essjay23x

A Sincere but Light-Hearted Mission To Make More of Myself!

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All about the lashes. Always!

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All about the lashes. Always!

Isn’t it so?!

For me anyway, it seems there has been times when that is all it is about, the lashes. Okay, when it not about the hair or the scent but over the last year, I have tried four (and fallen for at least three) new mascaras, interestingly all from either L’Oreal or Max Factor. There was the Double Extension Tubes, the Lash Extension Effect, the Million Lashes and now, the False Lash Effect.

Max Factor’s latest release claims to double lash size to give the impact of false lashes.

False lashes, no glue?!

Kerching!

It is no wonder that this ended up in my mitts.

Here are my lashes before application.

Here are my lashes after one coat.

And finally, here are my lashes with a couple more coats.

To be honest, I think that on some lashes, it looks like I may gone a coat too far. In fact, one coat of this mascara would maybe have been enough if it applied uniformly but I always seem to miss some lashes in my clumsy application. I think it may be that I am not used to the fat brush, Max Factor’s biggest mascara brush ever.

I just can’t quite catch all the lashes. You can see clearly in the last picture of my lashes where I’ve caught the same ones again and again.

The fact that you need to use so little of the formulation to coat the lashes reminds me of the L’oreal Million Lashes. However, this formulation is not so inky or messy. There are the occasional smudges especially when I try to get those more obsure lashes but I have found any residue easy to wipe away.

Actually I think False Lash Effect falls between the two mascaras that have previously worn my Holy Grail mascara crown. False Lash Effect transforms the lashes and gives results almost as dramatic and divaish as the Million Lashes but the finished lash line also has some definition, seperation and certainly a whole lot of extra length. So in that way, I find it similar to the Lash Extension Effect.

I’m liking the middle ground where this mascara stands. Sometimes when I find a mascara that delivers extreme results then I love it for a month or two but then as it dries out, I find myself craving something a little different. Lash Extension was great but I have mentioned before that that evantually I just got a little bored of been able to slap my mascara on each morning without thinking about it. On the other hand, when I first tried Million Lashes, it made me feel like some glamorous star but it soon got tiresome blotting the brush and the smudges away each morning before work.

In False Lash Effect, I may have found my compromise. There are clumps but in reality, I think these are less in your face then they seem to be in this pictures. False Lash Effect does look false to a degree, it does look not look natural but it still looks in place. The final thing that I love about is this mascara is, despite quite a heavy formulation, it seems to curl the lashes and seems to really open the eye area up which makes me look wide awake which can only be good at 6.30 in the morning.

I know that False Lash Effect seems quite popular. Have you tried it? What do you think? What is your favourite mascara? Am I missing out on any other amazing lash jackets?

Oh and the eye shadow is one of faves at the moment (when I’m wearing shadow at all. With mascaras such as this one, I don’t always bother).

It is Frosted Almond from Front Cover. The colour is great and the quality is ok so you might see it here again sometime.

 

Written by essjay23x

December 4, 2010 at 11:27 am

The verdict: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. . . so far!

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The verdict: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. . . so far!

Okay, I may have been a little hasty. I had a post scheduled to go up today.

*Insert said post.*

The verdict: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

In short, this did not seem to work for me.


There was no noticeable difference in the state of treated skin and I certainly did not notice any spots disappearing overnight.


Maybe (just maybe) it soothed my skin ever so slightly. However, the flaffing around in trying to get the solution out of the bottle -I tried cottonwool balls and cotton buds- sort of stressed me out and outweighed any soothing benefits. I was so worried about the whole ‘don’t shake’ thing that I’m sure by the end of treating my skin, I was so hot and bothered that my skin was as red and inflammed as it was to start with. Stress!


I know that you can repeat applications if your spot is a bit stubborn and does not disappear the first time. However, I found this pink lotion very noticeable on my skin and not something you can really wear as you go out and about. Therefore, I found myself using it more as a night treatment and could not really use it more then once (at a push) twice every twenty-four hours.


