GOSH Make Up

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I can’t even remember whether it was in February or at the end of January when I got an e-mail from GOSH club where I could  win products from their new collection. I entered and completely forgot about it, even when I received their package in the post, I was at first completely puzzled how come I was lucky enough to get that package (because let’s be honest, I am not that kind of blogger who gets freebie). It was only when I put the picture on my Instagram, when lovely people from GOSH in Denmark left a comment that they are glad I received my price from the competition because when they tried to inform me by mail, it bounced back. Although I don’t have awful lot from GOSH, I love their 9 pan eye shadow palettes (I have Coppenhagen and New York one), their liquid lipstick and first primer I ever bought 6 years ago was from GOSH and I still think is one of the best I have tried. Also, I love the fact that their quality make up is made in Europe, not in China, Taiwan or Thailand (I am not saying I don’t have China make up but it is a plus in my eyes if  a European company  have their products made in Europe) unlike some very expensive brands that sell their make up for £30+ a pop.

Of course, I haven’t tried everything because I hate to have more than 2 mascaras or eyeliners open but I would like to show you the things I did try.

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I already have two of their Liquid Matte Lips so I was very happy when I saw one in pink shade of Berry Me that I didn’t have and is really nice for this season. Although truth be told this liquid lipstick is never fully dry and never fully matte as the name suggests, its creamy formula is very rich and pigmented so you don’t have to reapply if you have a snack or a drink unless you have a proper meal. It also wears off nicely, you won’t get patches. Slim, slightly bent doe foot application allows precise application but I wouldn’t go overboard with heavy buildup (but as it is really pigmented, you don’t need to) because it feels quite tacky when smacking your lips then.

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Another lip product I got is Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matt Angel which is a pink nude colour and unlike the liquid one, this is matte and I recommend to scrub your lips before the application. When it is on my lips though, it feels comfortable. The colour is less intense than with liquid lipstick but still wears off nicely lasts quite well.

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I really like the 9 shade eye palettes so I was excited to try their new quads in Urban Nature. There is one shimmer and 3 mattes. Although I didn’t find them as buttery as the ones in the above mentioned 9 pan palette, they actually apply well on lids and last really well without melting into the crease.

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I never bought a liquid blush as it sounds quite scary for an old oily girl me so Lumi Drops in Rose was perfect opportunity to try that dewy trend and I was surprised that I liked it.

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It doesn’t feels greasy, it spreads and blends in easily and the shade I got, creates naturally flushed cheeks on my skintone.

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Last thing I tried from the parcel is trio of CCC (contour, cover, conceal) sticks. I was thinking about buying some of these as I wanted to try contouring with sticks so again, it was something I was excited about (i am not gonna lie, I loved whole package – who wouldn’t). The shades I got were 001 Vanilla Highlighter, 003 Light and 005 Dark. They are all very creamy and blend like a dream. The light shade is my favourite as it is really good at coverage and as it blends well, doesn’t look cakey, I think I could use it even as a concealer in winter. The dark shade looks a bit orange but when blended, it works with warm toned summer nude face make up.

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That is everything I have tried so far and I am happy with the colours they chose for me. For 35 years I never won anything and now was lucky to win a few Instagram giveaways (a lip oil, lipstick and handcream) and this one was the biggest price I have ever won.  As a person who never got anything for free, getting something I like and will use, definitely lifts your spirit and now I know that everybody can win, even if it is just a little thing, if you try and enter (of course, just to be on the safe side, enter with companies you know exist).

Masque Bar Green Tea Sheet Mask

I tried not to write a face mask review for a bit but I decided to write another now. As it was Saturday when I started writing this post (I want to wait a day before I publish to see whether there will be some reaction), sheet mask is due to be used and today I chose Masque Bar Green Tea sheet mask.

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As most sheet masks, this one is also made in Korea and I like that it also has best before date which is suspiciously missing on many British cosmetics.

The mask promised to help minimize the appearance of dark spots and various pigmentation irregularities and should be effective on all skin tones, leaving skin more radiant looking. It contains vitamin E, phyto collagen and Green Tea extract so it should smooth, moisturise and refresh.

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Now I usually don’t much like perfumed skincare (although I use it) but I like fragrance of green tea and this mask smells like cosmetic green tea in my mind should.

The mask was reasonably soaked to adhere well to my face but not dripping wet. There was just a little serum/essence left but I did manage to get enough to spread on my neck.

