Rosy Cheeks

By now it’s no secret that I’m completely obsessed with Lush, and one thing that I love is that every time you bring back 5 (clean!) empty black pots into store, they give you a free Fresh Face Mask of your choice.

After storing up my pots, I decided to try something new, rather than opting for my usual BB Seaweed, I thought I would try something new and picked up a pot of Rosy Cheeks.

The day after a party, and on an unpleasantly muggy day, I was eager to try out this soothing mask. Because these are fresh masks, you keep them in the fridge, and the cooling sensation was very welcome feature.

Although Rose Petal Infusion and Rose Oil are amongst the ingredients, the mask has a very light, fresh scent, a relief for someone who isn’t overly keen on floral scents.

Another active ingredient is Calamine Powder. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I distinctly remember my mum smothering calamine lotion on me when ever I caught the sun or had a particularly bad patch of childhood eczema, so I already knew that this was a fantastic ingredient for soothing the skin and calming down redness. I often get patches of redness in my cheeks, particularly on a warm day (or after a couple of drinks), and have found that the mixture of the mask coming straight from the fridge and the Calamine Powder help bring that redness down instantly.

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll find the drying down of a face mask weirdly satisfying, and you won’t be disappointed! After about 10 minutes this mask has dried down, but not in a flaky way, more of a tacky layer where you can still actually move your face (a bonus in my book).

It only takes a couple of splashes under the tap to remove this, and I would recommend using cool water – after all, you don’t want to undo all that cooling straight away!

After wiping the mask away, my skin feels soothed and refreshed, the redness has left my cheeks and my usually very uneven skin tone is much less blotchy. This mask gives a matte finish, which is something I really enjoy as I tend to have a very oily T zone. It also works in removing leftover makeup residue if you’re as rubbish as removing it as I am!

I’m so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and tried something new. I can be pretty fussy with face masks, but Rosy Cheeks is definitely going to become a regular in my beauty regime!

Jessica

xXx

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13 Reasons Why: A Conversation with Emily Holyoake

It seems like this has been a long time coming, my sister and I have had numerous conversations about 13 Reasons Why, so we thought we would sit down and record one of our discussions. Spoiler alert: we’re not huge fans.

Why did you watch 13 Reasons Why?

Jess: I’m just obsessed with Netflix, to be honest, and everyone was banging on about it.

Emily: This wasn’t one where people started saying ‘you have to watch this’ and I resisted it, because I usually do – I still haven’t watched Stranger Things, it took me about three years to watch House of Cards. But for some reason, 13 Reasons Why looked like it would be my sort of thing. And I think as well, I saw a lot of people saying ‘it’s so important’, ‘everyone must watch this’, and it looked like it had some sort of nobler purpose to it which I thought was quite interesting. And I definitely- I think I recommended it to you and I asked if you were watching it a lot.

Jess: Yeah, you kept asking me ‘are you watching 13 Reasons Why yet?’ and then I finally watched it in about a day, because there’s only 13 episodes of it. (Obviously).

Emily: So you did what the character doesn’t do, and you binged it all at once. Whereas, I spread it out- not because I couldn’t have binged it- I probably could have watched it all in one sitting if I had had the time to do it.

Jess: Yes, whereas I have no life.

Emily: So apparently in the book, he gets the tapes and he listens to them all at once, and the book takes place all in one night. Whereas for the TV series they decided to do this thing of breaking it up and have him going and confronting people as and when he found stuff out. And everybody else then saying to him ‘well you don’t know the whole story yet’, ‘why haven’t you listened to your- you haven’t even listened to your tape!’ And making the point that everybody else is shouting at the TV – ‘just finish listening to them!’

 

Do you think you’re the target audience for 13 Reasons Why?

Jess: Absolutely not. I’ve said this from the beginning, you know, 16/17 year old Jess would have absolutely loved it and been completely obsessed with it and just been like ‘I love Clay so much’ and ‘everyone’s so misunderstood’ and ‘I’m so misunderstood!’

Emily: Which character would you have liked best when you were 16?

Jess: Clay. Yeah, probably. I’m not sure, I don’t particularly like Hannah and I don’t know if I would have liked Hannah 7/8 years ago either.

Emily: I also really don’t think I’m the target audience for it. Although I don’t know whether Netflix thinks in ‘target audiences’… I think this is a problem with 13 Reasons Why and generally with Netflix – there’s either the kids section or there’s the rest of Netflix. And I think there’s something dangerous about streaming in that it really gets rid of ratings. They didn’t put those content warnings on until it had already been up for a couple of weeks at least.

Jess: Oh! Really?!

Emily: I can’t remember what stage they put them on, because by the time we got to it they were there, but those content warnings weren’t up to start with.

Jess: Oh yeah, I’m just looking here: “Netflix has announced it will add a content warning to its original series “13 Reasons Why” after multiple mental health advocacy groups and parents expressed concerns with its graphic depiction of suicide.” To not even think about that in the first place completely baffles me.

Emily: So these characters are … 16 to start with and then 17. I’m happy with 16/17 year olds watching it. I’m worried that it’s also appealing to teenagers a lot younger than that.

Jess: Yeah and without a parental lock on something, Netflix isn’t going to be like ‘are you sure you want to watch this?!’ It has a content warning at the beginning, but no one really reads those anyway.

Emily: And it’s only on some episodes too.

Jess: It’s definitely on the first episode, because I remember being really impressed that it had a content warning, but I didn’t know it wasn’t on there originally. That’s crap.

 

Why do you think people are saying ‘it’s so important’?

