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

Posts Tagged ‘beauty review

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?!


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?

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?


Written by essjay23x

November 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

Ocean Salt from Lush!

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Ocean Salt from Lush!

So the quest for skin wonders continues. This week I have started to use two MORE products. Ocean Salt from Lush and the Neutrogena Wave.

Today I will talk about the Ocean Salt.

I have wanted Ocean Salt for a long time. It is a Lush product that I’ve heard mentioned so many times. Most people seem to love it. I get the impression that this little concoction is meant to be the exfoliator of exfoliators. Lush haven’t used this title though. Instead they label the product as ‘a facial scrub for a complexion that glows.’

Now, is it just me or does this look delicious?

It is made up with lime, grapefruit, coconut and sea salt and these are mixed together in a fruity, vodka based scrub. The sea salt is meant to scrub away the dead skin and all the horrors blocking the pores. The coconut hydrates and meanwhile the lime and alcohol have antibacterial effects. So it all sounds quite promising but then is there any skincare product that doesn’t sound promising?!

Despite being labelled as a facial scrub, I brought the Ocean Salt to use mainly as a body scrub. I have a few dry patches where I caught the sun a month or so ago and nothing seems to have brought these areas up to par yet. I’m hoping that the Ocean Salt will do the trick!

My first attempt was a tentative one as I know the few who do not like this exfoliator generally find it too harsh for their skin. I was expecting some stinging. In fact, I was a little bit scared as one of the Sanctuary scrubs really seems to sting me but no, I haven’t experienced any stinging at all with the Ocean Salt, even after shaving. The product actually looks and feels a lot creamier then I was expecting and even foams a little. Consequently I’m finding that I’m not using much product at all. I have used this on my body about three times now and have experienced no stinging or soreness. The dry areas that I wanted to work on feel smoother. My skin is certainly less bumpy near the top of my arms and may in fact also, be a tad softer.

With caution, I have used this product on my face maybe three times. Again I have had no stinging and it certainly does not seem to have irritated any blemishes or caused further breakout. Fingers crossed, my damaged skin seems to be healing. However, I don’t think that is due to this product. I have only used it a couple of times. Though I might be wrong as I am using so many things in my skincare at the moment that it is impossible to identify cause and effect. Currently I’m using everything a bit haphazardly as and when. However, I’m hoping that this product will prove itself a staple in my face routine and I can use it every other day once my skin returns to a more ‘normal’ state.

The only area where I may have had a slight reaction to this product is on the thinner skin around my decolletage where I noticed some scratch and prick-like marks after a relaxing bath. Now I’m not sure if this was the Ocean Salt but to be just sure, I have refrained from using it again in this area which luckily is quite smooth and clear anyway. The scratches and prick marks cleared within 36 hours.

I have encountered no further problems with Ocean Salt and am actually looking forward to using it. For me, it feels like more of a treatment for my skin then so many of the other exfoliators I’ve used out there including my own Coconut Oil concoctions.

I have only just started using this product but let me tell you now, I love the scent of this. For me, the scent is more remniscent of a moisturiser and body butter. It is lovely and lingers all day. I’m not sure how to describe it. You can certainly smell the lime and maybe even the ocean air . . ! When you add this gorgeous, yummy scent to the creamy soft texture then I’m so glad that this product got to the top of my wishlist and on to my skin.

250g of Ocean Salt currently costs £11.20 so fingers crossed that this does indeed go a long way!

Have you tried Ocean Salt? What do you think?



Written by essjay23x

August 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Cheating my way to silkiness!

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Cheating my way to silkiness!

One fact about me, dry shampoo has always disappointed me. I did a review earlier in the year  and my biggest concern was that I had trouble brushing the flakes out and when you have brunette hair and you are using the tropical Batiste or Boots own brand, this can be a bit unsightly and annoying. Even if I was using a Brunette Batiste, I’m not sure if I like the idea of flakes in my hair.

I wanted to write a post today that revealed a great product that you can use instead of fallible dry shampoo. I was very excited about sourcing a ‘find’ and an ‘exclusive’ of my own. I found a spray with a fine mist instead of lumpy flakes to silken my locks. A perfect subsitute for dry shampoo, I wanted to post. However, I now realise that unfortunately it would be a step too far to advocate the product in question that way.