I tended to leave the lotion on my skin overnight and wash it off in the morning but for me, this lotion did not work and now I’m left with some pink residue at the bottom of the bottle which seems to have solidified and I can not get it out. It feels as if I have no choice but to throw half the product I brought in to the bin.


I doubt I was using this product properly but all I can talk about is my experience and it didn’t work for me. It is a shame because I was so excited (read that post here) when I found out about it and read some of the raves out there. I so wish this was a rave and I knew how to make the lotion work for me. This product is not that cheap and at fourteen pounds something titters on the edge of the ‘expensive mistake’ category. Argh!


On a positive note, I don’t think this lotion overly dried my skin out. Overdrying and irritating skin was one of the concerns I had gleaned from my internet research. However, thankfully, the condition of my skin was unaffected in this way. If only it could have banished the demon spots, boo!


If I was to buy this product again, there is no doubt I would want to talk to a skincare expert or an advisor before forking out for it.

So that was my thoughts a couple of days ago but it now looks like I may have been a little hasty and that to some degree my judgment was harsh.

After writing the review, I tried again to get the remnants out of the bottle with a cotton bud. It was pretty solid but with perseverence, I got some which I dabbed on to the spots and applied overnight before rinsing off the next morning as directed on the bottle.
The following morning, the selected spots were still there (NOTE: The selected spots had not vanished overnight) but I could not feel them. There was none of the normal itchiness or irritation. This made me think that just maybe the solution was doing something. I repeated the routine again yesterday afternoon and overnight, last night. This morning, my skin really does feel soothed AND it looks better. The selected spots are still there but they are flatter and no longer as red. They almost look more like marks.

So maybe there is hope, after all.

The label on the bottle states
‘For immediate relief from unsightly whiteheads and pimples, dab one drop of the solution on each erupted area overnight. DO NOT SHAKE SOLUTION. To use: Dip a cotton swab into pink sediment. Dab on pimple and let dry. Wash off solution in the morning’

Reading that and it seems, that over the last forty eight hours, the lotion has lived up to any promises it makes.

I do wonder if it failed me before because the lotion had been disturbed in the post. Maybe now, it has settled and the magic can begin.

Hmm, time will tell. I will carry on using the remnants of the product at night and see what happens.

At the moment, I’m reluctant to call this a miracle product. I have used it several times before and have never lost a spot overnight. However, there is no doubt that over the last 48 hours, my treated skin is behaving differently and I have benefitted from immediate relief as the bottle promises.

Fingers crossed!

Have any of you experienced this product? Any thoughts or advice?
X

Written by essjay23x

December 4, 2010 at 11:24 am

Pink Shimmer!

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When I did my blush series, I concentrated on offerings from Mac and Benefit but today, I would like to consider a cheaper product from MeMeMe, Pink Shimmer, £6.99.

Technically, the Pink Shimmer palette is not a blush but a highlighting powder. It contains five different shades of pink which you are meant to run your make up brush over and swirl on to your face to highlight.

As you can see, the pallette can get a little messy!

Well to be honest, this little product remained more or less untouched in my draw for more then six months because yes, I had the mega hyped higher end products to show off but also because some of the colours in this palette scared me. A palette that supposedly delivers pink shimmer yet one of the five shades looks pretty much red to me and at least two more of the colours are heading that way. Another one is bright, bright pink. I was never going to use this as a highlighter. Aren’t highlighters supposed to be subtle?!

However for whatever reason, I picked this palette up the other day and took a swirl using the resulting shimmer (don’t worry, it is a slight shimmer that is delivered not a glittery mess) as a blush and wow, it worked. I have used this product in this way every day since, I don’t think I have even touched any of my other blushes for ten days plus.

