Revlon Colorstay Concealer|Review|

Revlon Colourstay Concealer in 02 Pale

Revlon Colourstay Concealer 02 Pale

All medium to full coverage foundation lovers out there will know Revlon Colorstay foundations are among some of the best on the market. While a good foundation starts the coverage process, concealer is always the second product I reach for when applying my makeup. Being such a fan of the Colorstay foundation I decided to give the Colorstay concealer a try.

The Colorstay concealer comes in a 6.2ml durable, almost glass like, plastic tube. There is a  black screw lid, the same as the foundation and a doe applicator. I purchased the shade 02 Pale, which appears to be the lightest available in Ireland and the UK. While I usually like to use a brightening concealer under my eye I find this works well at covering dark circles as the shade is a good match. I also use this on any spots or redness and it does a good job covering them. Usually I’ll apply the product using the applicator and blend out with either my ring finger or Eco-Tools concealer brush. I found on occasion the concealer can crease under the eye if it isn’t blended out fully.

The texture is very creamy and it’s quite a moisturising, non-drying formula, which I really like for my undereye area. As I’ve mentioned I use either one of two methods to apply this concealer. I find that sometimes it is best applied using my ring fingers. The longevity of the product is definitely shortened if it is applied with a brush. Perhaps it’s just my brush but on days I don’t use a brush I notice it lasts a lot longer. Overall the coverage of this concealer just about hits the medium mark. I don’t think it’s as good as my Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, although it isn’t as drying or creamy but it is much, much cheaper.

All in all, I don’t think the Revlon Colorstay Concealer has the same lasting power and coverage as the foundation. That said, when it is applied correctly with care and set with a good matte powder, it looks good on the skin and covers well.

I bought my Revlon Colorstay concealer for €9.99.

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Garnier Fresh Radiance Boosting Scrub |Review|

Garnier Fresh Radience Boosting Scrub

Garnier Fresh Radience Boosting Scrub Info

Garnier Fresh Radience Boosting Scrub Swatch

I was so excited to try this Garnier Radience Boosting Scrub. Having read online it was a dupe for the Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser (name and all), I picked up a bottle for the bargain price of £3. The scrub is marketed as ‘wake me up’ facial scrub which aims to revive dull and tired skin.  Sadly, after only a few uses I found I was getting bad breakouts. While I do have spot prone skin, these breakouts were in areas such as my cheeks, where I never usually get spots.

Despite the breakouts, my skin always felt smooth, soft and clean after using this product. The smell of this scrub is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Fruity, citrusy, summery and fresh. An extremely appealing smell. This could have been the reason my skin broke out. I don’t usually break out in spots as a result of using a scented product but in this case that could well be the problem. It’s just so hard to resit this product because it smells so nice!  If you have dry or sensitive skin I wouldn’t recommend using this wash everyday. Although it’s not overly abrasive as the exfoliating beads are small, it can dry out skin and leave it feeling slightly tight.

I love the packaging. It’s clean, easy to use and has a very appealing orange and white colour-combo. It’s sturdy and houses 150 mls of product. I’m not going to write this product off just yet. Apart from the breakouts, I got good results from using this scrub,it really does have that ‘wake me up’ factor. Maybe when my skin calms down I’ll give it another try or just use it once a week. For now it’s sitting on the shelf, smelling gorgeous but with no one to appreciate it.

The Garnier Fresh Radiance Boosting Scrub is available on offer at ASDA for £3, retailing for £3.99 everywhere else.

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation|Review|

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation Packaging

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation Swatch, 100 Ivory

Usually what spurs me on to buy a product is one of two things. 1) I run out of it or, 2) A friend or a good review persuades me to buy it. On this occasion, the Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation was lying in my friend’s makeup bag. In a rush on a spur of the moment casual night out, I topped up my foundation with her bottle of this stuff, which she says she really liked. Feeling like I didn’t give it a proper go and mostly liking it, I bought my own.