Emily: So I guess people are saying it’s important because it’s opening discussions. It’s definitely one of those series that everybody’s been talking about. People have spoken about the portrayal of depression in it and whether that’s effective or not, they’ve spoken about the representations of rape and whether those are truthful, accurate, helpful. I think it’s got a lot of discussion points in it, and it just about skirts around feeling like a public service announcement to watch- it doesn’t feel like it’s about ‘bullying’ or ‘abuse’ or ‘harassment’- I think it speaks on the same level as its audience. I’m still slightly uncomfortable with how graphic it is, but I don’t know whether that’s because I’m looking at it through a more adult lens. So I think people are saying it’s important because it’s starting conversations. I’m not convinced it’s starting the conversations it intended to.

Jess: Actually what’s been surprising is that it’s starting conversations amongst parents and their kids, which is great if it makes parents more open to talking about things like that.

Emily: It portrays parents very badly though. It portrays adults as not being able to on any level understand teenagers, which is not particularly fair. And it’s also saying to teenagers ‘the adults in your life don’t understand you, and when you ask for help they won’t be capable of giving you that help’. Because everybody that Hannah asks for help, everybody that Clay asks for help, is crap at it. There is no example in that whole series of an adult actually being able to help one of those teenagers. It wouldn’t have taken much to just have one person who didn’t fail. And Keiko Agena’s character? She’s like a communications teacher- she’s awful! How has she got a job?!

Jess: Mrs Bradley.

Emily: I mean, where did she get her qualifications?! I can’t believe that that’s actually a class.

 

Why do you think 13 Reasons Why could potentially be dangerous?

Jess: I have so many issues with this show. Speaking as someone who has had both relationships and friendships with people who have had depression, and as someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression in my own life and still does now, I think it’s incredibly dangerous to have a programme that’s centred on the suicide of a teenage girl and not to touch on the idea that there’s some mental health issues going on as well. It is entirely placing the blame on other people, on external factors, and yes of course all of those people have contributing factors, all of those events did, but it doesn’t touch on the fact that she probably was pre-disposed to a mental health issue that wasn’t address at all. Not once. I don’t know if I’ve completely missed a whole episode where they did that?! But to just kind of gloss over it in the way that they did, and make out that suicide is entirely blamed on people and their individual actions and not have mental health as a contributing factor- I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have touched on it. It’s such a big deal, especially now there’s a huge percentage of young adults who have some kind of mental health issue. To not touch on it… I don’t know why they haven’t done it and I think they’ve missed a trick there. That’s what young people want to see, that kind of thing being addressed.

Emily: Yeah you’re right, they missed the opportunity. It opens discussions about depression externally to itself, but within it, they really do shy away from using any terminology like ‘mental health’, ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’; they really shy away from using the words. I remember one scene that really confused me was that scene where Clay’s parents give him his prescription again, and we’re given the idea that Clay has suffered from some sort of anxiety, but we’re not given any context for it. We’re shown him with a bottle of pills, experiencing some symptoms and this idea that he’s over it and it’s in his past and we don’t have to talk about it again.

Jess: Yeah, ‘he’s taking these pills… DOT DOT DOT’.

Emily: In some ways that’s interesting and subtle story-telling and in some ways that’s being wussy about labelling things.

Jess: It’s laziness.

Emily: I think what you said is right, and that the whole premise of the show is that if you are feeling depressed, if you are feeling sad, if you are having suicidal thoughts then you should look externally to yourself, because it’s other people’s fault. The actions of other people obviously contribute and the stresses in your life can certainly trigger depression and make it worse. And people do need to be more aware of their impact on other people. But considering it’s a show that is entirely narrated by Hannah, I don’t think I really ever got to grips with how Hannah was feeling. For most of it she just seemed like this… vengeful angel.

Jess: It made me not like her.

Emily: One of the big sticking points for me was that she outed the rape of somebody else. That was for Jessica to deal with in the way that she wanted to, and Hannah takes that away from her. Because the show is quite clear that Jessica remembers it and is repressing it, she doesn’t need Justin to tell her what happened, she does know what happened. But Hannah outs her, which… there’s a lot that they do that makes Hannah not particularly sympathetic and identifiable with.

Jess: And they could have done so much with that character, it’s disappointing.

 

Are they any characters you particularly liked?

Jess: Tony.

Emily: I was convinced for most of this series that Tony wasn’t real, and that he was some sort of angel or imaginary figure that Clay had made up.

Jess: And I thought he was dead. Or that Clay was dead. And they were ghosts. Illuminati confirmed.

Emily: Yes, I was disappointed as Tony interacted with other human beings and it became clear that he wasn’t just a figment of Clay’s imagination!

Jess: Even Hannah didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities that made me like her.

Emily: I have a problem that the male characters were much more active than the female characters –  the whole show is ‘Woman In The Refrigerator’, that trope of a male character being motivated to do something important with his life and make an impact because a woman has died. Considering as well, the stats may be different with teenagers, but in adults the rate of suicide in men is so much higher – it would have been a very different show if it had been a teenage boy at the centre of it who had taken his own life.

 

How do you think the show dealt with self harm?

Jess: I had to watch that bit twice, because I could not believe how much they glossed over… Clay sees Skye’s arms covered in scars and she says ‘it’s what you do instead of killing yourself’.

Emily: And she says something about how that is strength, and what Hannah did was weak. YEAH.

Jess: I was so shocked. ‘It’s what you do instead of killing yourself.’ And then that’s it.

Emily: Skye was such a screaming stereotype.

Jess: She’s this emo, she’s eternally angry, she writes poetry…

Emily: She works in a coffee shop and reads tarot cards-

Both: And she self harms!

Emily: And then of course she turns out to be the girl that Clay should be friends with because she’s also the ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’! She’s just a collection of stereotypes.  You have this sort of mishmash of characters. Take Justin, who on the surface is the popular, jock-y, sporty one, very charming, very good with women, and then he goes home to a really shitty home environment and you kind of see that how he is at school is a façade and how he’s clearly a lot more sensitive… there are some characters in there that start off feeling like stereotypes and then get unpicked a little bit.