This product does give a good colour payoff. It adds a subtle, healthy colour to my cheeks without been too much. It is hard to identify what the final colour is on the cheeks (possibly a very muted red) maybe because of the five different shades used to create it. I would say that it is darker then Benefit’s Dandelion .
Basically, the resulting flush seems to come close to my natural (red!) blush colour, it doesn’t look like make up at all when applied subtly. I would say two swipes or it can quickly, look clownish.
It actually says on the box ‘Pink Shimmer for a sassy cheeky look’. I wasn’t sure what sassy meant but to be honest, when I see this product on my cheeks I have to admit that MeMeMe may have hit the nail on the head. My cheeks look “sassy” and effortlessly healthy. I wouldn’t say that Pink Shimmer is particularly long lasting but I get through maybe four or five hours before I reach a mirror and think that a touch up is required. I have heard that these Shimmer Palettes are renowned dupes for the more expensive Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks (which I have yet to try). I have also heard that MeMeMe are renowned for delivering some good Benefit dupes. As I’m so impressed with the Pink Shimmer as a blush, I think I might be trying the real MeMeMe Blushes next, Blush Me. Ahem, Benefit Coralista, anyone?!

I have been using the ShimmerShimmer mostly in a very natural look with a bit of foundation, mascara – I have a new love:) – and Ambre Rose.

So low price and low maintenance. 
Got to love that!

What do you think of MeMeMe? Any more high street wonders, blush or otherwise, that I am missing out on?

X

Written by essjay23x

November 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

The Beauty Bible!

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The Beauty Bible!

Lately I have enjoyed wandering around the shops, perusing.

Utter bliss and the best form of exercise!

I was doing just this the other day, when it started to rain. I sought shelter in a local charity shop and well, by the time the rain stopped, I had secured quite possibly the bargain of the year!!!

Sure, it is an old edition. 1997, but, it has taught me and inspired me probably more then any other ‘beauty’ book ever.

The Beauty Bible is illustrated beautifully and covers everything from make up, skincare and haircare to reflexlogy, facial workouts(!) and cosmetic surgery.

I love the fact that this book does not focus or endorse just one beauty philosophy. It covers so many different beauty ideas and all the pros and cons. There are many insights from different ‘experts’ such as Liz Earle, Eva Lom, Bobbi Brown and Mary Greenwell.

The Beauty Bible also gives an insight in to the beauty habits of the celebs (interestingly many of those featured still, now a decade later, possess a name in lights), namechecking perfumes and lipsticks in connection with certain personalities.

There are also recommendations and reviews of different products. True, this feature may now be a little out of date. However, it may also bring to light a classic. A miracle product that I have missed along the way, that was lost under all the hype of the latest ‘magical’ or ‘amazing’ release.

Natural beauty is also not forgotten in these pages and there are suggestions for face masks, hair treatments and such like, using items from the kitchen.

To be honest, I have had this book a couple of weeks and have probably spent about 4-6 hours on it and I still feel like there is lots left to digest. I think no matter what I learn, there will be something new to swot up on here and I imagine that this fantastic book is a handy reference for anyone.

So far, I have learnt

* That an annual three month course of probiotics could be beneficial for my skin particularly in combination with Evening Primrose Oil. Actimel, here I come.

*Apparently Madonna likes XS from Paco Rabonne while Helen Christensen is more of an Opium lady.

*How to spend my day off indulging with my very own home spa treatments.

I absolutely love this book and still think, despite its age, that this book is worth the original £12.99 price. More then six times the £1.50, I paid for it in the lovely little charity shop.

I will certainly be looking out for the release of the Anti-Aging Beauty Bible next year to see if it lives up to the original.

Do you have a copy of The Beauty Bible? Do you think such books are good beauty investments?

X

Written by essjay23x

November 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

Magik results!

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Magik results!

Hey, it seems that my recent ‘hauling’ did not end with fashion.

I have suddenly hunted down and stashed various goods in a final (some may say, desperate) frenzy as my mission grows ever closer to a year of age.

These include to name a few, a Kiehls eye cream; the Origins mushroom moisturiser; the Liz Earle cleanser; the Lush Mask of Magnamity and these little gems here.

Last night, I used a couple of these products. It was, in fact, a return to a couple of products that I raved about in one of my earliest posts, a shampoo and serum from Dead Sea SPA Magik.