I weirdly like the tube packaging. The thing that gets me is that the tube holds 30 mls of product. The majority of foundations I own are in glass or glass-effect cylindrical bottles, making them look like there is loads of product inside. It’s been years since I’ve used a mousse formula foundation. Most likely circa 2007/2008 when the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation was a teen favourite! It would be unfair to compare the two here since I haven’t used the Dream Matte Mousse in so long, but the Stay Matte has a similar texture only with less bubbles and better user-friendly packaging. Seeing as this is a high-street brand, I thought the decal would rub off the tube but so far it’s lasting well and is easily cleaned. Thumbs up in the hygiene department.

Rimmel claim that this foundation “minimises the appearance of pores”, gives you a “baby-soft finish” and “won’t feel heavy or greasy”.  I don’t feel like this dramatically reduces the appearance of pores. The foundation is definitely light weight on the skin. It doesn’t look cakey and is so easy to blend. I like to use a face brush or my hands to apply this. A little goes a long way, I always managed to squeeze out too much. It applies matte and I’d say without topping this up with powder I got about 7-8 hours of matte-ness. After this though I find my skin goes quite shiny and slightly greasy so it requires some powder.

I picked up the shade Ivory 100 which is sadly too dark for me. It was the lightest shade available in most of the shops I’ve been in. The Rimmel and Boots websites have advertised that there are 5 shades available with one lighter than 100 Ivory, so I think I’ll grab the lighter one if I come across it. I really like the coverage and feel of this product on the skin. When applying to dry skin I recommend heavily moisturising before hand. If you skip this step it will cling slightly to any dry patches.

The Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation is on sale now for £5.99 or €7.95.

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer|Review|

Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer

Maybelline The Eraser Concealer in Light. Swatch and sponge applicator

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer

This concealer was almost impossible to get my hands on! The rave reviews and hype surrounding this product lead to an onslaught of people scouring local Boots, Superdrugs, Chemists and ASDA’s for this small bottle of concealer. I have to confess, I’m very disappointed with the shade range. On the Maybelline US site there are six different shades available. However, in Ireland and the UK there are only 2 shades on offer, ‘Light’ or ‘Nude’.

I have very fair skin so I purchased ‘Light’. The colour is quite dark and on occasion, it can look orange on the skin, which is sometimes noticeable on top of foundation. You can see in the picture where I have swatched this on the back of my hand that it’s a tad dark for me. When I use a MAC foundation the colour and orange tone is less noticeable as I find that my MAC foundation oxidises. Otherwise, this Eraser Concealer requires a lot of blending which I feel sheers the product out too much on the skin. I end up having to go back for more. While I don’t mind building up the coverage, after several attempts it can being to look cakey and  it starts to dry out the under-eye area. I’ve read on the blogospehere that this a medium-full coverage concealer. Personally I would class this as light-medium coverage. I don’t think it delivers on the coverage required for my under-eye area. Perhaps if the shade was correct for my skin tone I wouldn’t have this problem.

That said, if I have fake tan on and I’m using a darker foundation, this stuff works much better. It is marketed as an under-eye concealer but I also use it on my (millions of) spots and it does works well concealing them and the surrounding redness. I usually use my ring finger to blend after applying it with the built in sponge applicator. I know a lot of people hate this aspect of the concealer. Yes, it is slightly unhygienic and a bit of a gimic, but other than that I think it distributes the product well. To use, simply twist the bottle below the sponge. Caution to first time users, it will take a lot of twisting for the product to come to the surface so just check you don’t over twist and end up with a lot of concealer on the sponge. The concealer is housed in a plastic glass effect bottle. It’s quite like a mini foundation! I like the packaging as I can see the product and it’s simple, with no fuss, bar the sponge applicator.

I do like this concealer although I don’t feel like it’s lived up to the major hype. Maybelline’s Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye concealer is (a mouthful to say) an overall good concealer. If the shade range was improved in Ireland and the UK, I think this concealer could be up there with the best of them.

