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01/10/2014

Contouring With Eye Shadow

My stash of makeup and beauty paraphernalia is rapidly gaining momentum and getting out of control. I am making a really big effort at the moment to give away the things that I won't use and don't suit me, and use up things that I have left half-finished for months on end. On sorting through my eye shadows, I realised that I have far too many palettes that I could ever use up, and generally I only really use my Urban Decay palettes. 
At the moment I am into contouring in a big way, and my quest for the perfect matte shades seems never-ending. I noticed that some of the shades in MUA's Matte Ever After palette where the kind of shades I had been looking for in blushers and bronzers, yet here they were in eye shadow form. Rules are there to be broken, and so I thought I'd see how the eye shadows translate to the face, and they actually do a grand job. I use a couple of different shades and layer them up, and they do just as good a job as my beloved The Body Shop Honey Bronzer. I can't see me ever using the Matte Ever After palette on my eyes, so it makes sense to get use from it this way. 

There may be some complete gems in your makeup stash if you try using them for a different purpose - after this little discovery I am now on the hunt for my next multi-purpose product, and urge you to do the same!

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30/09/2014

Using Serums

It took me quite some time to finally understand what a serum is, and how it differs from a normal moisturiser. Lots of trial and error, google searching, and talking to various different beauty professionals, and I now finally understand what they are for and how to get them to work for. Seeing as I had no idea, I thought there may be others like me who are equally as clueless and may benefit from a basic guide to serums. I am by no means a skincare professional or expert in any way, shape or form, so all of this information is simply what I have learned and muddled together over the last few months. 
What is a serum?
In a nutshell, serums contain a higher dose of active ingredients and nutrients, and therefore offer a more potent dose of all of the desirable qualities of a skincare product, leaving you with a highly concentrated product that will provide you with the specific benefits you require. Due to the high concentration of serums, you only need a very small amount. A moisturiser has large molecules and can therefore only combat the top layer of skin, hydrating the skin and sealing in moisture. Serums on the other hand, are able to target the deeper layers of skin that a moisturiser can not reach, due to their smaller molecules. A serum's ability to target the deeper layers of skin is what gives it the ability to target many common skin complaints.
How to apply serums:
Again, this may not be the correct way to apply serum, but this is the way that works for me. I dispense a small amount onto the fingers of one hand, and then distribute this between the fingers of both hands. I then use my fingers to gently pat the serum across my face. You really only need a small amount, so you should not be rubbing it frantically into the skin in the same way you would with a moisturiser. I then apply a moisturiser on top, in order to 'lock in' the serum, and help to reap all the benefits. However, if I am feeling particularly lazy, then I will use the Elemis Fresh Skin Superboost Moisturising Serum*, because it basically does the job of both a serum and a moisturiser. A lazy girl's dream!
You can also find serums for specific areas, such as this Super Active Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum by ESPA. Similarly, ESPA also offer the Optimal Skin ProSerum, which you can read a full review of here. I find that I do not need to apply serums every day, and once or twice a week is plenty, but when I do use a serum, my skin certainly thanks me for it!
Do you have any tips on using serums? 

29/09/2014

Review - Faith in Nature Chocolate Shampoo & Conditioner *

When I was offered the opportunity to try out a shampoo and conditioner from the range available at Faith in Nature, the chocoholic in me immediately decided on this chocolate-scented duo. How could I resist?!

Faith in Nature are a brand completely new to me, but I am informed that the products are made from natural ingredients, and each ingredient is chosen specifically for their healing properties. Faith in Nature products are not tested on animals and do not consist of animal ingredients. They have no SLES, SLS or parabens, no artificial preservatives, and no synthetic colouring or fragrances - so far, so good, and very impressive. Faith in Nature do a great range of other products, including body care, skin care and baby products, so if you are careful with choosing natural products, I would highly recommend having a peek at the website
The initial appeal of a product, for me, is the appearance of the packaging. I wasn't hugely blown away by the branding of the shampoo and conditioner, as it all looks a bit Microsoft word art to me. However, I do like that the bottle of transparent, so you can the product within and can see at a glance how much you have left - more brands should do this! The actual products, in a word, are fantastic. I was really impressed by how chocolatey the shampoo smells, reminding me of a rich, gooey, dark chocolate brownie - delicious, and a great start to the day!

I suffer intemittently from dandruff, and have found that the best way to combat this is by alternating between a few different shampoos. However, I have used the Faith in Nature shampoo and conditioner every day for almost a month, and have not had even the merest hint of dandruff - success! I must admit I give little to no thought to what ingredients are going on my hair, but trialling these products has now made me think twice. This is a great set of products, which I will definitely be exploring further in future, when I've made my way through the remainder of my stash!

Amazingly, the shampoos and conditioners come in either 400ml bottles (pictured here), or a whopping 5 litre bottle, which I imagine would last you a very long time! It would be great to see these products in salons, as I'm sure those with a sensitive scalp or skincare conditions would really benefit from Faith in Nature. The smaller 400ml bottle costs just £5.50, which I think is very reasonable in comparison to high street products which are not nearly as gentle on your hair and skin. 
You can view the full range of products at the Faith in Nature website here

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