Review: Freedom Brow Duo in Medium Brown

Freedom Medium Brown Duo Brow Powder

This review has sat waiting to be written for a few weeks now, I’ve been putting it off for no reason other than laziness. I think you may have seen this in one of the last few months’ collective haul, so I have managed to get some use out of it and fully ready to write a full review up. So how have I found the Freedom Duo Brow Powder in Medium Brown?

I will admit now although I love to fill my brows with powder, this is the first time I have actually brought an actual brow powder. The Freedom Duo Brow Powder seemed like a perfect first attempt as the two colours were both cool shades that could be used independently or mixed to make the ideal brow shade to suit my hair colour.

The duo comes in a nifty little compact, that you never would guess was so affordable as it looks sleek as well as been well made and durable. I also love the fact there is a little mirror, I’m not sure it is really practical and I don’t know who tops up their eyebrows on the go but it is so nice to have and makes the whole compact feel more expensive.

Now for the actual product, the freedom brow duo actually comes in a variety of shades, and I found the medium brown not only suited me most but had the largest contrast between the light and dark shades covering a wider range of shades if you mix it. If I am feeling daring I could wear the darker shade on its own but on a day to day basis I mix my brush across both the colours to make my perfect brown shade. I just apply with an angled brush to neaten up my brows and fill them up, I’m by no way a brow professional but it just gives them that little bit more umpf and make me look more put together with minimal effort. The most amazing thing is that, despite only been a powder I have found that my brows stay all day, even when my other makeup starts to fail in the heat.

If you want an affordable brow option, something easy and affordable or just want to try something new, I would definitely recommend checking out the Freedom Duo Brow Powders there is a shade for everyone and even at full price its only £3.00 so you have nothing to lose.

Gwen

xx

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Review: The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Lightening

We’ve all had a foundation that isn’t quite right, whether our skin tone has altered with the time of year or its impossible to find the right shade in your budget. Worst of all with foundation which I experienced recently, which a foundation I had been buying for years no problem has now started to oxadise and go orange on my skin. Can The Body Shop Shade adjusting drops save me?

According to The Body Shop website the drops will: “If you have light to medium skin you may find your foundation looks too dark or orange. A concentration of white and pink pigments in our Lightening Drops helps neutralise yellowness while lightening. Simply add a drop to lighten light to medium shades.

I’d like to start with saying how much I love the packaging, but I am a sucker for a simple design and a glass bottle. I also enjoy the rubber tip and pipette for application as I should provide more control on product volume. Saying that the pipette feels like more of a design feature rather than a practical applicator and from looking online I do not seem to be the only person who struggles with this. I have found that it is much better to simply wipe the product on the outside of the pipette on to the back of my hand to mix with my foundation. It is such a shame that it fails as it is such a good idea, and should work really well in principle but it doesn’t. I personally feel as though the sucker is just not powerful enough or its not made for the viscosity of the foundation, so either it needs a whole rethink or an improved pipette.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Lightening Swatch

The product itself is simply beautiful. I’ve tried it with a larger variety of foundations covering a variety of coverage and consistencies, so far having nothing less than great results. The lightening drops combine well with all of my foundations, without effecting the integrity of the foundation which was concern initially. It also didn’t seem to have any impact on the lasting power of products so all in all a good product.

I’m so glad I picked this up, as I do sometimes struggle to find the right shade and this provides a lot of customization to colour of foundation. If you struggle to find a pale enough shade, or simply constantly pick up the wrong shade this will ensure you get use out of the products you buy. The packaging and application is a bit of a dud, so hopefully they will change it but the drops themselves are a huge life saver

Have you tried The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening? If so how did you get on? Similarly have you tried the darkening drops as I am curious about those too.

Gwen

xx

May & June Favourites

June! How is it the end of June! It was going to be the month I was going to get active and get the blog get on track, but between work being hetic and the hot weather by the time I get home I feel so demotivated. Hopefully July will be the month I will get back on track but until then here is my May and June monthly favourites, a double serving to cover what I may have missed last month.