It’s on sale now for £7.99 in most chemists and drugstores…if you can find it!

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil |Review|

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil Info

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil has to be the most buzzed about product of 2014 so far. And rightly so! This facial cleansing oil is superb. This product has become a go-to makeup remover for many, myself included. I’d be lost without it. After a busy day or night out it is the quickest and handiest way to remove any and all makeup. The real test for me is a product’s ability to remove my Revlon Colour Stay Foundation. As it’s the toughest, long lasting foundation I own. This cleansing oil removes it and my waterproof mascara with ease.

To use, I squirt one pump of oil and rub the product between my two hands, mainly my fingertips and gently massage it onto a dry face. The product begins to break down, turning to a silky texture on your face while melting the makeup. For eyes I like to use roughly half a pump more if I’m removing a particularly tough waterproof mascara, gently rubbing the product onto my lashes and eyes, working it in. Warning: You will look like a scary Panda Eyed Lady when you get to this stage of cleansing! Then to remove, I use a wet facecloth to clean the product off my face. It helps to have the sink full of warm water as it takes a few goes to remove all the makeup. Cotton pads would do the job aswell. These are optional but they give the best result. After I have removed this from my skin I tend to follow up with another Body Shop favourite, the Cool & Creamy Wash. It’s not necessary for a second cleanse as the Camomile oil removes everything from my face, but I love using the Cool & Creamy Wash at any opportunity.

This silky facial oil smells pleasant. I fall in and out of love with the smell but overall it’s nice. It will leave skin feeling fully clean and it is suitable for all skin types, even oily skin. I know there is a big taboo surrounding applying oil to already oily skin. While the product is an oil it turns to a silky milky texture once in contact with the face. It feels so luxurious and soft. It’s almost like a mini-facial. It’s not an overly moisturising oil as the idea is to remove makeup not moisturise. However, this on rare occasions has the inside of my nose/start of my cheeks slightly dry. I have put this down to using a facecloth which can be a bit harsh and abrasive on the skin. The product description also claims the product is suitable for contact lens wearers.

One of the biggest pluses for me surrounding this product is the price. For £10 you get an amazing makeup remover and skincare product. I have heard and read that this product is akin to the most expensive facial oils. While I can’t speak for that myself,not having tried any others.The Body Shop are really upping their game with their skincare range this year and the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil is no exception.

For more info and products in the Camomile Body Shop range visit their website, www.thebodyshop.co.uk/Camomile.

New The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash |Review|

The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash

The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash

The Body Shop Cool & Creamy Wash Swatch

Oh, The Body Shop! I rarely shop in The Body Shop. Not because I don’t love it, the smells, friendly staff, the anti-animal testing policy and general good morality surrounding the brand, I love it too much. I always spend a small fortune when I shop there. This time, being well prepared and armed with a list, I was on a mission.  I had read some very positive reviews about the new Tea Tree Cool and Creamy Wash so I decided it was high time to give it a try.

Firstly, I can’t believe how inexpensive this wash is….A mere £5! Despite the numerous reviews I had read I forgot to look at the price. This is hands down the best cleanser I have ever tried for a fiver. Ever! Designed for blemished skin, the Cool & Creamy Wash actively treats blemished skin without drying it out. This is a major plus for me as usually products aimed at spotty or spot prone skin are designed to combat oil aswell, thus drying it out. At the moment my skin is dry and spotty. I was delighted to find a face wash that didn’t strip any precious moisture from my face or leave it feeling tight. The Tea Tree formula is aimed to reduce redness and the appearance of spots. I can’t say that this completely clears all spots (an impossible task it seems) but it does reduce their appearance on your face. It is not aimed to stops  you getting spots altogether but it definitely reduces redness.