I left the mask on for 30 minutes and after removing my skin felt softer to touch and smoother by the look. The sérum soaked within minutes which I like but I can imagine that people with dry skin would prefer something with heavier serum. Of course, dark spots didn’t vanish, not even serums ever did that for me and I am using them daily, maybe using the mask more than once could help but I can definitely say that my skin was more radiant.

Overall, I like this mask and I am definitely interested in trying more from the brand although by the price point around £5 it is one of the more expensive ones. You can also buy a pack of three where one piece would come to £3.33. I got mine from my Latest in Beauty subscription, so it cost me £2.

Azelaic acid not only for acne

I have a feeling that acids of different kinds are the superheroes in skincare in recent years although they are nothing new to many people. Almost everybody tried something contains glycolic acid regardless of the skintype, benefits of salicylic acid are well known to all those ridden by acne (or at least noticed that most acne skincare contains salicylic acid) and hyaluronic is known to many not only for skin plumping properties but also as a supplement keeping your joints healthy. And those are just a few. I want to talk today about acid that I underservedly heard nothing about until I was searching which products from Ordinary I should order from Victoria s Health website. They have also a lot of articles where they write what from their stock is good for different problems you might be suffering from and one of those articles was about treating acne scaring. As somebody who started having breakouts at the age of 10 and over 2 decades later still do (although in better managed form), I have quite a lot acne scaring in my T zone, although fortunately not as deep as some people with serious acne might have but my skin is definitely far from that of babies’. Besides other products, their pharmacist Shabir recommended Azelaic acid and I decided to put it in my basket (for £5.50 surely worth a try).

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When I received it, I saw that it was in a small 30 ml (1 oz) tube and I was just hoping it is not gonna be sticky. I have to say, I felt a bit unimpressed when I opened it and wanted to use it first time in my skincare routine. It kind of reminded me of silicone primers but within a few seconds, I was proved wrong – my skin felt dry to touch (like really mattyfied) and no heavy feeling on my skin, in fact, I was very happy to apply my night oil.

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Fast forward morning, and I can see that my blemishes are smaller and instead of nasty red and purple volcanoes the colour is just light pink and my skin all over smoother. I know, other acids can also smooth out your skin, but this one does it without stinging or any other discomfort whatsoever and despite being dry to touch quickly,  it didn’t dry my skin out. So decided to find out more about this Azelaic acid and I have to say that the more I found out, the more I loved it.

Azelaic acid is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-keratinizing (preventing build up of dead skin causing clogged pores, but when I think about it, might also work for your keratosis pilaris a.k.a. bumps on the back of your arms).

Many studies found that it is more effective in treating acne than topical antibiotics and as effective as benzoyl peroxide or tretinoin (retin A) minus the side effect od the last two. Besides that, this little badass is proved to be effective in treatment of rosacea and melasma again without irritating.

I have being using it only over a week now so cannot really comment on long term use on my skin but I am pretty impressed so far and so are other people who tried it and if you suffer of some of the above, you should try it, too. Just don’t forget to use SPF afterwards.  As for myself, I think I am going to stock up😉

Anybody else having experience with Azelaic acid? What are your thoughts?

 

Empties April 2017

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Another month finished and my empties bag filled once again. I can definitely believe that the month passed as my children had 2 weeks of holiday and I tried to make it busy and eventful but felt quite happy when they went back to school and I had a quiet house for 2 hours before I went to work (in school😋).

I have also a little confession to make that I cheated a bit in this empties post as I got a little self-concious when I kept on reading comments how much I used up in a month and threw out one shower gel and matching body lotion but then I told myself: hey, it is me, I like bodycare and skincare and use it everyday and I finished all that last month (but not used up all in just one month). Amen🙏

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Skincare

Origins Flower Fusion Hydrating Rose and Refreshing Raspberry as all Origins sheet masks are pretty consistent at how they feel, the difference is the slightly scent they have depending on the infusion. Anyway, they are lovely, moisturise well without leaving residue that doesn’t want to sink in and don’t sting and I find them a good fit so it is up to you whether you want to pay £5-£6.

Boots Ingredients Charcoal & Willow Bark is supposed to be cleansing and purifying which I didn’t notice much as I had some breakouts at the time and they just seemed to continue popping out (although I know that is one of detoxifying procese). Good point is that it didn’t sting as much as the first two Boots Ingredients masks I tried but it still gave me feeling as if my face was freezing. To be honest, I am not tempted to repurchase although freezing effect could be good in the summer.