Jess: There’s these kind of issues-

Emily: Alcoholism…

Jess: -that are addressed in a way that you see them happening, but they’re never actually resolved or dealt with constructively.  So this kid is really hurting in a really relatable way, but we’re not going to deal with it at all.

Emily: Because the moral of 13 Reasons Why is ‘if we could all just be a little bit nicer to each other’… but being a little bit nicer to each other doesn’t actually address alcohol abuse or having a crappy home life where you go home and get beaten up, it doesn’t address the causes of self harm – being a bit nicer to each other. Self harm is not the same thing as suicidal thoughts – one does not necessarily lead to the other. And one is not an alternative to the other.

Jess: Just reading this from The Tab: “Speaking of which – Skye, the one character with scars, tells Clay ‘it’s what you do instead of killing yourself’. Where’s her recovery? What sort of message is this sending to the millions of young adults watching this show? Not everyone who commits suicides shows signs, granted. Almost all suicides are described as ‘shocking’. But is the word ‘depression’ ever uttered once in all 13 episodes?”

 

How do you think the show dealt with rape?

Emily: The thing that I realised recently about the rape scenes and why they piss me off – so I recently watched Three Girls, which is the BBC’s dramatization of the Rochdale child-grooming case, and I think that… it’s not gratuitous at all. The rape scenes in that… there’s one that we actually see on screen. We don’t see any flesh, we see a man taking off a young girl’s jeans, we see her crying, you hear her saying no, and then you see shots of the room. You don’t hear any sex noises… you don’t hear him orgasming. You don’t see any sex. There is no way that you can confuse rape with sex. The actual shots never confuse it. It’s rape. It’s definitely rape.

13 Reasons Why shoots rape scenes from the perspective of the male gaze. And makes them look like sex scenes. Because we see them in soft lighting, we see fingertips under bra straps, we see pants being taken off, the rape of Hannah happens in a hot tub which is traditionally a romantic setting and she’s already in her underwear. We hear sex noises. We see thrusting. And it’s all from the male perspective of it, even though I think it was trying to be the female perspective… But honestly if it was going to do what a girl might see or experience during rape, it could have been a shot looking up, or looking at the side of the hot tub, rather than looking at Hannah’s hands, looking at Hannah’s face, her lips, her bra straps, her shoulders. There are ways that you can film those scenes that make it feel like it’s from the woman’s perspective.

Jess: I don’t think that rape scenes should be censored at all, but it was very much male-orientated.

Emily: Those scenes were shot in a way that feel titillating. And if you took them out of context, it could just be soft porn. It could just be rough sex.

Jess: I think, the one rape scene I have seen depicted on television that has stuck with me for years, and does every time I watch it, is the attempted rape of Buffy by Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That in my mind is the truest, most honest depiction of sexual assault that I have seen in any programme or film.

Emily: Yeah, and you think about the differences. So that scene – it’s bright, harsh light –

Jess: There’s no airy-fairy music in the background, it’s silent in the background. It’s taking place in her own home, her own bathroom.

Emily: Yeah, and it’s clumsy as well, and the camera… you don’t have arty shots of bits of body parts, it doesn’t break it up at all. And the fight that they have is clumsy.

Jess: This is a woman who’s supposed to be essentially a superhero.

Emily: Yeah, so it still addresses that it’s not about who the woman is – anybody can become a victim. It doesn’t make any difference if that man has made the decision to rape. And they use the word over and over again. That’s something to give 13 Reasons Why credit for- they really explicitly call Bryce a rapist. That is actually resolved. It’s funny that that’s resolved and none of the mental health stuff is. The physical actions have consequences, but the internal stuff doesn’t.

 

What are your opinions on the way suicide is depicted?

Emily: Well I didn’t watch it. When it came to that point in that episode, I skipped through it. I got to the point where she took razor blades out of the cupboard and then thought, nope. Too much for me.

Jess: I watched it. I sat through that and watched it. For me it was very triggering… It was incredibly graphic… I still am in two minds about whether it was good that it was shown like that or whether maybe it shouldn’t have been.

Emily: Well why d’you think they did it? In terms of what they were trying to say about suicide?

Jess: I think it was basically a ‘this is how you can kill yourself’ scene. Which with a younger audience is, I think, irresponsible to show that in such detail.

Emily: There’s an instructional kind of aspect here where you see that she’s running a bath, you see that she’s getting an actual packet of razor blades – you see what tools she uses and how she does it.

Jess: It’s all very methodical and kind of normalised in the way that she’s doing it. If that’s the way they’re going to depict it then they also need to address why she’s treating it like it’s normal.

Emily: Yeah, it’s like, we’re not going to into the reasons why a person with depression – which we still have not said that she has – would not express emotions in the way that you would expect them to. She just has this flattened affect without any explanation, so it just seems like it’s normal, she has no reaction to it.

Jess: And it’s like with the rape scenes, the lighting is there, there’s music in the background, it’s all very glamorised. It just doesn’t feel right, it could have been done in a better way. They could still have shown the suicide but in a better way.

Emily: I think the whole show is not really communicating the impact of death. It’s a version of death where you get to still impact on people – we’re given this idea that Hannah is watching them, that Hannah gets to have some sort of active involvement in their lives even after she’s died.

Jess: It makes you feel like she could come back.

Emily: And again, to use a Buffy example, when they show a real human death in that, when Joyce dies, they have an episode that uses no incidental music, that is bright and harsh –

Jess: It’s all one take, you see Buffy vomit, it’s not glamourous.

