Saturday, 19 October 2013

Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation Review

Confession? I hate buying foundation. I'm pale, have combination but dehydrated skin and it's just no fun at all for me to find something that works.

I've tried everything, from cheap high street foundation to Chanel and everything in between and I think I'm yet to find the perfect foundation! but this, is pretty damn close.

I decided that I'd try Bobbi Brown, they do lighter colours than other brands and have many formulations. I went in with the intention of walking out with Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation, as that's my desired look with foundation, my skin, but perfect, without looking fake. The lovely lady on the counter talked to me about my skin and what I wanted from my foundation  she said that Skin would be too lighter coverage for me and that Moisture Rich would be a better option. 'Moisture Rich!?' I thought to myself 'Surely it'll just slide off' but I asked to try it anyway, and see what I thought. I often fall in love with the way I look at the counter when I'm buying things, only to get it home and find that I hate it! So I left empty handed to examine my face under better lighting and see what I thought of the colour and look of the foundation, and I was quite impressed. 

The foundation offers medium coverage but can be built up to full. My skin sucks it up minimally and it does last a good amount of time on my skin, when set with a powder. At first, it feels too matte when set with a powder but 10 minutes on and my skin looks quite glowy and natural, like the foundation has settled. The coverage looks natural, while still hiding all my flaws, without looking like a mask. I prefer to apply this foundation first on the back of my hand and then dot it onto my face, and use a brush like the Sigma F80 or the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to blend it in. 

The downsides of this product are few, but they could be deal breakers for some. The bottle it's self glass, which isn't a big downfall for me but could be if you often have to travel, I wouldn't have enjoyed bringing this foundation to my boyfriends when we were living apart as I feel I'd probably end up breaking it on the train down. The other downside of the bottle is that it's a pour out lid, now the foundation it's self is thinner than MAC Studio Fix Fluid, which can go through a pump, and some other Bobbi Brown foundations are packaged with a pump, so the fact that this one isn't is a bit of a downside for me. The other issue I have with this foundation is the colour, I have the shade 'Porcelain' which is a nice colour, a touch too dark for my skin, but currently I can get away with it, however in the winter when I turn so pale I look sort of blue, I think it's going to be much too dark. This wouldn't be an issue, if Bobbi Brown hadn't stopped selling their lighter shade 'Alabaster' in the UK, which seems a weird choice as you'd think, over here in the UK, the land with no sun, pale foundations might be a good move!

This foundation also photographs nicely, with minimal flashback! 

Overall, I find this to be a good, medium coverage foundation that feels nice and light on the skin and looks natural, while still hiding all my flaws, however the packaging isn't ideal and I hate brands that don't sell their full range of shades in the UK as well as the USA. I really enjoy using this foundation and think it's the best I've used to date, however I'm always on the quest for better! I also feel this foundation acted as a gateway drug for me into more Bobbi Brown products and I have since spent quite a lot of money on their products, and really enjoy them! I have my eyes on their brand new 'Luminous Moisture Treatment Foundation' as it sounds perfect for me and they do the Alabaster shade!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Smashbox Photofinish Primer Review

I've completely, 100% used up this product, so I think I can give a pretty good review of this.

I decided to buy this primer before I started college last September and it lasted me until around March, I didn't buy the full-size, but instead the travel size. It cost £12.50 from boots. When deciding to get one, I was faced with the challenge of choosing which one. I've always heard that for acne-prone skin that the photofinish light was great for my skin, and I thought the hydrating one might be something for me as I also have dehydrated skin, so thought that the Hydrating version would be for me. After going through the options with the sales assistant, I decided to buy the original and give it a try, and then I could try a different one if I didn't like the original. 

The packaging is nice, it's sleek and my travel size is perfect for travelling and ml for ml, it's not much more expensive than buying the full-size, as mini's often can be. The only thing I have to say about the packaging is that towards the end of the product, it becomes quite a challenge to get it out of the bottle, however I did think that mine had reached the end a few times, only to be surprised that more could come out. 

