter, I can’t help but swoop in with adulation and pale-girl solidarity. It’s a gem. As a ridiculously pink-toned pale lady (I know, awful combination), finding a foundation that manages to get me from one season to another has been a huge strain on both my patience and bank account over the years. However, at least six months on; I’m still very much infatuated with this little beauty. A couple of bloggers were interested in trying out the shade and suggested I did some swatches and a post – so here you go – hope it helps!

illamasqua-skin-base-foundation-swatch-02As you can see, the foundation is super pale, with a more yellowy undertone than my skin really deserves (does a great job of toning down my pinkness!). It goes on reasonably smoothly, though I’d suggest applying in light splodges with a brush at first, then smoothing in with fingers – it doesn’t take too well to my MAC foundation brush. To be honest, I think it looks best when applied with fingers alone, but that’s often more time consuming. The only flaw I can note with this product is that, undoubtedly due to its insanely pale pigment, it isn’t the best of foundations for covering up pesky spots. You’re still going to need to rely on your good pals Mr Concealer and Miss Powder with this one. It is definitely best for general consistent coverage on pale skin. Below is a picture of me wearing just the foundation as a base, without concealer/powder/blush (without flash too):

illamasqua-skin-base-foundation-02-swatch-face-beauty

Review: Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Care Set

January 15, 2014

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I picked up these ‘best-seller’ products in the Body Shop, when I was supposed to be buying presents – two days prior to Christmas Day. Oops. Either way, they were in a set of two for £16, instead of the £27 it would cost to buy the two separately now that the offer is over (at least online). I like the Body Shop. Like – not love. The products are all things that I could quite easily live without – on the premise that I was quite happy continuing life as a scaly-skinned, scentless bore. To me, buying body butters and all that jazz usually fills me with about as much joy as buying toothpaste, but Body Shop and Lush are always my firm favourites for when I’m having a particularly feminine day. And, now that I’ve quit smoking, it’s nice to focus on smelling lovely without the unfortunately unsubtle linger of ash.

So, onto the products. I’m gonna warn you: I’m not blown away. Staring scathingly at the constellation of spots around my chin after using this stuff, I’m really not blown away. Let me tell you why:

  • Vitamin C Skin Reviver – 30ml £14

This stuff is technically lush: it smells like a mandarin orgy and it makes skin look smooth as a baby’s behind. However, I’ve thrust it over to the dark side of ‘unsure’ products due to one big fat flaw: it’s like battery acid. Now, hear me out on this one. Am I alone in thinking that a skin reviver – that doesn’t cite any warning about putting near eyes – really shouldn’t leave you looking like you’ve spent three hours in a torture cell, being played the Lion King clip where Simba realises Mufasa has snuffed it, on loop? I have naturally sensitive eyes anyway, so maybe I really am alone in this one – applying eyeliner anywhere near a window leaves me looking more Corpse Bride than Alexa Chung.

  • Vitamin C Microdermabrasion – 75ml £16

I’m struggling to review both of these, if I’m honest, as I’m posing anomalies anywhere. In regards to this microdermabrasion product, I started using it but very soon after, the dreaded ‘Time of the Month’ took over, so I’m unsure as to which one spurred the breakout. I whinged about it on Twitter recently, and someone said she had a similar breakout after incorporating microdermabrasion into her skincare routine – so I’m not going to pass judgement. To be honest, my favourite part about this product is the application itself. It’s beyond cathartic. Divinely tiny little grainy beads getting scrubbed into the deep depths of my pores? Give me some of that. The feeling after rinsing it off is equally great: it’s like what I’d image a skin peel to feel like, sans the burn and general painful-sounding connotations.

As someone with infamously dull, pale skin, I find it hard to find any products that truly brighten up my complexion in the winter months. This definitely had a good go and, whilst I probably won’t bother to repurchase, I would definitely recommend it to people who are less prone to breakouts/shit leaky eyes.

Ditch The Slap For Summer.