Emily: It’s dealing with paramedics, it’s trying to give somebody CPR and hearing their ribs break because you’ve done it wrong. Whereas Hannah’s death happens in dim light and the parent rush in and they start crying and then it fades out, and then the ambulance comes and then it fades out again.

Jess: They don’t see it through.

Emily: They do a lot of reporting on what it was like but we don’t hear, see, experience a real death. And considering that it is trying so hard to demonstrate the real impact of suicide, it doesn’t have that effect.

 

Any positives to take away from the show?

Jess: I liked the music. The music was good.

Emily: Let’s hear it for the music.

Jess: I think some of the acting was great. It got people talking as well. I think it was good in theory, but it was poorly executed and there were things that needed to be addressed and resolved that weren’t.

Emily: I think this is what happens when you make a series out of something that is already ten years out of date, because I really think that understanding of and attitudes towards mental health have changed a lot in the last ten years, even in the last five years. I don’t think there’s a lot they could have done to this core story to make it what it needed to be, because if you take away all of the stuff that we had problems with – actually we just have a real problem with the set-up of the plot. We have a real problem with this idea that there are only external reasons for committing suicide. So if that’s what that source material is, why choose that to adapt? Because it’s hopelessly out of date already. It’s not serving its audience.

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

Another ridiculous name in attempt to make a product sound fancy and scientific. I’m onto you, skincare companies. This mask retails at £32.00 for 50ml on the REN website, and the description states:

“A blend of Glycolic, Lactic, Citric and Tartaric Acids, sourced from extracts of Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Lemon and Grape, work with Papain from Mexican Papaya to deeply exfoliate, decongest and purify the skin thereby smoothing skin texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines. Omega 3 and 7 nourish, soothe and repair the skin to ensure skin remains calm and soothed.”

Application

This stuff is bright yellow! And really slimy. Unpleasantly slimy. I put it on and immediately wanted to wipe the yellow mucus that was now covering my face. But I resisted and gave it the ten minutes it advises.

The Drying

I don’t know if this mask is supposed to dry, but it didn’t. It continued to feel like I had been the victim of the Ghostbusters’ slime for the entire ten minutes.

Removal

Thank God this was fairly easy to remove. A gentle wipe with a hot damp flannel did the trick. It feels like it should have dried and been a peel-off mask, but it’s not (I checked).

Aftermath

Immediately afterwards I didn’t notice any difference. It seems like all that repulsion at my own face was for nothing. I went and made myself a consolatory cup of tea. However, after a couple of minutes, my skin started to feel really tight and fresh. I looked in the mirror and the slime attack had miraculously evened my blotchy skin tone!

Overall

Okay, so if you can get past the weird grass/medicinal smell and the disgusting slimy texture, this is actually a really great mask. I wouldn’t use it more than once a week because I can see that it might dry your skin out if you overuse it, but my skin looks and feels really great. The blend of acids (that sounds terrifying) helps to get rid of any dead skin and leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft. It also did wonders for the pores on my nose, and after just one use I can totally see a difference. At £32.00, this mask is extremely expensive, however I would be more inclined to spend the money on this than on the Glam Glow Youthmud mask

Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment Review

Yes, ‘tinglexfoliate’.

So a friend of mine recently gave me some free samples from her work, and amongst them was a 5g sachet of this face mask. Now a 50g tub of this stuff retails for £49.00 on the Glam Glow website which lasts about 10 uses (that’s £4.90 per application!) I guess what I’m trying to say is that this stuff is expensive, but I’ve heard amazing things about the brand so I was really excited to try it out.

This particular mask contains volcanic rock, french sea clay and active green tea leaf. Fancy.

 

Application

It got a bit of an odd consistency for a face mask, it’s very gritty and there was a bit of fall out but all in all I loved the exfoliating element of this mask – it was like a whole two in one deal. And 5g is just the right amount for one application, so no shortfall and no wastage either.

 

The ‘Tingle’

Okay, I know this mask was supposed to ‘tingle’, but MY GOD. It burns. Really burns. And I don’t have a problem with sensitive skin on my face, so it’s extremely rare for this to happen. It burned so much that I had to resort to sticking my face out of the bathroom window to cool it down. This sensation only lasted a minute tops, but from a mask that’s supposed to make you feel like you’re in a spa, I was feeling far from relaxed with my head out of my window and a towel on my head for all my neighbours to enjoy. The burning went away, but the embarrassment will stick with me forever. 

 

The Drying

This is always my favourite part of a facemask, the part where your entire face is dry and you can’t even move your mouth. I get bored easily, so having an element of ‘this is cool, I can’t raise my eyebrows’ is always entertaining for me. And this mask did not disappoint. My face felt tight within three or four minutes. 10/10 for rock hard faceness.


 

Removal

This mask was surprisingly easy to remove with a hot damp flannel, and the exfoliating effect actually felt really nice. My face was a little pink, but I’m putting that down to the hot flannel.

 

Aftermath

OH MY GOD my face was tight. But tight in a ‘I feel ten years younger and ten times more glamorous’ way. I could not stop touching my face. It’s like it temporarily irradiated all of my pores and blackheads and imperfections, and I totally agree with its claims that it gives you ‘instant camera ready skin in 10 minutes’. I’ve never used a face mask that made my skin look and feel that good before. 

 

Overall

This mask is expensive. Too expensive. Not even a few hours of having a softy soft face can justify paying that much money for a tub of mud. But if you’re suddenly in the mood to spend an obscene amount of money of skincare, go for it, just be prepared for the burn on your face as well as the burning of a hole in your pocket.

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Brows On Fleek

IMG_5775.JPGSo unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, if you’re into beauty you’ll know that Benefit have finally launched their new brow range last week! It includes some old favourites that have had a bit of a makeover, and some brand new products. All of these are available in more shades than ever, perfect for people like me who struggle to find a perfect brow match.