I apologise for reusing the photo, but mine is grubby, empty, bent out of shape and topless!

In terms of the effects, I felt this primer gave me a good base for make up, it was smoothing  so helped foundation glide on and sit nicer on my skin. I also think I have quite enlarged pores on my cheeks (my Mum says this is in my head though) and this product has a soft-focus effect on them, making them look smaller. The silicone feeling helps my foundation stay on rather than being sucked up by my dehydrated skin and I'm pretty sure that this has a big impact on helping my make up last longer. Overall I enjoyed using this primer, I really like using primers and felt that this one made a big different. It's texture reminds me of a primer which GOSH makes, which costs the same amount of money but for around double the product, however my skin didn't agree that and it caused my skin to break out and I had more clogged pores than usual. The Smashbox primer didn't do this to my skin and I didn't notice it make any difference, good or bad to my actual skin. 

Now, the question is would I buy it again? I think I would buy a smashbox primer again, maybe not this specific one as I think I'd quite like to try out their hydrating one, or the Laura Mercier Hydrating one to see which I like better.

So a question to you all, when it comes to foundation primer, do you do or don't? I'm definitely in camp 'do'! 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Wishlist #1

At the moment, I'm craving new things. Maybe this is to do with starting university so I'm feeling an element of 'new academic year, new season, new start' (Gosh, I hate it when people say that!) and I just want to start a fresh with some of my beauty and skincare products, so here's a wish list!

1. Clarisonic Deep Pore Cleansing Brush Head £21

I'm in dire need of a new brush head for my clarisonic, I don't use mine too regularlly but I'm starting too, and after watching Suzy from Simply Suzy I decided that I needed this one, having only used the sensitive one and as Suzy uses the same cleanser as me, I really want to try out her combo of cleanser and brush head. I think I'm also going to do an in depth review of my Clarisonic as it's one of those love it or hate it, is it worth the money products.

2. Origins Drink Up Mask £22

I've heard loads about this mask and my friend Lisa from bought this and mentioned it in her blog post on 'The Triple Threat Face Mask' I really want it! I think I'm going to try track down the smaller size of this and see how I get on with it. I have combination skin but I find the oily, spotty side of my skin much easier to deal with than the dehydration!

3. Tom Ford Shape and Illuminate £55

After hearing much about this product I just SO want to try it! I love to contour and prefer creams and I'm yet to find the perfect highlight but this product looks pretty much perfect. I wonder, that opening the door to Tom Ford Beauty is going to be an dangerous idea, especially considering I could walk from uni to the counter, as the metro station is in Fenwicks...oh dear!

4. Alpha H Liquid Gold £31.50

I think I just need this! after feeling like I've pretty much perfected my basic skincare, but I still feel like I need a few extras to get my skin in tip top condition and my main issue with my skin is the texture, and this promises to help! After hearing about this for months, I think I'm ready to take the plunge!

5. Illamasqua Nail Polish in 'Facet' £14.50

I love nail polish, but I'm a nail biter and useless at painting my nails. After recently getting gel nails and loving them (my nails are so strong and lovely underneath too!) I'm starting to love painting my nails, I love colours like this, OPI Metro Chic is my all time favourite polish and I think this polish looks just as beautiful! 

So here it is, these are some of the things I'm craving at the moment, what things are you currently lusting after?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Kerastase Nectar Thermique Review

My hair, is my pride and joy. After a hair dye disaster I cut my hair short, much shorter than I'd ever had before, and I started growing it out. Much later after that disaster, around 2 years ago I went to a new hairdresser and had my black dye lifted out to a very dark brown. She had used two products on me that made my hair feel so soft! I bought them both (online, for cheaper prices). One of the products, was Kerastase Nectar Thermique, now I'd heard it mentioned before and seen it on blogs, and I'd used one product from the brand before, a hair masque, but I'd never used any Kerastase styling products before as they are quite expensive at £18.90 a pop! This product can be bought for around £16 online.