The shampoo and conditioning products that I have mainly used for about the last eight weeks or so, have been the Rainforest shampoo and body butter from the Body Shop. Now although I have no complaints over the product and, indeed, am impressed that the products have lasted me so long. It seems my hair has now decided that it is stalemate time. For the last ten days or so, my hair has appeared increasingly blah. Lifeless and dull, I guess.

It may be that all it needed was a good clarifying shampoo but of course, since I’ve used these paraben free products such as Phyto and The Body Shop, I have suddenly become a bit too fearful of more “chemical” products. It is a silly psychological side effect but still I kept putting off finding a nice harsh shampoo because to me clarifying surely equals lots of scientific, tough, unforgiving ingredients to give the barnet a proper going over and clean the locks properly.

Giving the holy grail status that the Morrocan Oil Treatment has so deservedly earnt (in my opinion), I was very tempted to try the rest of their haircare range. With my main qualm being only the price.

So there I was in Holland and Barrett the other day, looking at face masks when the Dead Sea Spa Magik products caught my eye. I remember been so impressed last christmas with the products especially the serum that really you have to agree, I had nothing to lose by forking out just two pounds ninety five for a couple of sachets. One of the shampoo and one of the serum (they come together, the shampoo one is meant to be a freebie).

Now last time I remember my focus was on the magic serum (It really is called Hair Magic Serum and apparently it was voted best conditioner by Woman magazine) and the gloss and shine that this was to deliver. I also wanted the ‘thirst quenching’ ingredients that the products claim to contain. This time my hair is probably more hydrated maybe even slightly weighed down with conditioning products.

Therefore my focus was on the revitalising promise. I do remember the life that this brand gave my hair before and it just seems lately that my increasingly flat mop of hair, especially the roots, is crying out for some life and to be frank to, dance again.

Dead Sea Spa Magik claims this shampoo revitalises hair and wow, it really did. Again! My hair actually had proper volume (even after my normal mandatory application of moroccan oil) and looked a lot thicker after using these products. And in a strange but good way even though it looked like I had more hair (I love the way it bulked my layers out and made them look longer), my hair actually felt lighter and freer. It seemed easier to get the brush through and style.

And as if this was not good enough, it looked glossy. Yay. I think the serum may have had a hand in that.

I used the magic serum as a conditioner and massaged it right in to the scalp and down the length of the hair. I then left it about five minutes before rinsing out. Trust me, this stuff is magic and it probably would not be advisable to leave it in too much longer.

I shampooed generously twice and I still have maybe half the sachet of both the shampoo and serum left which I will be stowing away very safely.

I am really torn now between the moroccan oil haircare purchase plan or just buying the full size of these products. They really do seem to be that good.

Oh and yes, these Dead Sea products do claim to be made from the mud, salt and mineral extracts of the dead sea with some certified organic ingredients and no parabens.

So a volumiser, a clarifier and a moisturiser; these products could be billed magic and amazing. Maybe that is where my worry lies. In the long term, are such results too good to be true?! What do you think? Have you tried this brand? Do these products sound of interest to you? What haircare is making your hair sing and dance at the moment?

X

Written by essjay23x

October 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Perfume of the moment!

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Now as you know, I do love to try a new scent and the latest addition to my fabulous collection is Lady Million.

Now the branding would suggest that this perfume is not very “me”!

Lady Million is a scent all about excess, gold and wealth. Even the actual perfume looks like liquid gold. It seems destined for those Femme Fatales who want and get everything.

Hmm, nice idea but realistically I’m probably a bit small town and goody two shoes for this scent and, despite the enticing bottle, I’m not sure if I would have tested this perfume amongst the tens in Boots et al. if it was not for the fact that I had heard/read such good things about Paco Rabanne’s latest release.

However like Muhsine, I absolutely love this perfume. I have worn it every day since purchase which is quite unusual for me. I have quite a few perfumes that I really like so tend to swap it up a little but no, since Lady Million came in to my world, my old friends, Gucci; Givenchy and Pricey (!) have not seen the light of day.