Now although Benefit are classed as a high street make up brand, their products aren’t exactly cheap, so instead of breaking the bank and buying all 9 products, I settled for 4, 2 of which are already firm favourites in my daily make up routine.

I also bagged myself a lovely free passport cover and two free mini benebalms when I ordered online with Boots!

First up, my all time favourite brow product: Brow Zings (RRP £24.50)

FullSizeRender (1).jpg“Three steps to amazing brows… this pocket-size compact includes everything you need!”

Yes, this product is pretty expensive, but I have to remember that in over a year of daily use, I’ve actually not even come close to using up my old one.

I went for shade 2, which is suitable for people with darker blonde hair. I was debating going for shade 1, because my hair gets a lots lighter in the summer, but I’m so glad I went for this one after seeing the shades in store (1 looks a little too warm for my hair colour!)

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

Firstly, I love the packaging. It looks completely different to the old Brow Zings, and I’m all for giving old favourites a little revamp!

Inside you’ll find the much-loved wax and powder, as well as a new and improved mirror, the handy pair of tweezers, and two brushes that fold out and clip together to create a longer handle to give you more control – this attention to detail is what sets Benefit apart from other brands.

Brow Zings is perfect for everyday brows, especially if, like me, your brows are extremely sparse and patchy, left over from the over-plucking phase of the early 2000s (RIP eyebrows).

Next up, Gimme Brow (RRP £18.50)

FullSizeRender (7).jpg“Poof… fuller-looking brows magically appear! This brush-on gel contains tiny microfibres that adhere to skin & hairs, creating natural-looking fullness and definition.”

Another firm favourite of mine, I was recently introduced to Gimme Brow when a Benefit make up artist approached me in my local Boots and asked if she could try a few products out on me. I was so impressed with this fibre gel, not only does it hold your brows in place all day (mine have a habit of being extremely unruly without it!), but it actually has a thickening effect, making it seem like you have hairs where, in my case, there aren’t.

FullSizeRender (8).jpgThere are only 3 shades available in this product, so I apprehensively went for shade 1 thinking it would be a little too light, but actually it’s almost exactly the same as the old light/medium shade I normally use.

You can use this product on it’s own (I tend to do this when I’m going to the gym and don’t want to wear make up, but don’t want to look like an alien with no eyebrows!) or over the top of something like Brow Zings to set your brows in place.

Thirdly, Ka-Brow! (RRP £18.50)

FullSizeRender (3).jpg

“Brush on rich, wearable colour! This cream-gel fills, sculpts & defines brows… and comes with a custom built-in brush.”

A brand new product from Benefit is Ka-Brow! This is a brow cream gel, often referred to as a ‘pomade’. It looks exactly the same as a gel eyeliner, but is a much creamier consistency.

A little of this goes a long way, and it’s great for creating natural brows. You can also build on this for a more bold, dramatic look, perfect for a night out where you want everyone to envy those brows!

FullSizeRender (4).jpgThe brush pulls out the top, and attaches to the lid to create a longer handle, which is again a lovely little detail that makes the product that much more special.

At first I struggled to get any product out, but once you warm it up a little with the brush, it becomes a lot easier to apply and glides onto your brows like a dream.

I went for shade 2 again, and I’m really looking forward to playing around with this product!

Lastly, Goof Proof Brow Pencil (RRP £18.50)

FullSizeRender (5).jpg

“Presto… everyone’s an expert with this super easy brow-filling & shaping pencil. Fast, full & natural-looking brows magically appear thanks to the glide-on formula, soft colour and goof-proof tip.

Now in my opinion, almost £20 is absolutely extortionate for what is essentially, an eyebrow pencil. However, this seems to be one of the new favourites amongst Benefit fans, so I thought I would give it a go, as I had some Boots advantage card points to spend, so I added shade 2 to my basket.

I love that on one end is a spoolie brush, because my eyebrows tend to go a bit werewolf-y and need a bit of taming before I apply my brows.

FullSizeRender (6).jpgThe pencil end is a thick, slanted pencil. The pointed end is for definition and the wide, flat side if for filling in your brows. It’s a nice, soft pencil, which was a relief, as a lot of brow pencils are so hard that they’re impossible to get any pigment out of!

First impressions? It’s extremely quick, so fantastic if you’re in a rush or just having a bit of a lazy make up day, but I’m not sure it’s worth £18.50, as I can’t see it lasting a very long time.

I’m completely obsessed with the look of packaging of these products – the theme and designs are unlike any beauty products on the market right now and they really stand out on your dressing table. One thing I would say is that some of them feel a little bit cheap and plasticy, something I wouldn’t expect for such high quality products.

The increase in shades available is something I’ve been most excited for about this range, and they don’t disappoint! There’s even a handy guide on the Benefit website on which shade would suit your hair colour. There’s a shade for everyone from platinum blondes to people with jet black hair. However, I would have liked to have seen an auburn/copper shade – I’m sure there’s a lot of red-headed ladies who will need to test out a couple of shades before they buy these products!

As usual with Benefit, they’ve provided handy guides on how to use each of the products, something which I’ve found extremely useful, especially with Ka-Brow!

Overall, I’m really impressed with the new products, and eventually I’d love to get my hands on the rest of the range!

Let me know what your favourites are from the new Benefit Brows range!

Jessica xXx

 

Rimmel London Super Gel Review

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for some new nail varnish colours for Spring, when I found the new 2 step Super Gel polishes from Rimmel London. I was really impressed with the range of colours, and loved the idea of being able to give myself gel nails at home without having to spend a fortune and use UV lights.

I bought three colours: Bare Hug (pictured), New Romantic and Cocktail Passion, along with the step 2 top coat.

