Wednesday, 1 October 2014

High Street VS Premium: Maybelline

We can't all afford premium products all of the time, and with that in mind I thought I would take the time to have a look set key high street buys and really consider how they measure up against their premium counterparts.

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Maybelline were running a buy1get1half price offer in Superdrug, so I purchased two of their brand stalwarts -  their Eye Studio Gel Liner and the ever popular Great Lash Mascara both in black.

9am
I've applied my eye make up and over all I'm happy with how it looks. The liner glides easily - but it lacks that true "blackness" that sets apart high end products. The pigment is just not up to scratch. Yes, I'll get away with it day to day but will I ever be truly happy with it? I doubt it. 
A quick trick to darken it up - once its dry, reapply a line on top, so double up your colour in effect. The other option is to pack on black eye shadow with a small liner brush to really get that sooty effect. Do you have the time or the inclination to put that effort in? No. Neither do I. So really I should blame myself and not the product. It's a fifty-fifty thing.
 I do love the brush you get with it however, and feel that the brush is worth most of the spend. It's quite flat and wide compared to the usual pointy, pencil style types. This allows you to swivel/rotate it over the lid as you apply to get that Nike swoosh effect. Or use the flat bristles/edge bristles to achieve a thick/thin line as you see fit. Nifty.

I was pleasantly surprised with the mascara, it took a while to build up but I feel as though my lashes were glossy. I've never gotten that from a mascara before. (Nor have I expected to). It was definitely lighter coverage than my usual Clinique High Impact Mascara, however this isn't unpleasant. I don't feel as though I'm wearing anything but I know my lashes look great.
The brush is fat which allows you to really attack the roots of your lashes, but you risk pressing the brush against your eyelids as you move upwards - be careful. The stick itself is nice and short so you have full control over what you're doing. I'm starting to see why this is ever popular.




12pm

The liner has started to transfer onto my upper lids. I have also lost my flicks somewhere between walking the dogs and making lunch. Not great results from something with 24hrs on the box... Although I do have particularly oily eyelids so I have always suffered from runny high street products. Only high street mind...

The Mascara started out so well, but after a busy morning out and about has started to flake down onto the under eye area. I struggle with dark circles and make a concerted effort not to touch this area post-concealer ever, but I'm having to wipe away smudges and mascara dust. Not impressed.

8pm

When it came to removing the products at the end of the day - easy peasy. Neither one of them put up a fight, but to fair there was so little left I was hardly having to scrub at my eyes.

The verdict? For the price that they are, they are fair products. Not what you want for a special occasion - or God forbid, your wedding day (tears and this mascara are just not going to go well guys), but for nipping out, or taking on the plane? Fine. They are cheap, easy and disposable products that serve their purpose. It's just such a shame they don't serve it better. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Rio Sonicleanse

I have been dying to jump on the brush cleanser bandwagon, but for now I haven't been able to justify the Clarisonic in the three figure bracket. In Boots today however I cake across a steal, the Rio Sonicleanse for £24.99 - a cheeky, 100% unendorsed half price. Add to that a £10 love to shop voucher and I think I'm the luckiest girl ever. For that princely £14.99 sum, the package contained your brush, 2 brush heads and your mains charger.
Obviously it says charge for 24 hours but who does that these days? I whacked it on for 3 or 4 and promptly turned it on and stuck it on my face.



Wow. The brush operates for 60 seconds, bleeping at 20 second intervals. 20 seconds per section. I do one cheek, the other cheek and finish up with my forehead, nose and chin.
Leave the eye area alone, that's too delicate for this, but go crazy on places like your temples and your eyebrows that you perhaps normally wouldn't bother with. They love a good exfoliate as much as the rest of you.

So far I haven't had to recharge it. I fully intend to take it on holiday with me without the charging kit - daredevil. 



I have been using it for 9 days. Inititally (due to overexcitement) I used it twice a day, but the first use left my skin raw, red and blotchy. I was a little disappointed but decided to persevere, and I am so glad I did. I cut down to one use a day on the low setting and my skin has been softer, smoother, clearer and brighter - I haven't suffered with that murderous break out phase either.
Perhaps Rio could improve their offer with different types of replacement brush heads. Sensitive, deep cleansing and so on, but the standard one is fine. It just takes your skin around 48 hours to adjust to that intense oscillation - 10,000 times a minute.
The brush didn't feel ergonomic initially, just flat and unforgiving against the skin, but I've realised you want to make the bristles truly wet. Cup water in your hand, press the bristles into the water and allow the bristles to soften. Make sure you use plenty of product. Foaming cleansers are best but be prepared for the product to disappear. Whilst this has happened, my skin has still been spotless. Lastly, don't be scared to press the brush into the contours of your face - it is surprisingly forgiving.



I don't feel like I've said enough to really extol the virtues of this product. I have suffered with blemishes for years. The first products to really tackle them was Clinique's Anti Blemish range. After having my daughter (and suffering the spotty, pregnant phase) my skin did calm down and become less oily, but those niggling pimples still existed. There was always one somewhere. The next product to work well for me was Clinique's new Anti Blemish Clinical Clearing Gel - designed for those of us with that roving spot - but my skin was still never fully clear. As soon as I felt that I had made progress, a month had passed and my skin would flare up again. 

Whilst I was doing Amanda's Bridal Trial, I thought "I have never had skin this clear and this smooth. I have never felt like my skin could look like this without make up." I can ignore the redness I'm prone to and I can ignore old scarring, but I would love to have truly clear, smooth skin. To embrace the BB Cream or CC Cream knowing that it's enough make up to look flawless.

Now, thanks to less than a fortnight of using the Rio Sonicleanse, I do.


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Supplier Spotlight: Menzies Cambridge Hotel Wedding Fair

It has been a busy time, peaking yesterday with the Menzies Cambridge Hotel hosting a Wedding Fair for all budding brides. 

The Make Up Doctor had a stand in the main room next to Karen Whybrow of Have Your Cake & Eat It. Her creativity is mind blowing, and as a repeated tastee of her samples throughout the day I can't over egg (ha) how great her product is. 


You can see at the bottom of this picture a darker coloured sponge - made with a secret ingredient. I shan't give away the secret... but it was awesome. 





Isn't all that sugar work gorgeous? I didn't realise the flowers at the bottom were sugar until much later in the afternoon than I care to admit.

Karen kindly showed me some of her more creative work and I was awed by the skill and detail involved. If you're after a Wedding or Celebration Cake, you should get in touch. Her contact details are as follows: 

http://www.haveyourcakeandeatitcambs.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/Haveyourcakeandeatitcambs   
Tel: 01480 467076 / 07920052860

Opposite Robert Gough, Magician was literally working some magic on budding brides as they checked out the room. During the Shades of White Bridal Catwalk show I managed to pin him down for some photos and a private show. 



  


I love magic, and now I've seen how it can translate into an ice breaker and entertainment for your Wedding Day I'm a little bit put out that I didn't have something like this for myself. Inbetween Weddings, Rob has done his bit for charity, dabbled in Vegas, worked corporate events and travelled the world. Quite the asset. 

It's not difficult to hunt Rob down, check out the ingenius www.ihatemagic.co.uk for more details. 

www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-Gough-Close-up-Magician