June 17, 2013

Summer’s here, sun cream’s flying off the shelves and we’re all out in the garden having BBQs. Well, perhaps one weekend each month we have the luxury of such weather, being begrudging citizens of the United Kingdom. The first thing we see after the teensiest hint of sunshine is an absolute fake-tan army, patrolling the streets, our shitty beaches, or even just loitering around the local Spar with a couple Calippo lollies – a complete onslaught of orange. I hate it. It’s probably one of my most anti-beauty blogger opinions, and may even get me banished from the blogosphere but, I bloody hate fake tan. It’s nigh impossible to get done properly, unless you’re in the know and of a well-padded bank account, which we all know accounts only for the tiniest minority of Britain’s population. Instead, we get faced with young girls and ladies committing one of many ‘sun’-kissed sins: streaks/OTT orange pigmentation/different coloured foundations to fake tan – it goes on and on. Not to mention the grim side effects. You’re either going to smell funny, drip brown liquid over all your belongings/bedsheets/boyfriends, or take the other option and get cancer, or just botch up your facial skin quality by whapping on the slap and causing breakouts.

Now, how much of Britain’s fake tan obsession do you think spurns from the media, or peer pressure? I’d say a damn good amount. When I was in high school, I was relentlessly bitched at by the chavvy girls due to my ghostly white complexion, usually in a guise of being utterly perplexed that I didn’t bother slapping colour on me that was a good 10 shades darker than the Snow White pigment I was born with. As long as you take care of your skin properly, it doesn’t matter what damn colour it is. If you consistently shave, exfoliate and moisturise, your skin will look radiant and healthy in the sun regardless! You don’t have to add further stressors to your life by thinking you can’t leave the house without a 2cm layer of paste all over you. It’s just bizarre to me.

But I’m not the only one who feels like embracing my natural tone and working with it. Here are some pale celebrity goddesses:

Rooney Mara

 

Taylor Swift

Nicola Roberts

Amanda Seyfried

Charlotte Free

My main change to my beauty regime that, unless I’m going on a night out, I have completely and utterly cut out foundation – sticking instead to using just moisturiser, concealer when necessary, and the odd bit of powder on my t-zones. This has been going on for nearly a month now and I cannot begin to explain how much of a difference it has made my complexion. My skin is clearer than its ever been, my freckles are proudly mooching around my cheeks and the overall finish is much cleaner and natural. Being so pale, I find it difficult to find any foundation that actually suits me for more than a season anyway, so I thought I’d brave being naked for a while and get to the root of the problem, that foundation was only covering up and worsening anyway!

I say: give it a try. And if it doesn’t work, you can send me nasty emails. But I’m pretty damn sure you’ll see great results and you’ll learn to feel comfortable with the quality and shade of your own skin tone within no time – no more wasting time and money on bottles of orange gunk – let the warmth of summer bring out your natural glow. If you’ve tried to cut out any beauty product recently – let me know how it went! Here’s a blatant piss-take photo from my holiday in March, where I braved Morocco without bothering with fake tan:

Tweet me @Ebzo

REVIEW: Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer

June 13, 2013

I can’t say I’ve ever been crazy about buying primers before: my skin’s reasonably quite ruly when it comes to oiliness and I’ve recently taken the plunge to not wear foundation unless I’m going out. However, of the ones I’ve tried, this one is definitely fighting me for Benefit’s ‘Porefessional’ #1 title in my must-haves, upon receiving it recently. That said, there are huge differences between the two products: the Bare Minerals targets redness, which is portrayed in its yellow-based tone, whereas, the Porefessional is more of an all-rounder which would be suitable for all skin types. This makes me a big fan of the Bare Minerals, as I’m very pale skinned with an annoying pinky undertone, which is coming out in the sunshine as a glorious reddy undertone – how gloriously attractive that sounds. A thin layer of this beauty smoothed in after moisturiser and I am good to go. Here’s a little swatch on my paleness: (don’t fear, it rubs in to a less scary colour!)