The wash itself is very creamy and soft, especially when worked onto the skin, where it turns to a milky consistency. I apply a small amount, depending on whether I’m wearing makeup or not, to my finger tips and gently work it into my skin. There is quite a strong Tea Tree smell, as expected, from this product. At first it reminded me of the Tea Tree shampoos designed to combat head lice. Not a pretty picture but I got an immediate flashback to being 8 years old and using that shampoo… Despite my initial reaction and memories, I have grown to really love the smell. I now associated with clean, clearer skin. The wash leaves a lovely cooling sensation on the skin. This is particularly tingly and cooling if used in the shower which intensifies the cooling agent.The cleanser is packaged in a plastic tube.  My only problem with it is the clear plastic lid which is quite delicate, mine broke when the tube fell in the shower.

The Body Shop Cool and Creamy Wash leaves your skin feeling fantastically smooth and velvety. It’s not the best product for removing tough makeup though. If you are planning to use this to remove makeup, I find it best to cleanse twice so your skin is 100% makeup free. Make sure to avoid using this too close to your eyes as it would sting like mad if it came in contact with them.

Overall, I really love this product and can’t say enough good things about it. It is a definite new favourite and I look forward to using it when I wake up and before I go to bed! Let me know if you have used this before or any other products in the Body Shop Tea Tree range. For more info visit thebodyshop.co.uk.

Eiffel Tower Nail Stickers |BornPretty Review|

BornPretty Nail Stickers

BornPretty Nail Stickers

BornPretty Nail Stickers

Paris is by far my favourite city! Well, of all the cities I’ve visited… I loved the look of these Born Pretty Store Nostalgic Eiffel Tower Nail Stickers*. The packet contains 14 self adhesive stickers. Randomly enough though, upon closer inspection, two of these stickers include the Colosseum in Rome and Tower Bridge from London. Despite these two, three others include various perspectives of the Eiffel Tower and the final two are Paris themed.

To apply, select your desired sticker and remove the transparent cover. Align the bottom sticker to the top of your nail. Stick to your nail and shape accordingly. I used a nail file and a pair of scissors. To seal apply a clear coat of polish. I applied my stickers to my thumb and ring finger and paired them with BarryM ‘Almond’ polish on my index,middle and baby finger.

Sadly, I found these stickers quite hard to work with. I thought they were quite big for my nails. To make the most of the picture on the sticker your nails would have to be extremely long and wide. Mines are by no means short but they’re not overly long either. I would recommend using these on much longer nails to make the most of the design. These stickers did last well on my nails. Seeing as I have my hands in a lot of water I was impressed with the longevity and they didn’t chip.

I have reviewed other BornPretty nail art stickers before which I loved. I think the length and width of these stickers prevented me from making the most of them. If you want to try these for yourself or any other products from Born Pretty, for all vanessataaffe.wordpress.com there is a 10% discount code. At the checkout enter the code VSSW10 for the discount to apply.

Let me know if you have tried any of BornPrettyStore’s products and which ones you would recommend.

*This product was kindly sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Maybelline New Matte Maker Powder| Review|

Maybelline Matte Maker Powder

Maybelline Matte Maker Swatch

Maybelline Matte Maker Powder and Ecotools brush

A few months ago numerous beauty blogs expressed their sadness over the discontinuation of Maybelline Dream Matte Powder. Then along came Maybelline Matte Maker. This product has been much buzzed about online and naturally I had to try it to see what all the fuss was about. Being loyal to Rimmel Stay Matte powder since I began using makeup in my early teens, it was high time I tried another powder.

Until recently I had very oily skin, but this has taken a U-turn and I find myself battling drier skin than usual. However, I still need a powder to combat shine and set my makeup. I absolutely love the name of this product, I’m a fool for catchy alliteration! The packaging itself is nothing spectacular. A clear plastic tub with black base and outline on the lid. I know a lot of people criticise the Rimmel plastic packaging aswel, it is easily scratched and dirtied but for the money I don’t expect a mirror and puff. I’ll admit, I prefer the Maybelline packaging to Rimmel’s. The black trim is more appealing to that of the Rimmel packaging. However, the main thing is that the product is easily accessible.