I love Lady Million. I find it hard to describe perfumes despite my passion for them but I would say that Lady Million seems to me to be what I originally imagined the classic Chanel fragrances to be (but never quite were).

Apparently Lady Million is quite heavy and yes, I agree it is, in regards to the initial spray where it all seems a bit busy, chaotic and excessive. However, the notes seem to settle within the first couple of minutes and within half an hour I become enveloped in this happy cloud of scent and I smell lovely.

Well, I think so!

Actually to be honest, I’m not sure what I smell like. I don’t think this scent is a floral but more of a woody concoction that makes me feel warm, safe, cosy and very happy. And it is in the evoking of all these good feelings that my inner femme fatale is in danger of been awakened. When I wear this perfume, I almost feel that I can do anything. This scent just makes me feel so happy and worthy and what is more, the confidence boost and scent lasts all day.

For me, the warmth of Lady Million just caps it and makes it an absolutely perfect scent for his time of year. For those of you who are a bit more scientific about your scent purchases, and better at deciphering this note and that, then apparently Lady Million has notes of Orange Blossom; Bigarade; Raspberry; Jasmine Sambac; Gardenia; Patchouli and Honey.

I know that the scent will probably smell very different to you (and that my description is more of an incoherent rave) but I really do like this perfume and I think with Christmas drawing ever closer, you may want to get a sample and see if it is worthy of a place on your list for Mr Claus!

Have you been seduced by Lady Million yet? What other fragrances are on your wishlist? I have to admit, that since my infatuation with Lady Million, the only other fragrance to really, really catch my curioisty is Gucci Guilty? Have you tried that one? Should I be making a formal request to Father Christmas for that one? I have yet to find a Gucci scent that I can’t “work” in one way or another!

X

Written by essjay23x

October 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

Moroccan Oil Update!

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POST REWIND: Moroccan magic, Hair delight!

THIS IS A POST FROM EARLIER IN THE YEAR WHEN I FIRST TRIED MOROCCAN OIL. I STILL USE IT AND CAN NOT IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT IT NOW. HOWEVER, I HAVE HAD A SLIGHT BUILD UP SO USE A GOOD SHAMPOO. PERSONALLY, I DIDN’T FIND THE NAKED SHAMPOO FROM BOOTS SUITABLE.

Those of you who are, oh so fashionable, and already following me on Twitter may already know what I thought when I tried the Moroccan Oil for the first time on Sunday.

In a nutshell, I thought I was dreaming!

This time, it seems the hairdressers are not exaggerating. This oil rocks. It is very early days, I have only used it once myself and want to use it longer before I endorse it fully and suggest that anybody goes out and purchases it, especially at £29. Update 26/8/10: It still rocks!!!

However, I can tell you that I’m pretty certain that I’m going to come up with the cash and purchase the full size. Update 26/8/10 I did buy a full size bottle and it has lasted me a good four months and there is still some left! We all have very different hair and needs but for me, this worked like a dream.

Let me tell you what I liked about it.

* I liked the fact that my hair did dry quicker then normal. Also my hair didn’t go quite as mad when I was drying it. Normally it flies this way and that and then whizzes down the back of the hairdryer sometimes even causing it to cut out. (Note: I don’t always pay the attention I should when I’m drying my hair and I suggest for safety reasons that everybody gives hairdrying a little more attention then me). My hair seemed more controlled and better behaved when drying after an application of the Moroccan Oil.

* I loved the fact that I could style my locks so easily after drying. I only ran the straighteners through the head once quite throughly and I was ready to go. No serum or additional product required. I always need to run the straightners through more then once if my hair is freshly washed and I want a sleekish, lasting style immediately after washing. Often I either wash my hair the night before or have to wear my hair tied up for 3/4 of a day after a hairwash in order to look half decent and groomed. My hair can be very manic and fluffs up so quickly. On this occasion, I also required no additional styling product. All I used on my hair was the oil and a heat protector. Normally to style freshly washed hair, it would take some S-factor Serum from Tigi and maybe some Bedhead flattening mousse on the ends of my natural hair to blend in with my extensions and eliminating the step effect. Er, not this week.

