Sunday, 19 August 2012

Taking care of your feet | Mariam

Living in London, and often commuting on the tube, I often have the 'privilege' to observe strangers' feet. Particularly women's feet which, now that it's summer, are always housed in some sort of flip/flop/sandal/open toe shoe. I would have to say that the majority of the time, their feet are not worthy of public exposure. It's probably a bit biased because I absolutely hate feet, but I still think they deserve a bit of attention.

This is my holy foot duo:

Boots Gorgeous Feet Deeply Intensive Moisturiser
This is a cracker of a jar but both 'Mr M' and I have been enjoying using this and it's actually nearly all gone. It smells so nice (very Johnson's face lotion) and has a light and creamy texture that is perfect for smoothing onto the feet leaving them soft and pampered.

An unhonourable mention:

There's nothing wrong with this heel balm as such but I just hate the smell which is strange because Soap and Glory products normally smell amazing. It's sort of pepperminty but in a weird stale, starchy way. This makes application a bit of a dire experience and it has since found its way to the bottom of my cosmetics compost.

The Ped-Egg
I feel a bit silly for admitting that I own this because to my knowledge it's one of those weird gimmicky products you can find on JML. But this nifty little pink device promises to gently file away rough skin, which I suppose it does. I have to say, I expected this to be a little bit tougher but if you're prepared to sand away at your feet for a good hour to see some results then the Ped-Egg is your man.

Once you've got your feet all nice and smooth, the toenails are yet another important factor. In the summer I always gravitated towards loud brights but since the Essie diffusion line has come to the UK, the shade Fiji has been hyped as the ultimate flattering toenail colour. I've also been a fan of the neutral shade on toes recently but Fiji's pristine pinky beige pastel looks summery yet 'grown-up'. It's so opaque too which works well on toenails and with a tan, this is just perfect.

Do you think taking care of your feet is important. If so, how do you go about it? If not, please don't wear flip-flops on the Bakerloo line.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Face Masks I'm Using Right Now | Mariam

I like facemasks. Facemasks are a good thing. It's not a proper Sunday if I haven't enjoyed a good 20 minutes (or more) with a copious amount of product on my face. I've used a fair few face masks in my time. These are just the ones I've been enjoying currently.

It's useful to note that I have oily and blemish-prone skin, so mainly my face masks are targeted at this type of skin.

Yves Rocher Pure Systems Pore Cleaning Mask
Yves Rocher is a French brand, but quite readily available to most of us online. I featured this in my European Pharmacy haul a little while back and have enjoyed using it since. It's a thick, mud-like mask (my favourite type!) with plenty of zing courtesy of the salycilic acid. It works well to cleanse deep down and unclog pores.

Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Mask
I actually bought this mask before I realised it already had quite the following  in the beauty world. It's a thick white mask with little beads that burst upon application. It doesn't really set on the skin, but makes my skin feel clean, my pores firm but my overall complexion far from stripped. I try not to use this too often as it is a little bit more astringent that I'd like - but for a fortnightly detox it's a real treat.

The Body Shop 3-in-1 Honey and Oat Scrub Mask
I've had this mask for ages, and you can tell because I bought it in my period of skincare naïveté. It's for dry skin?! However, the oats within the mask provide mild exfoliation while the mask itself makes my skin feel extremely soft and nourished. It's actually one of my favourite masks to use though, and it certainly gets on with my oil-slick of a complexion. Yet more proof that labels on skincare items can often be a load of old hooey.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Wash and Mask
This is a well known drugstore staple, and rightly so - it's the daddy of all clay masks. The Visibly Clear Range from Neutrogena has long been a favourite of mine, and I just love the way this mask makes my skin feel. Refreshed, clean and really radiant! The only downside is that it dries to a really hard crust and it's a nightmare to remove without a flannel.

Yin Yang Kaolin Face Mask
Now this is interesting. Since my reluctant self-imposed ban on manual exfoliation with face scrubs and the like, I have delved into the world of exfoliating masks. This is also a clay mask, so efficiently seeps up that extra sebum. The mask applies really thinly, almost like a moisturiser and sinks in as you wait. It must be the fruit acids in this thing, but it really eats away at my skin cells and leaves it feeling soft and polished - and I haven't even touched my face! You can find this mask and the whole range in Holland and Barret's - a place that is fast becoming my new skincare Mecca.

What facemasks are your favourite? And which ones would you reccomend?

Mariam xx

Sunday, 5 August 2012

July Favourites | Shona

I think its about time for my July favourites, I know its a tad late but in the words of Einstein 'Time is an illusion'...or thats my excuse anyway...

Firstly, I have been loving my L'Oreal Telescopic mascara. Its perfect for creating long and defined lashes for my daytime makeup. For as long as I can remember I've had eyelash envy of anyone with long lashes (talkin' bout you mariam) however since using this mascara They feel much less inadiquate!  Another plus of this mascara comes with my accidental purchase of the waterproof version. I would never normally go for waterproof mascara's but I've found that this can last all day and potentially much longer. On the downside, it can create clumpy lashes (one of my pet peeves) if you keep put too many coats on, or wiggle the brush too much so if I'm looking for something more volumising I just layer this up with another mascara.

Whilst the mascara is brilliant, it can be a right bitch to get off, but the Simply sensitive Eye-Makeup Remover has been a saviour! It's oil based so takes the mascara off easily. However I my eyelids can get abit oily, so I dont sweep the remover on a cotton pad all over my lid. I take abit in my thumb and forefinger in each hand and hold it on the lashes, and then gently massage to get the rest off. This works really well as I can feel when the mascara has broken down, and I dont feel like I am dragging or damaging my lashes at all.

The third item I have fallen back in love with this july is the Natural collection bluch in Peach Melba. I love the natural collection blushes for a number of reasons, firstly the amazing price (£2.99) and secondly the natural finish. I used to wear this on a daily basis but stopped using it in the last six months or so but I have been using it in conjunction with some other peachy toned products and it works really well as a more sculpting blush.

I have also been reaching for my (first ever) mac eyeshadow, in sable. I stopped using it in favour of more cooler toned eyeshadows, but I remembered why I loved it so much. The warm reddy-orange tone really helps to bring out my blue eyes. I tend to just pop it on all over the lid and blend, with a bit of brown liner its really simple and quick eye-look for the early mornings I have been enjoying recently...

The last product In my favourites has to be the Rimmel Vinyl Gloss in . I have to admit I did steal this off my sister but I absolutely love it and will definately have to purchase my own. Its a really nude-peachy shade which just finishes my makeup perfectly. It has a slight shimmer to it which I normally shy away from but this dosn't actually bother me at all. I apply just a little and it tends to last for two hours or so. I can't really explain why I love it so much, but I just do!

Anyway thsts it! It's been a month of very simple easy looks probably because of my absolute obsession with watching the olympics...I just can't stop watching!

What are your favourite products this month? What was your first MAC eyeshadow? Are you as obsessed with the Olympics as I am?