July Favourites

First up are my makeup favourites, and I will start with a base as it seems to make the most sense. With the hot weather mid-month, I fully embraced the George Matte Foundation in Warm Ivory, more of a BB cream than a foundation it was ideal when my face was melting. All in all, my review and initial opinion stay the same but it’s a great option for the hot weather. All in all, thought my makeup has stayed fairly basic this month, and I have rekindled my love for some of my affordable options such as the MUA Blush in Lolly and the PS Love 9 Shade Eyeshadow Pallet. Both products that do it all, adding a little bit of colour but nothing heavy which is what you really want as it comes into the summer month. As the weather turned a bit crap, this past week I have really embraced and enjoyed wearing eyeliner again, and I just had to include the Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Eyeliner which I have review previously the perfect black budget eyeliner.

July Favourites - Skincare

Weirdly I have two “cleansing” favourites this month, I suppose with two months it can happen. A more recent favourite is the Nivea 3 in 1 Gentle Cleansing Wipes for Dry Skin, with the muggy and hot days mid-June there was nothing I wanted more than to be out of my makeup ASAP. So, I picked these up on offer from Asda, and started taking my makeup off at the end of the day in the car. For minimal work, these took off my makeup and left me fresh and clean faced, and I’ve been using them as soon as I get in so can allow my skin to breath. As for the evening skincare routine, I have been loving and I am almost out of the The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter. A gentle but through cleanser is ending my day perfectly ensuring all the grime for the day is gone, no makeup or dirt left but is gentle and soothing on the skin. I’m not totally over the textured but the pros outweigh the cons so I cannot complain.

What have you been enjoying this month, let me know it the comments I’d love to hear them.

Gwen

xx

Makeup Empties #2

Makeup Empties #2

It’s that time again for another Makeup Empties, slightly more spread out than the empties that I used to do but I hated the build-up of rubbish and makeup empties are more manageable just dumping the used items in a spare makeup bag in my draw when there done. I was getting sick of looking at it so decided to have another clear out and it was about time for another makeup empties post.

This time there is a number of eye makeup empties, something that usually takes a while to get through. Finally my L’Oreal Paris So Couture Volume Million Lashes Mascara and L’Oreal Paris So Couture Super Liner, dried up unsurprisingly as I brought them at a similar time. The Volume million lashes mascara, I’d really rate appearing in several favourites and makeup routines along the way and maybe if I wasn’t on the quest of always trying a new mascara I would purchase again. The liner on the other hand, although it got me back into liquid eyeliner its not a true deep black, nice to apply but there are better out there. I also finished up my Kiko Milano Single Eyeshadow in 130 Satin Beige Cream, I brought this single last April and I’ve finished it, which seems like an accomplishment as I never seem to finish eyeshadow, this single I use pretty much daily as a base or a blending colour it does everything and I will pick up another.

The next group I’ve finished is face products, one of the products I tend to finish and use most consistently. As usual I have finished another Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, and one more on the way out as I’m writing this so it seems like it might become an empties post staple. That and the Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer, two products that have consistently appeared in empties posts over the past 3 years that I always repurchase and keep in my collection. I also finished the PS Pro Long Wear Mineralised Foundation in Porcelain, which I reviewed a few months back.

Makeup Empties #2 - Rimmel Exaggerate LipLiner

Final empties this time is a long forgotten favourite I used to obsess over the Rimmel London Exaggerate Lip Liner in East End Snob, but I got more experimental with lip colours and it took a back step. I finally finished it recently but I absolutely love this shade so it’s on my shopping list and I will pick up another one soon.

What have you been loving and using recently let me know in the comments.

Gwen

Review: Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner

For years I swore off liquid eyeliner, I loved the look of it but after finding it fiddly for ages I just gave up. About 18 months ago I got the L’Oreal Paris Super Liner in a little set free with purchase at Boots it sat there for a while but finally I thought I’d give it another go. Now I absolutely love a little touch of eyeliner on a simple makeup day or jazzing it up for a night out. So as a newer item to my makeup routine, I thought I would try something new and at the affordable end and that’s when I picked up the Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner.

The Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner is described on the Boots Website as: Be bold, bright and beautiful! These fast-drying versatile felt tip pens give your make-up look an instant burst of colour. Easy-to-apply felt tip nib for all day wear.”

I always comment on the packaging but realistically there is not much to say about this one, simple black packaging with silver text. Elegant and simple, just what’s needed. The liner pen is slightly thicker than a standard pen, but is comfortable to hold in your hand and provide enough control to get the line you want. I personally prefer a felt tip liner, for a liquid eyeliner as I just feel as though they are the easiest for beginners especially and is the easiest for straight application. All in all, nothing special but perfect for getting the job done.

The liner itself is a true black, deep and dark no need to work about a streaky grey tone you will have a true black liner. Although personally I find it difficult to differentiate and angle to change the line thickness, if you have more skill than me it may be possible for you to alter the line thickness. This is purely a skill thing, something I do not have must I can manage a variety of thickness so it theoretically should be possible.

Finally lets cover longevity? I haven’t put it to any extreme tests but I’ve worn it all day from 7am till evening as well as for a night out and have yet to run into any major issues. It stays put all day, no smudging or transfer looking as good as it did when you first put it on. One thing I will say is it takes a little bit of effort to come off but a good cleanser, or hold on a micellar soak cotton pad on for a few seconds and wipe away.

All in all I think this is a perfect budget eyeliner, blackest black and easy to apply and long lasting. No matter if you are new to eyeliner or just fancy trying out something new, this is one to try.

Review: Yves Saint Laurent ‘Rouge Volupté’ shine lipstick 09 Nude in Private

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in 9 Nude in Private

Every girl love a little luxury, and when I received Debenhams vouchers for my birthday I brought what I had been trying to justify. The perfect everyday lipstick, that is simply beautiful. So maybe I’m biased, lets call this a swatch post opposed to a review as I am simply going to gush over how much I love the Yves Saint Laurent ‘Rouge Volupté’ Shine Lipstick 09 Nude in Private for a couple of hundred words and then a few pretty pictures.

The YSL Rough Volupté Shine Lipsticks, according to the Debenhams website are described as: A truly cult lipstick, ‘Rouge Volupté’ shine combines voluptuous glide and go colour with comfort and care. Thanks to 6 sensorial oils your lips are kissed with long lasting moisture. ‘Rouge Volupté’ shine lipstick is wrapped in a romantic, elegant, gold case. Shades available from semi sheer to more intense. My time to shine! Its moisturising action is gained through hyaluronic acid microspheres seal in moisture and prevent lips from drying out. With pomegranate and rice combat free radicals act as an antioxidant shield. Emollients make the lips soft and smooth leaving lips protected and comforted. Candelilla wax combined with silicon oils sheathes the lips in a shiny film coating that enhances the colour.”

 

I would say that this Nude in Private is a shade that is on the sheerer side, but this may be due to the fact it’s your lips but better shade it’s definitely depositing colour but nothing heavy. I must say this is one of the most comfortable lipsticks I have ever owned and I simply keep this in my bag as it is so easy to touch up without a mirror or on the go.

Also can we take a final minute to take a note of just how beautiful the YSL packaging, high end, beautiful and practical I just cannot get enough of it. I apologies for the fact this is a lack lustre review, I think the YSL lipsticks are simply beautiful and I’m so glad I finally have one in my collection. Let me know what you’ve tried from the YSL Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick Range, or any other YSL products what are your favourites and what’s worth trying I’d love to know.

Gwen

Review: Garnier Skin Active Matcha & Kaolin Mask

Garnier SkinActive Match & Kaolin Mask

I simply cannot resist trying yet another face mask, whenever I see a mask I am curious about that is highly affordable I just pick it up. I’ve loved the Garnier Skin Active Masks and other products I have tried in the past, in fact I always have a Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask (review here ) on hand so I thought trying another product in the range. So how did I get on with the Garnier Skin Active Matcha & Kaolin Mask?