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Calming Paper Mask was in my review a few weeks ago and for a mask that claims to be calming and soothing, this stang. Eyes were also not fully cut out so at first I was bit unsure whether I should cover my eyes with it but fortunately read warning to avoid contact with eyes. I felt disappointed but I bought some more masks from Yes To to give the brand fair chance to make my opinion.

111 Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask is part of skincare developed by London’s Harley Street Dr Alexandrides and promises to brighten complexion, moisturise and nourish as well as stimulate collagen production. It is a cellulose placed in between pieces of lace netting on each side. Despite the mask being quite ill-fitting to my face, I really liked it. My complexion was really brighter and moisturised, the essence it was soaked in was light yet nourishing and there was such a plentiful of it that after disposing the sheet, I still had a lot of it left to use for 3 days.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing water hypoallergenic has got some cult status as a cheap alternative to Bioderma. I never much understood hype around micellar watery as the ones I had tried before were not much different to watery eye make up remover – not so effectively and in some cases eur stinging. But I finally understand with this water. I have some others in my stash to try but if I should go back and repurchase any, it would be this one. I had it open for quite some time until I decided to use it as an eye make up remover before 6 months from opening.

Roger&Gallet Double Extract was together with their vinegar love at first love. The scent itself was amazing, I liked how it felt on my winter skin and the unique dosage it has is quite fun although when I had just a little product left at the bottom, I had to open the bottle completely to get the product out. However, as the weather got a bit warmer, for my skin type, I prefered it as an evening essence/serum, as it made sinking in of my day moisturiser difficult. I loved it but just once a day past March😋

Darphin Hydraskin Light was at first just an okay day moisturiser. It spread well and provided good yet still light moisture but it didn’t want to sink fully until I stopped using R&G Double Extract in the morning and then really enjoyed it.  I wouldn’t repurchase for the full price though not only because I’m cheap but also because there are similar moisturisers from French pharmacy with cheaper price tag.

T-Zone Tea Tree &Witch Hazel Nose Pore Strips are just stingy Poundshop purchase but I am not tempted to buy anymore as I found out that if I use it more than every 4 weeks, I don’t extract almost anything and unfortunately it is not because the blackheads on my nose are small. At the moment and have Biore and I don’t intend to repurchase.

The Konjac Company konjac sponge. I was really excited that I finally had the opportunity to try konjac sponge. I liked gentle exfoliation and that it seemed to save on my facial wash but after a month of use I noticed that that my chin and jawline began ridden with angry red breakout. At first I thought it might be because the weather got warmer at the time but as these breakouts were more like big, angry red almost purple volcanos that were just hanging in there for weeks, not like small whiteheads popping daily from congestion, after trying niacinamide and blemish treatment, I decided to see what happens if I stop using the konjac sponge and my skin improved within a few days, no new breakouts. I always washed the sponge after use but it was probably not enough. Anyway, I’d rather not risk anymore as the breakouts I had were really nasty and konjac is a nono for me from now on.

Soap&Glory Vitamin C Facial Wash had a lovely scent, blue colour and pink beads that I didn’t understand meaning of much as they were neither much abrasive to provide exfoliation nor they burst on contact with skin to provide something extra. It contains Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate as second ingredient that promises to be more gentle than SLS and I would probably like it a few years back, after the facial washes I used in winter, I still felt it is a bit drying on my. I am probably really getting old.

Vichy Idealia Smoothing and illuminating cream was a sample I got with my order with Feelunique. It was light and really illuminating for my face without being greasy. I would consider buying full size in future.

Gazelli Skin Balancing Cleanser, Intensive Age-Repair Cream and Reviving Eye Cream are samples I got as extras in my Latest in Beauty subscription. They are small samples but I completely fell in love with them and they restored my believe in expensive skincare. My skin felt like I just used a very good sheet mask after the cream and it didn’t break me out or felt heavy. Unfortunately, it is very expensive, like £70 expensive, so with two small children and short working hours, not possible for me at the moment although I am not saying that I was not tempted:)

Bodycare

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Superdrug Shaving Gel for dry skin with vitamin E. I heard a lot about Superdrug’s cruelty free shaving range and I decided to try. Works well, provides good slip, no razor bumps or dry skin afterwards for me and price is also consumer friendly, so nothing to complain about. I have another one to go.