This product is a hybrid of leave in conditioner and heat protectant as well as smoothing your hair and preventing frizz. It's a thick, white cream, which you apply a 'walnut sized amount' to your hands and then rub through your hair, I apply this mainly to the ends of my hair but as it's my heat protectant, I also take a light amount right up to the root, but very lightly. I find this product gives my hair so much shine, and does product my hair from the heat effectively. This is brilliant if like me, you regularly fail at using a spray in heat protectant (I also hate the smell of almost all of them!). This product smells really good, it's lightly fragranced but I can't described what with, it's a nice, and inoffensive smell. 

I'd actually put my hairs growth in the past two years partly down to this product. Of course, it doesn't make my hair grow, but it does protect your hair from the heat and condition it, and I think this has meant that at my regular trims, my hairdresser has taken much less off and my hair has grown much longer and so much healthier than it did in life before this product! I had a small period of time when I didn't have this product and bought it back as soon as I could. If you're after a smooth blow dry, some heat protection and a little bit of extra conditioning, then this is a great product.

What are your holy grail hair products? 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A Skincare Haul

Over the past year, I've become really interested in skincare. I've always known the importance of looking after my skin, but never really found the right products that gave me the results I was after, not since I tried my first set of proper skincare when I was about 14, Clinique 3 Step, which at the time, I loved and now wouldn't touch with a barge pole. I think my interest in skincare has really stemmed from reading the wonderful, no nonsense skincare blog of Caroline Hirons, (you MUST read her blog) and since applying, slowly her tips, tricks and following her product recommendations, my skin has never been better. 

Through Caroline's blog, I discovered the brand REN. Some products skincare products which I lust after are well out of my price range at the moment, but I find REN to be very affordable, and very effective, two things which are my top priority when looking for skincare. At the weekend, my lovely Mum had a 20% of Marks and Spencer voucher, if you didn't know, lots of great skincare brands are available in larger M&S stores and online, so I decided this was the time to stock up on some products, so here's what I got 


First, I decided to repurchase my favourite ever cleanser. Now, I know I've previously raved about my Clarins foaming cleanser, but this blows it out of the water! I still love that cleanser, but I'd choose this one over it. This has a clay base making it feel like a mask each time that you use it. When I'm using this product, my skin is much clearer, brighter and softer. 

REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

Then I chose to buy the Clarifying Toner, now I know some people don't do toner but I definitely do! Toner is NOT for removing the last bits of make up on your skin though! if you need toner to do that, you need to wash your face properly! Nor does it close your pores, this toner balances and lightly exfoliates your face, this one is affordable and easy to get hold of, so I thought I'd give this a try before I think about splashing out on P50.

REN Clarifying Toning Lotion

I also decided to get REN's balm cleanser. This is a balm which you can use you remove your make up, my ClearCalm does not remove make up, and shouldn't be used to do so, so I wanted something that would be suitable for a first cleanse to remove make up and sunscreen, and I decided to go for this one as I've had a sample before and it doesn't hurt my eyes, and I can never be bothered to use a separate eye make up remove before I take off my face make up.

REN No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

My last purchase wasn't from REN, but instead Nuxe. A brand I'd seen before but never tried, this was sort of an impulse purchase, recently my lips had been so dry they'd been cracking, although I drink my weight in water each day (Okay, maybe not my weight, but I do drink more than 2lt) so I don't think I'm dehydrated. I bought this because I'd heard it mentioned on blogs and thought I'd give it a spin, I liked the texture and my Mum thought it was lovely, so I bought two of them. One for her, and one for me. My Mum is a woman who has, for the past 20 years slathered some vaseline on her lips before bed, and after using this for a few days has told me that she's noticed a big different. 