Lately I have been trying to wash my hair as and when it needs it. Apparently the longer your hair goes between washes and the more frequently you employ such gaps then the more your hair manages to maintain itself and the less washing/ ‘baddie’ products are then needed. Get in!

Sounds a great idea except for one thing . . , my hair is not very cooperative. It can look fresh, clean and soft before I go to bed one night and the very next morning, I can wake up with greasy roots, quite crunchy ends (Sorry but it is the horrific truth)and little time to spare. Eurgh, what a great start for the day ahead.

At that time of the morning, I never have time to wash, dry and style my hair from scratch so I have to look to my hair products (yes, what I was trying to avoid in the first place) for a helping hand and yes, I have quite a few hair products but that doesn’t mean I can rely on them to save the day.

Most of my products -bar the dry shampoo- are to actually flatten my hair further because it is so puffy after a wash.

However I have recently been employing one little product to help and it is Hair Extensions Maintenance Spray from ion moisture solutions.

I used to use it on my clip in hair extensions to freshen them up and make them silkier and softer as they aged.

One day I noticed that it can be used on natural hair too and blimey, does a spritz of this make my hair soft again! I’ve been trying to find out how it works but have drawn a blank so far. However I think it works as a bit of a moisturiser and you can see from these photos that my hair just looks so much healthier and less wiry (indeed silky) after a spritz of this.

AFTER (spritzed, fingered through, left 2mins and brushed)

I’m so impressed that I was tempted to use this as my dry shampoo subsitute and tell you all about it but no, I can’t.

This spray just doesn’t do enough for the roots to equal a dry shampoo. My roots may feel a little softer after some of this but they still fall on the wrong side of lank.

I have worn my ‘I need a wash’ hair out after a spritz of this and I got away with it maybe because the rest of my barnet looked so fresh but it is not enough because I do not feel that I have clean hair and you can see I’m right if you look at my roots closely enough.

Saying that I am glad that I have this spray, it is a great product to have. It has a nice pleasant fresh, possibly slightly floral, scent and there seems to be no product build up. I can not recommend this product enough if you want to silken/detangle hair (extensions or real) as a ‘pick me up’ occasional product.

I think it could work as a daily moisturising treatment too for the lengths and ends but the only thing I would say here is that I have only used this product occasionally and am a bit wary of the ingredients listed alcohol denat, butane, isobutane, propane, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone. I am tempted to use this product daily because it makes my hair so soft but at the same time, I’m sure many would see these ingredients as ‘baddies’ and could this mean evantually with such frequent use, it would dry the hair out instead of rejuvenating it?

Going back to occasional use, you could maybe even use this product to change your hair style from day to night. After all, it seems to break down product ok and leave your hair soft but personally I find it is more of a maintanance/polish product rather then a cleanser.

When the lank roots need a wash, I think they need a wash more because of physiological waste such as sweat and oils. This ion spray will not clean such hair but then it was never designed to, extensions don’t have to deal with physiological issues!

Dry shampoos do though and dry shampoos haven’t really worked for me yet so I’m just starting to wonder if there is such a thing as a short cut or even a quick fix just to get you through the day when it comes to matters of beauty.

I got my Ions Hair Extensions Maintenance Spray from Shear Beauty ( It is currently £8.99 there. You could google other retailers too.

So for me right now, it is either get up earlier and wash my hair properly as required, or try out the Big Sexy Hair products that Nicoletta has recently posted about!

Do you believe short cuts ever pay off? What do you think of dry shampoo?


Written by essjay23x

July 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Blush: Blushbaby

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Blush: Blushbaby

Ok Girls, do you remember Blushbaby?

I think I have written about it before. Blushbaby was my first and is my only MAC product that I use for Blush.

As the pictures above show, the colour is hard to define. It does not look particularly exciting in the pan. It looks sort of old and functional. It kind of falls inbetween peach and pink. I personally see it as neither/or. I’m not that familar with MAC blushes yet but I have read reviews that suggest it is a darker version of Tenderling. Somebody said it was a rose blush and I thought yes, it is but then I looked at the pan and thought it too peachy to be a rose. I think Blushbaby is often referred to as a beigy pink.

Beige? Eurgh, that doesnsn’t sound very inspiring. I don’t want Beige on my lips so why would I want it on my cheeks?!