* I adore how soft and silky (that does sound like a hair ad, doesn’t it?) my hair felt and how shiny it felt. It also still feels that way 36 hours later. It looks sleeker and flatter then normal but not too much so. The product does not seem to be weighing it down unnecessarily, there is also no horrible sticky, gooey feel to give away my shamful little secret (ie. that these healthy, groomed perfectly behaved locks are not purely a work of nature). Update 26/08/10: My hairdresser actually asked what I had been using on my hair last time I visited. She said it felt very silky. I think that is a result of both the moroccan oil and phyto products I was using.

* I adore that the effect seems to be lasting. I haven’t straightened my hair today. Granted, it was up for work but I work in a Care environment and more often then not at the end of the shift come out with a birds nest and frizz galore and those silly little baby kinks in the sillest and most obvious of places. Not yesterday, not today. Update 26/08/10: My hair is certainly more manageble

I should admit here that my hair is always a bit better behaved for the first two weeks or so after I have had a major hair appointment but I still think that this is better then that.

I wanted to try and show you the effect of the Moroccan Oil (and I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t imagining the top notch results). So I washed and styled an old hair extension of mine in exactly the same way as I did my hair on Sunday (using Curly Wurly shampoo once and Aussie Long Hair Conditioning treatment for 2-3 mins) except I used Moroccan Oil on one half of the extension hair only.

This is the before. The extension is folded in half so the hair does appear quite thick.

Here are the two afters. Can you see a difference? Please note in the afters, less thickness will be percieved because the extension is laid flat out and not doubled over as above. Oops!

Styled without Moroccan Oil
Styled with Moroccan Oil

I think you may see a slight difference between the two after pictures if you are really squinting. Where the oil has been used, the hair appears slightly shinier and possibly fuller (although the extension may vary in volume, it is an old one!)

In reality, I have to admit that I can not see the dramatic difference that I feel there was when my locks was coated in the oil on Sunday. However, I can see some extra shine and vitality in the oiled extensions here. Also it was easier to dry the oiled side of the extensions and easier to lay these out straight. When you add all these little differences up and multiply by the number of hairs on my head (I normally have at least four to six of these extensions sewn in to my hair plus my own hair which is not much shorter), I think you will agree that the wow factor I thought was achieved is certainly attainable.

Let’s not forget even if with long term use, it just stregthens and conditions, this oil could be worth something. Not sure about £29 though, I guess in my heart of hearts I am hoping that it will provide all the gimmicky bits too. It is early days but my heart and the mirror is telling me that there could be something in this ‘magic oil’ marlarkey. Update 26/08/10: I have concluded that Moroccan Oil is a ‘magic oil’ or something very close.

Now I’m just waiting to see how long my hair will go before it needs another wash. I’m thinking if there are any downers with this product, it may be that the oil makes it look greasier sooner or/and that it may look limper earlier because it is already a bit sleeker and has less puff to lose. If these hurdles occur, I’ll have to deal with them but for now, I’m floating in a little bubble of hair delight!!! Update:26/08/10: There is a build up of oil but not every time that I wash. Maybe once every couple of weeks, it needs a super wash. Don’t forget I’m the girl that overuses products with lots of very fine hair so you might not even have a problem!

At the moment, this product gets a big thumbs up. Who knows? All could change but I don’t think it would be too much to say that this is one product that could be heading for holy grail status. Update 26/08/10: I think I’m about to endorse it Holy grail!!!

Well, I’m off to enjoy having slighter nicer and more managable hair. Hee hee, I don’t know which I will appreciate more, the pretty factor or the less maintenance one?

What is your favourite hair product? Do you spend hours maintaining your hair or do you prefer something more manageable?

You can also read about Moroccan Oil here

X

Written by essjay23x

August 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm