Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil – Second Impressions

When you have dry skin, applying make-up (particularly base products) becomes a bit of a battle.  For the last few months my skin has been drier than a cracker.  We’re talking dry patches, tightness and scales.  It’s been real ugly.  My usual favourite primer (Too Faced Hangover, if you’re interested) has not been cutting it.

 

primer face make-up smashbox phot finish primer oil moisturiser moisturizer serum hydrating skincare

When I saw the new Photo Finish Primer Oil from Smashbox, I was very intrigued.  Initially I wondered how an oil could possibly be a good idea.  Surely it would be too heavy and disgusting to wear under make-up? (I use Almond oil sometimes as part of my skincare routine, but only at night, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to get away with wearing it under make-up).  I couldn’t leave it alone though, and had to have a little play when I was in Boots.  And then… I bought it.

 

primer face make-up smashbox phot finish primer oil moisturiser moisturizer serum hydrating skincare

 

Surprisingly, this Primer Oil is not heavy or disgusting.  It’s much lighter than a normal oil, and it sinks into the skin like magic.  In fact, this is what made me part with 28 squid in the end. I put a generous amount on my hand when shopping, and by the time I had finished talking myself out of buying all the Smashbox it has disappeared. It had soaked in, with barely a trace.  Now, £28 won’t be a lot to some, but to me it kind of is a lot for one product. Especially when I really didn’t know anything about it.

 

primer face make-up smashbox phot finish primer oil moisturiser moisturizer serum hydrating skincare
One drop of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil when first applied. It’s runny and has a thin consistency.

 

primer face make-up smashbox phot finish primer oil moisturiser moisturizer serum hydrating skincare
This is the Primer Oil when rubbed in lightly

 

primer face make-up smashbox phot finish primer oil moisturiser moisturizer serum hydrating skincare
This is the Primer Oil a minute or two after rubbing in.

 

Smashbox actually suggest that the Photo Finish Primer Oil should be used as part of your skincare routine, both morning and night.  I have simply used it as an extra step before applying make-up, because that’s when I need it most.  And I have to say, after using it a couple of times,  I am most impressed.  I apply it after cleansing, serum-ing and moisturising, and give it a couple of minutes to soak in.  That’s all it takes for the magic to happen. I should probably point out here that I like a dewy finish; matte is not my friend.

What I find I am left with, after using the oil, is a smooth, hydrated base for my foundation.  Dry patches be gone!  After such a long time of hating the way my skin looks with make-up on, it is so nice to not to cringe when I look in the mirror anymore.  Despite liking a dewy finish, I really don’t like a sticky, tacky feeling (who does though?).  When using the Smashbox oil, I find that it is the perfect amount of hydration.  Dew without the shine, if you will.

 

Of course, this is only my second impression, so I am hoping that there won’t be any nasty effects. My pores have a habit of becoming clogged when I overdo the moisturising products, so fingers crossed that this won’t happen with the Smashbox Primer Oil.  I’ll let you know how I get on after a few more uses – be sure to check back for updates.

 

 

 

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Tinted Lip Products That My Lips Love

At the risk of being accused of not being a ‘real’ beauty lover, I am making a lip-related confession.  I don’t really like lipsticks.  There I said it.

I just don’t go gaga about lip products in same the way that I get excited about blushers, highlighters and eyeshadow palettes.  I did try; I even wrote about my favourite nude lipsticksThat still stands, but other than that I just don’t really love lipsticks of any kind.  I find matte lipsticks too dry; liquid lipsticks are just yuck;  and glossy lipsticks don’t suit me.  And this is before I even think about finding colours that don’t make my teeth look yellow, or my skin sallow. I hate that lipsticks either dry to a hard shell, or they come off at the slightest breeze.

 

lip balm tint oil lipstick bourjois nyx wet'n'wild yves saint laurent ysl lancome juicy shaker juicy tube maybelline

Unfortunately, I also find that my face doesn’t look quite finished without something on my lips.   So, what to do? For me, the solution is tinted lip products. Lips oils and balms have become my new best friends.  And in true Joyful Things fashion, I have a whole collection.  (Why can’t I just have one of something? Honestly, it’s just greedy).

All of these lip products have different formulas, textures and finishes.  They do all have one thing in common, though; they all offer a sheer sweep of colour, along with a moisturising layer.   For day to day wear, when often I have no other make-up on, they are perfect.

 

lip balm tint oil lipstick bourjois nyx wet'n'wild yves saint laurent ysl lancome juicy shaker juicy tube maybelline

 

For a more lasting tint of colour, I go for either the Lancôme Juicy Shakers, or the Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Tint-in-Oil.  Both are an oil based lip colour, which sounds disgusting but it’s really not.  The oil disappears fairly quickly, to leave behind a subtle hint of colour.  Gorgeous.  On seriously dry days I like to reach for my NYX Butter Lip Balm in Panna Cotta, or the Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons ( I have Proudly Naked and Peach on the Beach) The Bourjois Lip Crayons have SPF 15 too, which make them a good choice for the upcoming warmer weather (I live in hope).  I haven’t had the Wet’n’Wild Mega Slicks Balm Stain in Pink Promise for very long, and haven’t used it as much as the Bourjois crayons.  On first impression, it offers a nice amount of colour and hydration, and the lasting power is as good as these lip balms tend to be.  The colour is a little on the shimmery side for me, and has that ’80s pearly sheen to it.  However, mixed with another lip colour, it is perfectly wearable.