This was not even on my list when I walked in to MAC unlike Well Dressed, Pink Swoon, Style and Dollymix but this was what the MUA strongly suggested. I wasn’t very excited by it but he made it seem like the wise choice and yeah, when he swatched it on my cheek, it looked okay.

When I got home, I kept comparing this to Coralista. Coralista seemed a bit more obvious on me and needed less building up but you know what, I actually think for a day to day blush that I prefer Blushbaby.

One good point is that it seems to glide on to the cheeks and give an evenly distruibuted finish. However, you may need to build this finish up slightly so you can see it.

Blushbaby is a sheertone so designed to go on gently and be built up. On the first swipe, Blushbaby is certainly very subtle and more is needed. On the second, you can see a hint of blush and it does look pretty (I think this is where the rose connotations may be coming from, I guess it kind of give the cheeks a subtle rosy flush). So pretty that you think I’ll add a bit more but be careful once you can see it, the colour does seem to build quite quickly.

I hope you can see where I have swiped it on my (strange) hand in the picture above. It is a nice colour on the cheeks. A very natural blush. To somebody not in the know, it may not even look made up just like a healthy flush or glow. Maybe more flush then glow as this product has a matt finish and no shimmer.

So Blushbaby which seems to last pretty much as long as the day decrees is the perfect compliment to neutral looks and has earnt my love in a similar way that Ambre Rose did.

I am quite pale and did I mention, I like this blush a lot on my cheeks but after a little research, it seems that Blushbaby is reported to suit skintones from Nw15 to NC40.

I purchased this product in February. It costs £16.50 but this seems to go a long way. I use this blush four or five times a week and can not see a dent in the pan yet. I just ran my fingers across the top (incidentally it feels very soft, I like the idea of soft powder grains coating my cheeks) and I can feel a very slight hollow but I would imagine this blush will last me almost a year, if not more.

You can read a little more about Blushbaby here

Most people seem to have a MAC blush, what is yours? What do you think of Blushbaby? Have you heard of it before?


Written by essjay23x

June 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

My Summer Scene!

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My Summer Scene!

Hey Girls

So I’m feeling all summery today and it is raining, typical!

I think my summer feeling is a little bit down to the sun we had earlier this week, the fact that it is a bank holiday (and therefore should be sunny) and a whole lot down to the fact that my fake tan break is over.

Oh yeah!!!

I am loving the combo of St Moriz and Boots Body Butter.

I took a fake tan break because I’m rubbish at it. I get streaks, patches and very funny looks but no more!

Everybody says that St Moriz goes on smoothly but isn’t that easy for tanning whizzes to say?!

Except this time, they are right. I’m very late on this bandwagon but St Moriz does go on seamlessly even when I mix it haphazardly in with my moisturiser. I am loving it!

The only self tanner that I have ever found to apply so well is Make Believe but that costs so much more then my darling St Moriz.

Now I have a tan to flaunt and I’m skipping around. I feel so full of life that I might have to go puddle jumping later to celebrate my new tan.

Isn’t it funny how a simple tan (no foundation or concealer required, yay) can change the way you feel?! I even added lots of colour in to my look today. St Germain on my lips, that gorgeous Claires Acc Nail Varnish on my nails that I have raved about before, a slick of All That Glitters across my lids.

So simple and with all the time that I saved today, I even tried waving my hair with a concial wand but aherm, might need a bit more practise there and today, it had to be straightened out.

Ooh and then time to accesorise. No black today, absolutely zero which is pretty amazing for me.

Nope, it is tan and colour all the way. Here is a little pic. Sorry it is a bit blurred but honestly like I said, I’ve got the summer bounce today and I couldn’t stand still long enough to take this properly. I actually don’t look too tanned in the pic but this is about as tanned as pale old me should go. I’ve learnt from my mistakes hence the moisturiser add in.

Now all I need is a little sunshine and my summer scene will be perfect!

Hope you’re having a nice bank holiday and maybe a sunnier one then mine. Made use of my look today and added a couple of videos to You Tube. Check them out if you get a chance. Don’t forget, it always makes my day (even a rainy one!) if you follow or comment on my posts or videos! Would love to see your OOTD or hear about your fake tan experiences so leave me a link to your posts or comment here.


Written by essjay23x

May 29, 2010 at 4:15 pm