I’ve been testing out the polishes for the past two weeks now, and have tried all three of the shades I bought. They apply quite nicely with no streakiness, and two coats is enough to get a lovely strong colour. They also dry relatively quickly, which is rare for a gel-style nail varnish. I also really love how thick the brush is, meaning it’s a really speedy application.

However, they chip incredibly quickly! Now I’m a full time Bartender, so my hands spend a lot of time in and out of sinks, and I’m constantly cleaning and exposing my hands to various chemicals, so at first I thought this was the reason for the poor staying power. However, I recently had four days off, where I spent the majority of my time writing and doing various bits of admin (and as far away from chemicals as possible), and they still only lasted a maximum of 4 hours chip-free! Not only that, but after removing the colour with my regular, nourishing nail varnish remover, they left my nails feeling extremely dry. I can honestly that these polishes are the worst for chipping I’ve ever used (and I’ve tested a lot over the years), and at £5.99 each, they’re not exactly cheap! I’m so disappointed, and I definitely expected more from Rimmel, a brand that’s known for having really fantastic nail varnishes.

Rimmel says that the colour “last for up to 14 days” – how they can claim this I have no idea!

In my opinion, these polishes are great if you’re looking for a pop of gorgeous, shiny  colour on a night out, and I’ll definitely be using them again for that reason, but don’t expect them to last any longer than the night! So if you’ve been looking for an easier and cheaper alternative to a gel manicure that has the same staying power, I’d advise looking elsewhere!

Jessica xXx

March Favourites

If you’re anything like me, you can’t believe it’s already April either! It seems like only a couple of weeks ago I was in front of the fire in a big baggy jumper with my family celebrating Christmas, and now I’m digging out my floral skirts and sandals. Madness.

Recently I’ve been trying out a lot of new products, some which I love and some which I hate, so I thought I would do a quick post about the products I was loving in March!

Make Up Storage

IMG_4824.JPGMy old, clear plastic make up storage was looking a little bit sad and cracked, and I had run out of space to store everything, so I thought I would treat myself to an upgrade! I searched for ages to find something that I liked, but I finally found this on Amazon for £20.99 (the price has since gone up to £22.49 since my purchase). It said it would take around 3 weeks to be delivered, but I actually received mine around ten days after I purchased it which I was really impressed with! It’s absolutely enormous, with 8 compartments and 3 long drawers – plenty of space to store my cosmetics and more! I posted the picture of it on Instagram and not only did it very quickly become my most liked post ever, I also had 6 different people asking where I got it from! If you’re curious, here’s the link!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

IMG_4876.JPGThis is the one product that all British Beauty Bloggers/Vloggers rave about, and I finally remembered to pick one up in Boots about a week ago. Straight away, I could see why people love this product! I got mine for £3.99 (RRP £4.19) in the shade 01 Fair – I was a bit worried at first that even though I’m very pale it would be too light for me, but it’s absolutely perfect. I struggle with awful dark circles under my eyes, and I’ve been trying to find something to help for ages and this really does the job. I apply it over my foundation in an upside down triangle shape under my eyes and blend it out with my miracle complexion sponge and it just brightens up those really dark areas amazingly. It’s great for small blemishes too, and it isn’t cakey or drying like a lot of drugstore concealers.

Rimmel London Exaggerate Lip Liner in Eastend Snob

IMG_4869.JPGI’m a big fan of Beauty Blogger/Vlogger Meg Says, and she recently mentioned in a video that this was one of her favourite lip liners, and since we have similar complexions, I thought I would give it a go and I was not disappointed. It glides onto your lips so well and its a beautiful nude-pink colour. It’s great as a base for lipstick, or it looks lovely on it’s own with a bit of lip balm or gloss over the top.

*If you want to check out more from Meg Says, here’s her Youtube and Blog!

Rimmel London Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08 Rossetto

IMG_4874.JPGI am obsessed with this lipstick. Pretty much every time I’ve gone out for the past month, I’ve been wearing this shade. It goes great over the top of the Eastend Snob lip liner, and it’s a stunning nude-pink shade. I’ve never really tried out nude lipsticks, as I tend to like my statement reds, but this has me completely converted! I’ve had so many people complimenting me on this and asking where I got it from, so I had to mention it in this post! I’ve not really been a fan of Rimmel lipsticks in the past as I’ve found them to be quite drying, but this one has a much more creamy formula than the others I’ve tried, and it has really great staying power. I can’t recommend this highly enough!

American Cream Hair Conditioner

IMG_4309Of course I had to mention something from LUSH! I love this stuff! Not only does it smell absolutely amazing, but it always leaves my hair feeling soft, and frizz-free without being weighted down, and it’s perfect for defining and controlling wild curls like mine! If you’re new to LUSH hair products (or just LUSH in general) and you’re a bit unsure of using a solid conditioner or you’ve been put of by the strong smells of some of the products they have on offer, then I would definitely recommend American Cream as a great gentle but effective conditioner to try out, perfect for LUSH newbies (you can always ask for a free sample if you’re not sure and the staff at LUSH are more than happy to give you one!). I wrote a whole blog post on this conditioner at the beginning of March, which you can check out here!

Favourite Bloggers!

There have been two bloggers I’ve been really into the past month. The first is my good friend Reanne Kingdon, who if you follow me on Instagram is one of ‘The 3 Blondes’ 🙂 She has the most wonderful writing style, and you can tell that she’s really passionate about it. Not only is she a great writer, but she’s a photographer too, and her work is absolutely stunning! Her WordPress blog is relatively new, so do pop over and show her some love here 

I thought I would also give a shout out to a blogger whose posts I’ve been loving the past month, and that’s Healthy & Psyched. I’ve been obsessed with her vegan recipes, and she’s given me loads of ideas to help get around having to be dairy-free because of my lactose intolerance (her post about non-dairy milk alternatives was particularly helpful). Her recipes always look absolutely delicious, and I’m psyched (pardon the pun) to give some of her smoothie bowls a go! Even if you’re not a vegan, you can still find inspiration for healthy and delicious meals.  Check her out here 🙂

I can’t wait to see what new things I discover this month, and if you have any products you want me to try out and review or things that you recommend, please do share!

Thanks for reading!

Jessica xXx

March Glossy Box!

A couple of day ago I received my first ever Glossy Box! It’s a monthly subscription Beauty Box that usually contains 5 travel-sized beauty products, delivered to your door! There are various ways of paying for it (the longer you sign up for it, the cheaper it becomes), but if you pay monthly it’s £10 plus £3.25 P&P. So they can send you the products right for you, you fill in a short survey including questions about your skin tone, skin type and hair colour, so, for example, you can avoid being sent a concealer three shades too dark!

IMG_4723.JPGThis month’s box was all about getting the glow back into your look: “If you’re as fixated as I am on giving skin back the glow that winter stole, then your search ends here.”

IMG_4724.JPGFirst of all, I was really impressed with the packaging. The actual box itself came in another box to stop it getting bashed about in transit, and even this outer box looked lovely! When I opened the parcel up, I was met with a simple, elegant pink box with the Glossy Box logo on. Inside this, wrapped in pink tissue, tied with a black ribbon and nestled in black shredded paper were the six products, as well as a note from the Editorial Director explaining what was inside, and a £10 discount voucher (minimum spend £50) for an online store called Zalando.

Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush 504 Full Size (Worth £10.42) 

— “This angled brush is specially cut to hug the curves and contours of your face, making it perfect for all your contouring, highlighting and strobing needs! Simply pat it into your chosen product and sweep along your cheekbones, down your nose and along the jawline for a beautifully sculpted face.”

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I was kind of annoyed with myself when I saw that the box contained a contour brush, because I just bought one last week! Oh well, I guess you can never have too many make up brushes, and I can use one of my brushes for bronzer and the other for highlighting. I love the pink handle of this brush, the bristles are very soft, and it’s cruelty-free which is always a bonus! My only issue with this brush is that the handle feels a little bit cheap, it’s made out of a very light plastic, and I tend to like brushes that are slightly more weighted.

Olay Regenerist Luminous Skin Tone Perfecting Cream Travel Mini (Full Size £29.99)

— “Working to fade the look of discolouration and dark spots, this clever cream goes above and beyond evening out your skin tone. How? It hydrates, exfoliates and smoothes the skin to leave you with a healthy, glowing complexion. Suitable for all skin types, you can apply it to cleansed skin both morning and evening.”

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This is a tiny tube! The packaging of this is a bit plain and boring, and I wasn’t overly impressed the appearance. However, I’ve just used it for the second time and it feels amazing on my skin. It sinks in almost immediately, but it leaves a cool, soothing sensation for a long time afterwards! (I applied it about an hour ago and my face is still feeling refreshed!) I’m not entirely sure how a cream can “exfoliate”, but it certainly feels hydrating and I can see how, after time, it could help to smooth your skin. As for evening skin tone, I’ll have to use it for a little bit longer to be able to tell if it would help with that!

Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum Travel Size (Full Size £28.81)

— “Infused with honey and propolis (two of nature’s most potent antiseptic and antibacterial ingredients made by bees), this light and luxurious serum replenishes and protects the skin, leaving you with a glowing complexion day after day.”

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At first I thought this was an eye cream, as the packaging looks exactly like one, but on closer inspection I found that it is a ‘facial serum’. I’ve never used a serum product on my skin, so this is a new one for me! I love products with honey in, they do absolute wonders for my skin so I’m really excited about this one. It’s a lovely, silky smooth products that glides really nicely onto your skin. The tiniest amount goes a long way, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it makes my skin look when I use it underneath my make up, as it suggests.

-417 Catharsis Vitamin Mineral Shampoo and Conditioner Travel Sizes (Full Sizes £16.89 Each)

— “The combination of Dead Sea moisture balancing minerals, energising vitamins and essential oils in this duo ensure your hair is left super gleaming, hydrated and lustrous. Apply the shampoo to wet hair and rinse, then apply the conditioner and leave on for 5 minutes.”

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I’m always very apprehensive to try out new hair-washing products, because I’m so in love with my Seanik Shampoo Bar and Big Solid Conditioner from LUSH, but I was intrigued by the Dead Sea minerals in these. I used it this morning for the first time, and I have mixed opinions about it. They’re both extremely watery and thin formulas, and they don’t really have any kind of smell (isn’t half the joy of a shampoo and conditioner the amazing smell?!). However they rinsed out really well, and I was able to comb through my hair really easily when it was still wet. My hair feels really soft and pretty much frizz-free (which is pretty impressive on my curly hair), but it’s definitely not as volumised as it is when I use my normal shampoo and conditioner bars. I definitely prefer the conditioner to the shampoo, and I’ll use them again but it wouldn’t be something I’d consider re-purchasing, especially at £16.89 each!

Collection Speedy Highlighter in 01 Pearl Sheen Full Sized (Worth £3.99)

— “Fancy drawing on the cheekbones of your dreams? Well, this crayon delivers makeup artist-worthy results in a few simple swipes. Simply glide across the tops of your cheekbones, brow bones and above the cupid’s bow and gently blend using your fingertips or your Luxie Brush.”

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Being relatively new to highlighting, I’ve only ever used a liquid one – I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a crayon one! I am so impressed with this. The shade is perfect for my skin tone – it’s a lovely pearly champagne-pink, and it blends out beautifully. I wouldn’t use the Luxie Brush as it suggests to blend it out, because it’s much quicker and easier to just use your fingers! I’m definitely going to be switching out my liquid highlighter for this one!