The Matcha & Kaolin Mask is part of Garnier’s range of new clay mask and promises to: “A new generation of face mask combining Matcha Tea and Kaolin Clay in a creamy-clay texture that purifies for refreshed, mattified and clean skin. Proven Effectiveness: Immediately: Impurities are removed and skin appears mattified. Long-lasting: effectiveness: skin appears purified as if rebalanced.”

Like any clay mask you work it into your skin, leave for 10 minutes and wash off, it had been a while since I’ve used a clay face mask so was apprehensive that I may find it way to heavy on the skin but I was pleasantly surprised. Compared to clay masks I have used in the past this was light but build-able to create a thick layer, the texture in the hands not to dissimilar in texture and consistency to the George Matte Foundation that I reviewed the other day. Which meant it was comfortable on the skin, and I found it comfortable to wear and get on with everything else I was getting up to while testing it out. It also has a lovely subtle fresh scent, close to green tea but nothing overpowering and I’ll definitely call it fresh than anything definitive.

Despite covering with a reasonably thick layer, I found that it tried in about 5 minutes or so but I ensured I kept it on till it was completely dry all over, as I forgot to track the time exactly but I imagine it would have been at least 10 minutes. Initially this mask felt really comfortable but as it dried it got really tight, making it uncomfortable but it definitely gives you the impression it’s working.

Afterwards my skin felt cleaner and clearer, but in the hours and days after the actual condition of my skin was no different. So, I’m not 100% sure its done anything, although in general it feels like and way enjoyable to use which is all you want from a mask. Also, I do not have oily skin I have the odd oily patch but in general my skin is dry so this may not offer the same benefits to me that it might offer to someone else.

I picked up the Garnier Skin Active Matcha & Kaolin Mask in Primark for £1.00, but it is available from a wide range of stores including Superdrug and Boots selling for between £1.00 and £1.50. All in all, these are always worth a shot as everyone’s skin is different and an affordable one time use mask is always a great option in my opinion. Let me know in the comments what your favourite masks are, I cannot wait to try some more out.

Gwen

May Collective Haul

May Collective Haul

After a month off in April I am back with another monthly collective haul, once again with some of the goodies I picked up this month. So lets not beat around the bush and dive in.

May Collective Haul - Collection Extreme Eyeliner & George Matte Foundation

ASDA: I think Asda has to be one of my go to locations these days for basics as its so close to work and I can easily pop in or the way in or way home, it’s a trip to town these days for the likes of Boots/Superdrug so its definitely my go to. This month my liquid eyeliner dried up and in search of a new one I decided to give the Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner in Black 2.98), I’m been trying it out recently and a review should be up in the next couple of weeks. I also feel like I need to try some more George makeup as you never know what gems you may find, so what I thought I would try the George Matte Foundation with Shine Control & Chamomile in Warm Ivory (£3.00) the colour seemed a good match and I feel like it will be good as we get into summer. I’ve posted my review of the George Matte Foundation earlier this week which you can find here.

May Collective Haul - The Body Shop Lightening Drops

The Body Shop: Recently I have been struggling with getting foundations to match even the ones I repurchase and have worked for years, I need to really look into some alternative brands and options but I don’t want what I have to go to waste. I’ve considered the The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening (£10.00) for ages but haven’t had a huge need, so I finally gave in and will post a review once I’ve tried it out properly.

May Collective Haul - Kiko Milano Nail Varnish

Kiko Milano: Finally, I needed a new nail colour to go with my outfit for a work colleagues wedding reception, so I felt my best option was Kiko and I wasn’t wrong. I picked up the Kiko Milano Power Pro Nail Lacquer in 55 Coral Rose (£3.90), a perfect match to my dress and I love these nail polishes easy to apply and long lasting.

So sorry for this short post for this month’s collective haul, I really picked up bugger all this month. Fortunately, I’m waiting for one or two items to be delivered and I have to go and buy a new straightener this weekend so June’s collective haul should be more exciting.