Nip + Fab Viper Venom Body Serum is a body serum to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and tighten. I don’t have wrinkles on my body yet, but I did feel like it tightened my skin a bit, although I didn’t like much how sticky it felt and a bit difficult to spread around properly. I don’t intend to repurchase at the moment but there is maybe in the future.

Grace Cole Nectarine Blossom and Grapefruit exfoliating body polish was part of a set I got for Christmas at work. Scent is not bad but exfoliation is nothing much, it is in fact crumbled pumice stone mixed with shower gel. Plus, it is made in China (same as Harding and Baileys). There are some things where I can overlook Made in China, but in my toiletries not. So no purchase for me.

Dr. Organic Snail Gel Hand and Nail Elixir was a really nice hand moisturiser with a lovely citrusy scent. It worked well, felt quite light but it took a bit to soak into the skin. I got it as gift with a magazine purchase.

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Seed Scrub I used up despite not liking it much. The whole range smells a bit like older mens cologne to me and I gave all the other products to my husband, as he liked the scent. This scrub in short was like Vaseline mixed with Chinese rub and poppy seeds as exfoliant agents. Felt a bit greasy to me, had to use hot water to wash it properly and I didn’t have to use body lotion afterwards so I guess that’s one plus.

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Flower by Kenzo is together with Narciso sample that I got as extra with another Latest in Beauty Subscription. Flowers is a nice clean a bit powdery fragrance and for people who cannot afford it I would recommend white Pur Blanca from Avon as a cheap alternative. It is sold by Avon in continental Europe not it the UK, but I found out that notino.co.uk sell Avon fragrances that are available in Europe but on in the UK. Narciso I liked and maybe in 4 years time when I finally finish stuff I have, I might consider buying a small bottle.

Escentual nail file is your ordinary emery board file that you get as a complimentary present with probably every order with Escentual. I started using it and my older daughter butchered it when she decided she starts doing her nails by herself (8-years old).

Haircare and a bit of make up

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Lee Stafford Hair Growth Leave In Treatment was in my previous empties. I used it as a detangling spray in the morning. I found it somewhere in the middle of detangling sprays – it is not alcohol laden drying one which is good, but I had detanglers I liked more as this one weighs my hair down a bit (I wash my hair every three days) so I don’t really intend to repurchase anymore.

Avon Naturals Healthy Hydration Conditioning Balm is my good old leave in treatment that keeps hair soft without weighing down.

Avon Naturals Full Volume conditioner with raspberry and hibiscus was really light so didn’t feel that nourishing unless I saturated my hair in it but I don’t my because I always use leave-in conditioner of some kind on my hair afterwards so for the price I bought it, I have nothing to complain about. Don’t intend to repurchase though.

Clairol Nice ‘N’ Easy (can’t help but chuckle at this name with my one track mind) was  nice nourishing as they all are with hair dye but I think I prefer the Garnier one.

Last item is the only make up sponge I decided to toss as I had it for quite some time and definitely  longer than I should have but as I don’t really use beaty sponge every day and clean it every time I use it, I think I am forgiven.

 

Current favourites (April 2017)

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I don’t do favourites all the time because sometimes I don’t really have any new ones and don’t really want to call it April favourites as I use most of them for longer than this month.

First and foremost the favourite I really have to mention is Primark Oval Blending brush I got for £4 but in my eyes it was the best spent money I ever did. Before that, I prefered applying foundation with my fingers unless the formula of the foundation didn’t allow me to but this makes the job easy not to mention that it really works well blending those contours whether it be cream or powder.

Soap&Glory Arm-a-Gooden and Ab Fab I love not that because I would believe that a cream/gel would rid me of my winter bulges (although I enjoy trying), but the smell of pink grapefruit is just heavenly and I really enjoy applying it just because of that.

Tigi Bedhead Motor Mouth is one of those cream gel formulas that work for my fine, long curly hair, it helps keeping the shape of my curls without weighing down, you can brush it out next day without any white cast. It has some sparkles but they are not obvious in hair, just adding shine and as a sucker for fruity scents I can tell you that the mango smell this has is pretty addictive.