As to the powder itself, I bought this in a serious rush during a whirlwind 5 minute visit to Boots in Belfast with my cousin. I didn’t realise that this product came in different shades, I took it for granted that it was an overall translucent powder.  I picked up the shade 30 Natural Beige. This wasn’t a total disaster, as I’m so fair skinned and pale, anything with the word beige in it is usually not for me. Thankfully this wasn’t as dark as the name suggests. I haven’t had a chance to check in person but according to the Maybelline website there are 4 other shades available, with Natural Beige being the second lightest.

This is a great mattifying powder. Despite not paying attention to the shade, I really like that the powder adds extra but light coverage and colour. It is light on the skin and  easy to carry around and store in your makeup-bag. Like all powders, it is easily applied, I like to use my Eco-Tools fluffy big powder brush. The Matte Maker won’t weight down your skin, cake or cling to  any dry patches.

You can find this product at any Maybelline stand for £3.99 or €5.99.

NSpa Lime and Coconut Exfoliators |Review|

NSpa Coconut and Lime Shower Scrubs

With the summer sunshine making rare appearances now and then many of us are contemplating getting our legs and arms out. This means exfoliating like mad to get rid of dull winter skin. If you like to cheat in the summer months with a tinted moisturiser or instant tan, exfoliation is a key step in your beauty routine. This is where NSpa exfoliators are here to help. Available exclusively from ASDA, these fruity shower scrubs are a great and cheap exfoliaitor. The shower scrub offers four fruity scents to choose from, Coconut, Vanilla,  Lime and Raspberry. I recently purchased the Lime and Coconut scrubs. These were on offer when I bought them at 2 for £4, which is still running. To buy outside of the offer they usually cost £3 each. Still a bargain in my eyes!

Nspa Showe Scrubs Coconut and Lime

Marketed as a daily refreshing scrub, these are definitely gentle enough for everyday use. I like to use them with exfolaiting gloves for extra smoothness. This method of application is less gentle on the skin but it is the best for removing ingrown hairs, tan and an all over serious buffing of the skin if you’re planning on applying tan. I have used both products on their own by rubbing them in-between my hands and then all over. They foam much the same way as when I use them with exfoliating gloves but is a much gentler method of application and probably ideal if you have sensitive or dry skin.

The Lime scrub smells so fresh and clean. It’s really zingy and zesty great for use in the morning as a ‘wake-me-up’. It is as you’d expect, a lime green colour with black seeds, a bit like frog spawn, as pictured below. The Coconut scrub smells amazing and won’t disappoint all you coconut lovers. A white gel with black passionfruit seeds. Once in contact with water these gels will foam enough to allow all over good coverage. I like to use a generous amount as I usually use this product all over my body.

NSpa Lime and Coconut Shower Scrubs, Swatches and Picture

Both squeezy bottles contain 225ml of product. I have been alternating between the two bottles and although both claim to leave a light scent on the skin once rinsed off I fail to notice it. These really do smell so amazing that they come with a warning on the tube. Sadly the amazing smells doesn’t translate to your skin after your shower or bath but when you use the product the scent is at its strongest. The NSpa range contains some great products, so far these scrubs are my favourite. They are a great option if you are on a budget or love using fruity products.

For more info visit nspa.co.uk or asda.com. I’d love to know if you have tried these or any other NSpa products!

Believe The Hype: Bioderma Ceraline H20

Bioderma

You’ve watched one hundred and one beauty videos and read as many blog posts raving about the French pharmacy wonder that is Bioderma. I can confirm that, yes, it is worth the hype!