At £21 for a 30ml product – but only £17 through QVC, it does seem a little steep – but each application only requires the tiniest of presses on the pump, so it should be cost-effective and long lasting. It’s definitely a good product to use if you’re about to embark on a wild night out, great for avoiding the oil slick/patchy red-face-man look after you’ve been throwing too many shapes at the latest Justin Timberlake song. It’s also proved pretty good as a standalone beauty product; applying after moisturiser on one of the bizarre heatwave days we’ve had of late (cue pensive stare to the now-rain drenched window), can be really effective if you fancy getting a bit au naturel. This is especially fun if you’re freckly.

There is one thing that I disliked about this product and, annoyingly, it could be a big off-putter to some: the scent is strong. I’m talking really strong. Nothing repugnant or bad-smelling, just mildly medicinal to the extent that I’m always quite dubious about putting it under my eyes, lest they get all watery. I still use and would recommend the product, I would just suggest that in future, it’s made with less perfume. I mean, why does primer need to be scented anyway?

I would’ve done a picture of me actually wearing the product but I have a nasty heat/stress rash on my face at the moment, so you’re not going to get a clear indication of how it works. Grr. I will update the post with pictures when I’m a bit less haggard-looking.

Pros: Works effectively – covers up red marks/smoothes surface, little goes a long way.

Cons: Smells a bit like you don’t want it invading your retinas. Then again, I don’t think the smell of anything would make you want it on/in/around your retinas. Ahem.

Would I recommend: Yes. Particularly to those with normal/combination skin of a lighter tone, with a pink undertone.

Tweet me @Ebzo

‘Hey Guys, I Wash’ – Skincare Routine.

May 4, 2013

I’ve seen a few of these posts and thought I’d pop one up of my own skin routine as, for once, I’m enjoying the fact that my skin is uber clear and I can embrace my pale-y ways to the extent of not even wearing foundation day-to-day. Every skincare routine is going to be different; we all have our own little skin complaints and strengths. I’d say my skin was fairly normal, with a tendency to get a little oily around the t-zone, with my main ‘spotty’ areas being my chin and upper lip.

There’s going to be a bit of a #bblogger gasp when I say: as a rule, I rely on face-wipes pretty much daily. I take my make-up off at night with them, apply moisturiser afterwards and use another in the morning to remove any pesky, stubborn mascara before showering. I only physically wash my face when I shower, which is practically daily though, so I guess I’m not too grimily unfeminine. It’s a pretty handy tip to keep your face wash in the shower as it becomes tied into your shower routine, so it’s pretty difficult to forget about – which would probably just lead to a nasty breakout. Here’s a run down of the few products I use to attempt to keep my face in tip-top condition:

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Review: Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Foundation in ‘Ivory – Believe In Me’.

March 29, 2013

Yesterday I wrote a post about Bobbi Brown’s Moisture Rich foundation and mentioned that I was going to do a review of my new Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen foundation, so here you go. I’ve only had this bottle for exactly a week now: picked it up £4.50 off at Duty Free enroute to Marrakech and I’m already ready to rave about how good it is. Firstly, the packaging is lovely: as is characteristic of the Benefit brand, the name and colours of the foundation are quirky and fun – like ‘Ivory – Believe In Me’ and ‘Ivory – Pure For Sure’ and the bottle looks snazzy and modern.

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Review: Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation in Porcelain.

March 28, 2013

Moisture Rich? They weren’t kidding.

After over six months of religiously using M.A.C’s Matchmaster foundation, the time came for change. Thankfully, this coincided with Christmastime so I dragged my Nan to Chester for the day to hit the Debenhams make-up counters: hard. If you’re pale, like me, you’ll be all too aware of the annoyance that comes with being turned away by nearly all brands with “We don’t have anything to suit your shade” and probably stick to one foundation for life – I do not blame you. But it got to the stage with my M.A.C foundation where I’d either lost some colour between the April when I bought it, and the December when I replaced it, or for some reason it just didn’t suit anymore, so change was a-comin’.

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Unmasking The Facemask – With Lush.

October 20, 2012

I recently got asked to do a post about facemasks, as I’m a keen lover of Lush’s amazing range and facemasks are often just dismissed with the stereotypes of either giggly tweens at a sleepover or frantic ageing beauties clinging to chemical peels – a far cry from the natural and skin-loving products on offer today.

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Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com