Sunday, 18 May 2014

Exfoliating Face Masks - LUSH vs. The Body Shop

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am still a novice when it comes to skin care. It has only been recently that I set myself up fully with a morning and evening cleansing routine, which you can read about – here.

A few months ago, I started trying face masks. My skin was in pretty bad shape, breakouts and clogged pores galore – immediately I reached for the exfoliating masks. I brought two; LUSH ‘Mask of Magnaminty’ and The Body Shop ‘Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask’, both of which claim to give my skin a similar treatment, deep cleanse and unclog pores.

LUSH ‘Mask of Magnaminty’ £9.25

 A multi-purpose mask with a mixture of gentle yet effective ingredients to clean, calm and clear the skin. Easily smoothed over the skin, this mask is made with peppermint oil to stimulate, marigold oil and chlorophyllin to treat the skin; evening primrose seeds and aduki beans to gently exfoliate as you remove it. You can use this mask anywhere.’

The first thing that struck me about this mask was the gorgeous smell. I really enjoy anything with a peppermint smell, and this really came across in the mask. You apply to a dry face, and it was very easy to smooth out and cover. The primrose seeds and aduki beans do mean that the texture is quite course, however I didn’t find that it scratched the skin. When applied, I found there to be a slight heating sensation, often found with mint products, but no irritation. However, if you have sensitive skin I would be careful, my sister tried the mask and found that it stung her.

It is recommended that you leave the mask on for about 10minutes. In that time, the mask dries and becomes crumbly. To remove, wash off with warm water using circular motions, which is where the texture does its job. The ‘Mask of Magnaminty’ was very easy to remove, leaving my skin significantly improved. Afterwards, my skin felt incredibly soft, clean and it did a fantastic job of unclogging my pores.

The Body Shop ‘Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask’ £10.

‘This three-in-one cleansing mask cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises normal to oily skin.

  • Gently cleanses the skin
  • Removes dead skin cells, excess oil and impurities
  • Moisturises, leaving skin feeling soft
  • Weekly treatment’

What I really like about this mask is the results it produced. I don’t think my face has ever felt as clean as it does after I have used this mask! It unclogged my pores and, as with the LUSH mask, left my skin smooth and soft. This mask is applied to damp skin, and has a smoother texture to the ‘Mask of Magnaminty’ with the exfoliating elements being a lot finer. Once applied, I did feel a slight tingling sensation but it was not so bad that I had to remove the mask straight away. Again, when left for around 15minutes, the mask dries to the skin.

The ‘Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask’ dried a lot faster than the LUSH mask, which made it slightly harder to remove with water, but the results are worth it. One element of the mask which I was not particularly keen on, was the scent. It has a slight musky, floury smell which isn’t offensive, but not as yummy as the peppermint of the ‘Mask of Magnaminty’.

Overall, both of these masks provided great results. When used weekly, they helped to stop breakouts and to clear up my skin! If I had to pick a favourite however, I would definitely have to go for LUSH ‘Mask of Magnaminty’. It was slightly kinder on my skin and that scent! Just perfect!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Jumping on the Beauty Blogging Bandwagon.

One of the hardest things I have found about blogging is finding products to talk about, which other have not already written about. As a blogger, you want to be original but at the same time, if a product is new, good and exciting, then it is inevitable that other people will share your opinions and also want to express them.

So I have given up. I am just going write about what I want to, and enjoy it. Here is my first post, openly jumping on the bandwagon, and giving my opinions on some highly raved about products from the blogging circle.

Benefit’s ‘Big Easy’ £27.50

This is Benefit cosmetic’s latest ‘bigger than BB’ cream offering. I have racked my brain all week to try and find the right words to describe this product and failed. This is how Big Easy is described on the website:

‘BIGGER than BB! Why? Two reasons. First, big easy balances moisture & controls oil. Second, the cushiony liquid-to- powder formula melts in like a cream, yet finishes lightweight & velvety like a powder.