Overall I’m pleased with the products in this box. The Luxie Brush alone is worth more than the price of the box, so it’s a definite thumbs up on value for money. The fact that you can personalise your profile to make sure you get the products right for you is a great feature, and it’s always nice to get a surprise in the post every month! You can also complete feedback surveys about the products on the website, and earn points (Glossydots) towards getting free boxes!

If anyone’s interested in giving a Glossy Box a go, you can use my refer a friend link below 🙂

https://www.glossybox.co.uk/referal?CI=MzAyMDEx

Enjoy!

Jessica xXx

Instagram: @lovelylittlelighthouse

Twitter: @lighthouse_93 and @JessicaaO_o

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lovelylittlelighthouse

 

 

 

March Cosmetics Haul!

Spring is finally upon us, so I went out in the sunshine to update my make up and skincare collection! I had a load of Boots advantage card points to spend, so I didn’t have to part with too much of my (very hard-earned) cash. I’ll be posting individual reviews for the Bourjois products once I’ve tried them all out, so stay tuned for those!

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  1. Ultrabland from LUSH. This is my favourite cleanser, and I used it every morning to clear away any oil or dirt, and every evening to remove my make up.
  2. Mask of Magnaminty from LUSH. I wasn’t hugely keen on this product when I first used it, but the more I’ve used it, the more I’ve grown to love it. It smells amazing, and I used it about twice a week to help keep spots away and my complexion clear.
  3. Simple Kind to Skin Light Moisturiser. I absolutely love this facial moisturiser, and I find it’s perfect for my combination skin, keeping the dry patches moisturised while not leaving an oily residue.
  4. Metal free hair bands from Superdrug. I’m always losing or breaking hair bobbles, and as my hair grows it’s getting more and more important for me to just tie it up and get it out of my way!
  5. B. Blusher/Contour Brush from Superdrug. I needed a new brush for contouring and this one was on offer so I decided to give it a go! It’s Superdrug’s own brand and I’ve never used their brushes before so I’ll keep you updated on what I think of it!
  6. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush. This is the only dry shampoo that I use, so I always stock up when I’m out in town. It’s amazing at getting rid of any oil build up on your ‘in between hair wash’ days, and it adds volume without leaving your hair feeling stiff and crunchy.
  7. Imperial Leather Sherbet Lemon Shower Cream. I needed a new shower gel, and this one smelt incredibleI cannot wait to use this!
  8. Bourjois Bronzing Powder in  shade 51 Light. This is the first Bourjois product I picked up (I’ve never used any of their products!) I’ve heard really good things about this, and as the weather gets warmer I like to have a bit more of a bronzed look to my make up. It contains cocoa powder and does actually smell like chocolate!
  9. Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet Sheer Matte Liquid Lipstick in shade 04 Ravie En Rose. I swatched what seemed like a hundred of these in Boots! This is the first one I picked up, and it’s a lovely light, coral-pink shade. It feels really light and is a buildable colour, perfect for Spring!
  10. Rouge Edition Velvet Matte Finish Liquid Lipstick in shade 07 Nude-istThis is a gorgeous liquid to matte shade, perfect to take a make up look from day to night!
  11. Maybelline The Eye Eraser in shade Light. This is my favourite concealer. I used it to cover blemishes and dark circles, and also as a highlighter.
  12. Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation in shade 51 Light Vanilla. I get bored of foundations pretty quickly, so I thought I would try one from Bourjois this time. It was the lightest shade they had so it’s lucky that I’m not any paler!
  13. Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara in shade Ultra Black. Now I love my Benefit They’re Real! mascara, but it’s pretty pricey, so I’m trying to find a mascara that I get on with just as well.
  14. Bourjois Blusher in shade 41 Healthy Mix. I’ve been wearing the same blusher for about 3 years now, and it’s really time for  a change. I was staring at blushers for absolutely ages before I finally settled on this coral/pink shade. I thought it would go really nicely with the Ravie En Rose liquid lipstick which is a similar shade.
  15. Set of 3 nose studs/rings from Accessorize. These speak for themselves really. I want a new nose ring that wasn’t going to turn my nose green like ones from Claire’s, so I was pleasantly surprised to find these in Accessorize!

I’ll keep you updated of the Bourjois products! I’m so excited to try them out!

Thanks for reading!

Jessica xXx

American Cream

Although I really love my Big solid conditioner from LUSH, I thought I’d give the American Cream hair conditioner a go, just to mix things up a bit! I bought the smallest bottle, which is £4.75 for 100g, but it’s also available in a couple of bigger sizes too. I thought the small one would be perfect to try it out, and because I’m going up to Derby for a couple of days and it’s a really handy travel-size.

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The conditioner contains honey water, fair trade vanilla, fresh strawberries, organic orange and sage and lavender oils. It’s designed to ‘leave your hair gorgeously soft and smelling sweetly’.

First impressions are that I really like the smell – I was worried that it was going to smell overpoweringly of strawberry, which is one of my least favourite scents, but it’s actually a lovely vanilla scent, with a hint of strawberry coming through.

It’s a lovely, thick and creamy consistency, but it doesn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down which is often the case with thicker conditioners. It spreads really nicely through my hair, and I like to concentrate it on the ends which need the most moisture. 

Something that I’m really impressed with is the amount of shine it gives my hair! As you blonde readers will know, it’s often tricky to get your hair as shiny as those with darker hair, and it can often feel really soft but still look a bit dull. American Cream has brought my colour out and made my hair look beautifully healthy! 

All in all I really like this conditioner, and I’ll definitely be purchasing a bigger bottle next time!

Jessica xXx