Gwen

 

Review: George Matte Foundation in Warm Ivory

George Matte Foundaton in Warm Ivory

As the summer quickly approaches we are all looking to have a fresh looking and matte face all summer long. I regularly pick up essentials in Asda, as the shop is close to work and one of the most convenient for me to pop in, so I thought I would try some of their own brand makeup to see how it stands up against other brands to see if they have any hidden gems.

The George Matte Foundation with Shine Control & Chamomile in Warm Ivory promises to be “Lightweight matte foundation for ultimate shine control. Blends in to the skin effortlessly for eve coverage and natural look.” So how does it shape up?

George Matte Foundation with Shine Control

With simple packaging, it’s nothing exciting really I personally think it’s got that slight sun cream vibe but all in all its not bad. The packaging is easy to use, and should be secure so ideal for travel and to pop into your makeup bag when travelling. Overall I do no mind the packaging, it’s nothing special but feels like a supermarket brand and there are much better packaging from other brands at this price point for example Primark’s PS Beauty range has beautiful packaging for a similarly low price point. This may be simply because I am not the target audience and there is not need for the packaging I like to see, I feel like there is a value in making aesthetically pleasing packaging when looking to expand and create a following for a product range.

I find there is often a fine line between a lightweight foundation and a BB cream, leans towards the side of a BB cream. I’ve tended to apply this with my fingers as I find it works better than a brush or a sponge, and works into the skin easily. This foundation is fairly mind boggling when you initially squeeze some out and start to apply to your face, you expect it to be a high coverage offering but it’s really the opposite. As you rub it in to blend it, it dramatically sheers out. Like I mentioned before I would liken it more to a BB cream and just little more than evening out the skin tone and any blemishes will require concealer.

I think this may be great for the summer, the colour is a great match and will be great for the lazy summer days when you want something but nothing much. A spot of the George Matte Foundation, spot of bronzer, mascara and a lip balm and you will have a perfect light no nonsense, makeup look for the summer. Unfortunately, unlike most foundations these days, especially light wright foundations, this offers no SPF protection so ensure you use another product to make sure your skin is protected from the sun.

All in all, I don’t feel like this is a bad product, but it is not a foundation is a BB cream with no mattifying properties than I have noticed. So, if you want a pale and lightweight BB cream, for only £3.00 at Asda I would recommend picking this up. However, if you want a light weight mattifying foundation, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Gwen

Review: The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Exfoliating Cream Body Scrub

The Body Shop Cream Exfoliating Body Scrub in Vineyard Peach

Nothing says summer like smooth skin and subtle fruity fragrances, I think The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Exfoliating Cream Body Scrub is a product that thoroughly sums up summer. I picked this up in the sale with the additional 40% off back at the end of March and it’s taken a little while to get round to this review, if you want to see what else I picked up at the time you can check out the haul here.

Over the years I have tried a large variety of body scrubs from the Body Shop as well as others, so I know what sort of products I feel work best for my skin. The Body Shop Vineyard Peach Exfoliating Cream Body Scrub promises to:

This gently exfoliating body scrub smells like freshly picked peaches. It lifts away dead skin cells and leaves skin peachy-soft. Lifts away dead skin cells. Stimulates skin surface microcirculation. Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother”

I know people like to use scrubs in slightly different ways, I am a work into dry skin kinda girl rubbing it all over before getting in the shower and washing it off. I tend to find over everything else this is the most effective way to use a body scrub, as you can really work them into your skin. The Vineyard Peach Body Scrub is cream based opposed to more of a sugar scrub or gel based formula I have tried in the past from the body shop but I am no stranger to cream based scrubs themselves. I really enjoy a cream based scrub as I love the finer particles in these scrubs without the density of a sugar scrub.

The Body Shop - Vineyard Peach Exfoliating Cream Body Scrub

Overall I really enjoy this scrub fine enough to work into the skin, but not super dense that its workable. I love how my skin feels after using it and the peach sent is light and simply delightful. I’m loving this and if you are looking for a new scrub I highly recommend checking it out, especially if it is the sale.