To be more specific Bioderma Sensibio H2O water or, micellar solution, is worth the hype. The facial water favoured by numerous makeup artists, beauticians and bloggers prectically sells itself nowawdays. I first came across the ‘magic water’ on Lisa Eldridge’s YouTube channel. If a product gets high praise from Lisa, you know it’s good!  I picked up two mini 100ml travel sized bottles on a recent trip to Paris. These were the only two mini bottles to be found within a 10 mile radius, I scoured high and low. I was only travelling with hand luggage so sadly I couldn’t bring anything bigger than 100mls home. My heart broke even more when I saw a vending machine built into the wall of the pharmacy across the road from my hotel. There were two massive 500ml bottle for an incredible €15 inside. The 100mls I bought were €4.90 each. I expected this product to be much more expensive, so the price is an added bonus.

BiodermaBioderma is famed for it’s gentleness and rightly so. Gentle though it may be, it is tough enough to remove waterproof mascara and long lasting foundation. Certain waterproof mascaras will require an extra bit of product and time if they are particularly tough to remove.  If you are removing a full face of makeup I’d advise using this as a pre or post cleanser. I’m used to washing off my makeup with a gel or cream cleanser so using a product on a cotton pad to remove makeup is still a bit odd to me.

Bioderma

There is no residue with Bioderma and it is gentle enough to use twice a day. There is no scent or perfume at all , which is great if you have very sensitive skin. In terms of value for money, a little goes a long way with Bioderma. The exception being tougher waterproof mascaras. Usually only available directly from France, Bioderma is now available from several online sites. These sites deliver all over the world but I can’t personally voucher for any of them… yet! Some offer free delivery on orders over £30 so make sure you shop around for the best value.

Overall verdict

Hype: Bioderma Sensibio H2O, most definitely lives up to it’s name and reputation.

Cost: It is great value for money and reasonably priced.

Availability: It is difficult to find, but it is worth the hassle.

Rating: 9/10

For more info see Bioderma Website

The Laduree Paris Macaron Experience

2014-01-31 19.42.30

Macarons anyone? In my second instalment of Paris food adventures, I bring you Paris’ famous macaron house Laduree, located right in the heart of the Avenue de Champs Elysee. After some not so extensive Googling, I came across Laduree’s incredible website and decided to add it to my list of stops.  Step through the elegant green and gold doors and you’ll find yourself in a dimly lit room with an amazing ambiance and, as you would expect the smells inside were divine. The left side of the shop is dedicated to selecting macarons and pastries. The right side, a cosy restaurant with luxurious patterned wallpaper and lamp lit tables.

Laduree Macarons Paris

The décor both inside and outside was superb. The interior was full of lush green carpets and pretty tiles. Soft lighting and delicate lighting fixtures hanging from the walls and ceilings really compliment the produce on display which was the undoubted star of the show. My trip was during the end of January so the windows were all geared towards Valentine’s Day. Nina Ricci had collaborated with the company to design a pink and gold covered strawberry macaron. These were on display in the shop window and for sale inside at the counter. The packaging for this was beautiful red Nina Ricci heart box or rounded box, which ever you preferred, costing €55 upwards. Definitely a present for someone who appreciates their macarons!

Nina Ricci Laduree Window

Nina Ricci Laduree Paris Window Valentine's Day

After randomly stumbling upon Piere Herme another famous macaron house in Paris, I was glad I waited for Laduree. While the produce in Piere Herme looked lovely, Laduree was an unforgettable experience. The customer service was excellent. The Laduree staff members were extremely friendly, helpful and professional. Not having a clue which macarons I wanted to try, my server described a selection of his favourites and the more random flavours like orange blossom, “like something my grandmother would make me eat at her house.” I forgot to make a note of the 6 flavours I ordered, I know raspberry, chocolate and even the orange blossom were in the mix somewhere. They taste as good as they look!

Laduree Macarons Paris

Laduree Macarons Paris

Price wise, it cost €15.80 for 6 mini macarons. Crazy as some might think that is, the customer service was incredible and the product even more so. The packaging was amazing and you got to choose from three different boxes. I went for the traditional green but there were other options available.

Laduree Macarons Paris

Laduree is a must for any foodies out there or lovers of luxury macarons! Let me know if you have been or plan to go to Laduree.

Click here to see my post on Dinner at Le Schmuck Paris.