This multi-balancing complexion perfector gives light-to-medium natural coverage to even out skintone and conceal imperfections. Even better, it contains ingredients known to soothe & comfort the skin and help fight free radicals. One & done…
big easy saves the day! Non-comedogenic. Oil-free.’

Personally, I think that makes some very bold statements. The coverage, yes, is light to medium. However, I found it to be more on the light side, with the option to build the product up to more of a medium coverage. I have ‘Normal to Dry’ skin, and I have found that a decent amount of moisturiser underneath helps the product to blend in. It can also be used with a primer. I put Benefit’s ‘That Gal’ brightening primer underneath and loved the dewy look it gave. Big Easy definitely evened out my skin tone and banished redness, but it did not really cover my imperfections. There was still a need for concealer over spots.

Overall, I loved the product. I have never tried any of the Benefit foundations before, but this is exactly what you need for Spring/Summer time. Big Easy also makes for a great everyday product you can apply with your fingers, and rush out the door. I was very happy with the coverage it gave me, and it wore off nicely throughout the day. This product is a keeper!

Garnier ‘Micellar Cleansing Water’ £4.99

Ever since I first heard about the miracle product that is the Bioderma Micellar Water, I have been itching for a drugstore brand to make a dupe. Personally, I have found that this Garnier version does not disappoint. It removes ALL make up, even a bold red lipstick. Granted, those harder to budge products such as gel eyeliner do need a little rub, but there is still minimal effort needed.

This Micellar Cleansing Water is powerful, you only need a small amount, and you get a lot of product for your money. Another positive for me is the fact that although the product is oil based, there is little oily residue left on the eye. At the modest price of £4.99, you cannot go wrong.

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think?

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A Beauty Blogging Bookworm.

I thought I would shake things up a bit on the blog this week, and instead of talking about beauty products, tell you about another love of mine - books.

I am an avid reader, always have been and probably always will. I love everything about books, the feel of the pages as they are run through your fingers, and the sound of the spine bending for the very first time. My favourite books are so precious to me, that I reluctantly lend them out, even to family!

This month I have read two books which I have loved, and have blown me away. I am drawn to books which tell the tales of the character’s lives, following them as their paths cross and merge with others. Both of these books tell such a story.

The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak.

Wow, what a novel. I have to start with issuing a warning – at the end of the book I was a big pile of howling mess. Literally shaking with tears. It is that emotive and incredibly breath-taking.

‘The Book Thief’ tells the story of Liesel Meminger, taking place in the middle of Nazi Germany. We meet Liesel at the beginning of her journey. She is being taken to live with foster parents, and follows her every-day life under Hitler’s rule, finding her power through books. Narrating this story is death personified, a man with a job.

This book is beautifully written, the personification of ‘death’ is pure brilliance. He begins as a cynical and a-political figure, but by the end of the book is changed through his experiences with Liesel. I was hooked from the first chapter and found myself engrossed by the characters and their experiences through the war time years. This is certainly a must-read and will firmly have a place on my bookshelf for years to come.

The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton.

This is another page-turner which is partly set during the war. The story starts with 16 year old Laurel, who witnesses her mother, Dorothy, murder a man in the garden, on her baby brother’s birthday. Fast forward to 2011. Laurel’s mother is dying in hospital and with the memory of that day still haunting her, Laurel determines to find the truth.

The narration in this book changes between the past and present, and the different characters in the book. Personally, I love this style of writing, as you can see the same events but through the eyes of the different characters. You can also be more observant as to where, when and why their thoughts and opinions change. You can also discover their motives.

I became completely immersed in ‘The Secret Keeper’. I was reading at super speed, because I wanted to find out what happened and changed my mind on a few of the characters several times. I just could not work out the mystery of the characters and how they were all linked, yet at the end it all became obvious!

I would highly recommend either of these books to anyone! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let me know your thoughts and opinions.