Nuxe Lip Balm

I think I'm good for skincare for a while now! just need a new moisturiser and a hydrating toner and I think I'm all good! What about you? do you love skincare too? 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

50 Fact About Me

So I'm back!
I really wanted to start blogging again because I really enjoy this, but college really got in the way for me but now that's all finished! exams are done, I've gotten into University, so I can finally try and get into what I've wanted to do for years. 

I thought a good way to start would be with a '50 facts about me', I love reading these because I'm a bit nosey and I always feel like you really get to know someone online with this, so here it goes. 

1. My name is Simone

2. I'm 19 and my Birthday is 08/04/1994

3. I live in the North East of England and I have done for 10 years.

4. I don't have much of a strong accent, and I can never tell people where my accent is from. When I'm in the South I'm told I sound like a northerner, and in the North I'm often told I sound like a southerner, no-one has ever placed it to somewhere. 

5. I lived in Saudi Arabia for 9 years, I grew up there and only came home in the Summer and we started coming home for Christmas when I was about 5. 

6. I hold a Dutch passport, because my Mother is Dutch and it was quicker for me to get a Dutch passport than an English one when I was born, although I was born in the UK. We needed my passport fast as we had to go back to Saudi quite soon after I was born.

7. I have a brother who is two years younger than I am. We get a long most of the time, and he's petty cool. 

8. I didn't do A levels, but instead did an HEFC (Higher Education Foundation Course) and I loved every minute of it, no matter how much I complained about it I loved it, even when it was really hard and I wanted to quit. 

9. I always thought I'd do my degree in History, but after studying it at a higher level, I've instead chosen Psychology and as much as I love History, I'm really happy with my decision. 

10. I'm Dyspraxic 

11. When I decided to do my degree in Psychology over History, it was because of the career prospects. I would really love to be an Educational Psychologist or a Clinical Psychologist with children and adolescents. I hope to have a job where I help people on a daily basis. 

12. For my HEFC course, I took History, Psychology and Sociology, and I loved all of the subjects but wish I could have taken more than 3 subjects. 

13. I love Mexican and Japanese food, albeit our British versions of these.

14. Cooking is one of my favourite things to do, I also love baking but I hate tidying up!

15. My favourite holiday destinations are Dubai and Orlando, Florida. I want to visit so many places in the world, but I'd love to go back to these two.

16. Long-haul flights are the best, I'd rather fly for 8+ hours than 3/4 hours.

17. I'd only drink American style iced tea if I could, I really love the Dunkin Donuts one. 

18. Macaroni and Cheese is my 'speciality' recipe and my boyfriend's favourite meal. 

19. Brownies are a close second, and my brothers favourite thing I cook. 

20. I'm really fussy about my bed, my covers have to be certain ones or I don't like the way they feel against my skin, and I have to shake any little crumbs off the sheet every night, it drives my boyfriend mad but he appears to love me in spite of this. 

21. I recently got in touch with my childhood best friend, we stopped talking when we were 15 after being best friends for 11 years (like 15 years old do!) and we got back in touch this year and honestly, it feels like a missing piece has been returned to me. 

22. I love dogs far too much, I have an English Cocker Spaniel named Caramel, she's ginger and so lovely. 

23. My Mum trains puppies for Guide Dogs, we've trained 3 puppies from scratch and boarded 13 more. I remember every single one of them and I can't wait to have my own labrador one day.

24. My brother and I once worked out that I have been on a minimum of 200 flights in my lifetime. 

25. I wore almost exclusively black for about 2 years, and now I'm starting to inject colour into my wardrobe again.

26. I was bullied until I felt I could not longer attend school, this lead me down a path of anxiety and depression and effected my GCSE's (I only sat 4 exams) and now, 4 years later I think I'm finally happy, and over what happened. 

27. I kill plants. I try not too, but I just fail at looking after them! I'm currently trying to care for my 5th basil plant, and he's still alive! my brother is helping me with this one though, as I appear to be incapable of doing it myself.