Organic Surge Refreshing face wash is one of the best face washes I have ever used. It really is refreshing and cleansing but doesn’t leave my skin one bit dry or feeling tight. Ultra-light Oil Control Lotion is great for my adult acne. As the name says, it is light but it keeps my skin well smooth and moisturised and it really compliments the the facial wash. I love the smell of essential oils that I much prefer to artificial fragrance, but I know some people don’t like it.

Yves Rocher Refreshing Deodorant in Pomegranate from Spain is lovely for winter or mild temperature season although might not be enough in the summer. It claims to contain 99% ingredients of natural origin, 0% aluminium salts and no parabens and flacon is 100% recyclable. Plus, it is a clear gel, so no white marks on your clothes.

Good Housekeeping Box from Latest in Beauty

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Besides their build-your-own subscription boxes Latest in Beauty also have a good choice of limited edition boxes curated by magazines or bloggers. At the moment they have 7 limited edition boxes with proces from £20 to £69. The one that got my attention was Good Housekeeping as £35 for 12 products seemed a very good value, especially as I got £5 off code by email and as a subscribed have free p&p on all orders, so £30 it was.

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Main selling point though for me was that it contains full sized Paula’s Choice 1% Clinical Retinol treatment which on its own covers the cost of the box. I want to try retinol and see how it effects my pores and acne scaring on my face and although I had already purchased 2% Retinol from Ordinary, I think it would be better to start with this 1% version which had good online reviews from combination/oily skin users.

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Garnier Moisture Bomb is my favourite sheet mask, although not that expensive that it would make a decisive factor to buy the box but it is a nice addition.

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Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum 10ml is a sample I am happy with as I was happy with all the samples I’ve had from the brand so far and when my skincare stash shrinks in size, I plan to get set of full size products (although I already have Beauty Elixír ready for the summer as it is a very cooling spritz).

REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream is a 15ml sample and hopefully will not break me out. Can’t really remember trying anything from the brand so don’t know what to expect yet.

I heard a lot of good things about Olay Regenerist 3 Point Day Cream, unfortunately, this is just a 7ml sample but I am happy to try it out.

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As for makeup items there is Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara that claims to have a brush that grabs and catches every lash teamed with waterproof formula, Nails Inc Nailpure in Mayfair Gardens which seems to be too brighten and not cool toned enough shade of red but as it isn’t a lipstick, I know I’ll wear it occasionally. Last from make up is UBU powder brush which looks like a cute smaller powder brush.

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Miscallenious items are Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Mousse which I prefer to hairspray (I don’t use hairsprays), Regenerate Enamel Science toothpaste which might be strange but I am happy about as I like enamel protection toothpastes and I haven’t tried this one yet and James Read Gradual Tan H2O Tan Mist.

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Mask

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I became a bit of face mask fein over the last few months and clay based masks have always a good place in my stash (I own 6 clay/mud masks at the moment) but I noticed that even though my skin is oily so I don’t suffer from deep wrinkles yet, my skin started looking a bit withered over the last two years and I realised that my skin needs some extra hydration. I started using serums before my moisturiser regularly morning and evening and it definitely helped but as I started using more masks (5 to 7 a week), I feel like my skincare got yet again to another level. And after and between those oil sucking clay masks, I am now also using hydrating masks. As my skin is oily there is always a bit of risk that the hydrating mask just turns out to be something greasy and pore clogging, so before I ordered La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque, I first check reviews to see if there were some oily/combination skin users reviewing.

By indications on the box, the mask is for dehydrated, sensitive skin, tightness and dull complexion. It contains hyaluronic acid combined with high concentrations of La Roche-Posay thermal spring water. Promised results are intensely rehydrated skin, plumped with moisture, feeling soothed, and luminosity is restored.

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The mask itself is in classic white and blue plastic tube and looks like an ordinary moisturiser or like they discribe it “fluid gel cream”.

By instructions, it should be applied to cheeks and neck for 10 minutes and then remove the excess with cotton wool. I did that the first time I used it but I still felt like there is some residue left on my skin and felt much better when I washed it off although wiping might work well for normal and dry skin type and I think that these type s could even try to use it as an overnight mask but as I suffered from some breakouts recently, I didn’t want to risk my skin getting worse. Another thing is that I prefer to use only a small amount and spread it over my face otherwise it feels a bit heavy on me but so far it did not break me out and even when I washed it out, my skin felt lovely plumped up and hydrated just as it promised so if you use it with your individual skin needs, it is a winner.