28. I find lumps in air, and have Dyspraxic moments that sometimes result in me injuring myself by falling over seemingly nothing, or occasionally my own feet. Some what recently I fell down my drive and sprained my ankle, and 7 weeks ago, I fell over and broke my foot! 

29. I'm petrified of snakes. I can't look at pictures of them, or videos of them and if people talk about them for too long I have to take my feet of the floor. I've not always been so scared of them, and I can't remember when it actually started! 

30. I'm left-handed. 

31. I've loved London every time that I've been, but I don't think I could ever move down south.

32. Making lists makes me happy, shopping lists, lists of things I want to do, places I want to visit, I have all of them, and I keep them up to date. It irritates my Mum because I can't even go to town without a list of where I'd like to go.

33. My short term memory is awful, but my long term memory is quite astounding, even to me. I could tell you in detail about a day that I had years ago, but cannot remember if I've eaten breakfast or not. I like to think of it as a sign of genius, but really it's just irritating. 

34. In the house, when it's just me and my Dad, we listen to 'Sky Radio' online, a dutch radio station that doesn't have adverts and plays a few dutch songs each hour. My Dad and I like to learn to lyrics to the dutch songs and sing them to my mum, while making up traffic and weather and pretending we're translating it.

35. I don't like avocado. I've tried, they're so trendy  and good for you, and you can call them alligator pears! but I just don't like them.

36. I consider courgettes to be a gift from the devil himself, they're vile and I don't understand how anyone can eat them.

37. I cannot grow my nails for the life of me, whenever I'm stressed I bite my nails, and as a naturally anxious person, the nails never make it. 

38. It took me 5 attempts to get my ears pierced. I finally have them done and have done for about 8 years, but I rarely wear earrings because I have metal allergies :(

39. I got my nose pierced when I was 15 and I loved it, but I let it close up because I was so lazy and my studs kept coming out or I had to take it out,  and I keep meaning to get it re-done, but I always forget. 

40. I don't have any tattoos, I'd like one and I love the way they look (My boyfriend has 6) but I can't decide on something that I'll love forever. 

41. Fantasy shopping is my favourite thing (much like list making!) and I like to waste time online adding all the products I want to my basket online and wishing I could click the 'buy' button.

42. My hair grows really slowly, and I want it really long, I think I've been saying '2 more inches and I'll be happy' for around 3 years.

43. I hate painting my nails. I love the way other people's painted nails look but when I do my own they look horrid! I still buy colours and try though.

44.  I'm blessed to have an extremely supportive and loving immediate family. They drive me up the wall sometimes but they love me and I love them. 

45. I'm never content or relaxed, once I've achieved something I'm onto the next thing before it's even fully finished, like I'm looking in depth at post graduate things now, before I've even started undergraduate! 

46. Trashy TV is my favourite. I love to watch serious, deep and profound documentaries (ooh look at me sounding all smart) and more 'serious' shows but give me some 16 & Pregnant, Teen Mom (1,2 or 3), bit of the Kardashians and maybe some E! True Hollywood stories and I'm happy. 

47. I'm 5ft 8in tall. This tends to surprise people and my friends have often gone 'I didn't realise you were so tall!' and this baffles me...

48. I remember birthday's. It's like my thing, tell me your birthday 2/3 times and it's stuck in there. 

49. I'm useless at keeping things overall tidy. I like to organise little things meticulously but overall, my room is messy! My vanity is terribly messy and unorganised. 

50. When we have our own house, James and I would like 4 dogs, yes 4 dogs! A Labrador x Retriever, a Boxer, a Newfoundland and an Alaskan Malamute. I also want a dyson hoover to go with the dogs haha!

Well, that's 50 facts about me! I hope that you've enjoyed reading this post and maybe felt like you got to know me a bit. I always love reading these posts myself so hope that you enjoyed this too!