 

I love the Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-one Cheek and Lip Beauty Balm, and the Maybelline Baby Lips Balm and Blush for both cheeks and lips.  I have three of the wonderful Baby Lips balms (Innocent Peach, Booming Ruby and Flirty Pink) and I cannot recommend them enough.  I have managed to shoehorn at least one of them into every post since I bought Innocent Peach, which shows how dedicated I am to them.  The Physicians Formula balm is a little more dry when applied, but it still hydrates my lips exceptionally well, while giving a subtle hint of colour.

 

Probably one of the things I love most about lip balms, is that they can be reapplied without a mirror.  There is less risk of lipstick-on-the-teeth syndrome, and they are generally much easier to wear than lipsticks and the like.  I also have the most ridiculously sensitive lips you could ever meet; they get dry and cracked at the slightest thing.  So, for me, tinted lip balms and oils are a happy medium; a little bit of colour without the irritation.

 

What do you think? Do you too have a passion for lip balms, or do you like good old-fashioned lipsticks?

 

 

 

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Sunday Scent #10 – Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame

After a busy old week (hence the distinct lack of blog posts), I am spending a rainy Easter Sunday with family, and wearing Jean Paul Gaultier’s Ma Dame.

Created in 2008, this perfume has the familiar corset themed bottle.  Despite the fact that I have horror flashbacks of Madonna wearing a very revealing Jean Paul Gaultier ‘corset’ back in her exhibitionist days (Google it.  Or don’t, it can’t be unseen), I really like the bottles of Gaultier’s perfumes.  Especially the almost radioactive qualities of Ma Dame.

 

jean paul gaultier ma dame perfume eau de toilette scent fragrance madame madam

 

TOP NOTES: Orange

MIDDLE NOTES: Rose, Grenadine

BASE NOTES: Musk, Virginia Cedar

 

As you would expect from the notes, Ma Dame starts with a fruity burst, and warms to a musky floral fragrance very quickly.  If I am honest, I don’t like the way it smells for the first  minutes or so.  It is quite a strong scent initially, and is a little synthetic.  That’s not to say I dislike it after it warms up though.  If you have read any of my other Sunday Scents, then you’ll know that I am partial to a floral, musky perfume or two.  Ma Dame is like no other perfume in my collection; it is pretty unique.

 

For an Eau de Toilette, the lasting power and projection are both excellent.  A little bit goes a long way, and given that Ma Dame is really quite affordable (currently £23 for 50 ml from Debenhams – here)

Apparently Ma Dame is aimed at a young audience.  So, not me then.  Do I care though? Not one little bit.  I’m not even sure I would associate this perfume with one age group over another.  Some perfumes do indeed scream ‘old lady’ or ‘teenager’, but I don’t think Ma Dame is one of those.  It’s modern and all-inclusive.  Just how I like my perfumes.

 

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Shake it Baby!

I don’t recall where I first saw these intriguing new lip oils, but I do remember knowing that I had to have one.  Despite my best efforts, I am really not a lipstick fan.  I just can’t cope with the amount of effort that goes into finding a suitable shade, formula and finish. Not to mention all the lining, applying, checking and reapplying that goes on.  I will wear a nude lip occasionally, but that’s as far as it goes.  Lip oils, and tinted balms though? These I can get on board with.

 

 

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild
L-R: Lancôme Juicy Shakers Freedom of Peach; Mangoes Wild

 

There are fourteen shades of Juicy Shakers to choose from, and it – quite literally – took me three days to decide which one to buy.  I eventually opted for Freedom of Peach, and Mangoes Wild.   If you’re a regular reader, then you may know that I have been loving peach blushers recently, so Freedom of Peach seemed a no-brainer for me.  Mangoes wild is a sheer, pretty red.

 

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild

 

 

Being lip oils, the colours are sheer and subtle, and leave lips glossy but not sticky.  When left to their own devices, the liquid separates inside the tube, and they need to be given a good shake before applying.  The little sponge tip collects just enough product to cover the lips.  To get the best results, you then need to dab the applicator on the lips.  They can be built up to get a (slightly) more intense colour.  After the oil has soaked in/ been licked off, then the lips will be stained.  It probably goes without saying that – out of the two shades I own – Mangoes Wild leaves a more obvious stain behind.  Now, if you’re looking for anything more than a subtle wash of colour, then these won’t be for you, but on light make-up days, or when you just don’t fancy wearing ‘proper’ lipstick, they are perfect.

 

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild
L-R: Lancôme Juicy Shakers Freedom of Peach; Mangoes Wild

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild
L-R: Lancôme Juicy Shakers Freedom of Peach; Mangoes Wild

 

 

 

The scents are gorgeous and fruity, and are apparently individual to each Juicy Shaker.  I have extremely dry sensitive lips, and I am always nervous about trying any new lip products.  Even lip balms have been known to irritate, but I have absolutely no issue with the Juicy Shakers.  They do a fantastic job of leaving my lips feeling moisturised.

 

As much as I love the Lancôme Juicy Shakers, I can’t say that the formula is completely unique.  They are very similar to the YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oils, which I also love.  The packaging is very different though, and it is strangely satisfying to give the tube a good shake, and watch the colour transform from an oily mess to a smooth beautiful gloss.  Get yours for £18 here.

 

What do you think? Have you tried a Juicy Shaker yet, do you plan to?

 

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Sunday Scent #9 – Dolce & Gabbana L’Imperatrice

I absolutely adore this perfume. L’Imperatrice by D&G was the first fragrance that my husband bought me that I actually still like (sorry hubs). It was a birthday present a few years ago, and a total surprise. At the time it was new, and he told me that ‘the lady in the shop recommended it’. So, thank you lady in shop, for introducing me to this gorgeous scent.

 

D&G L'Imperatrice 3 Perfume Pour Femme Dolce and Gabbana

 

TOP NOTES: Pink Pepper, Kiwi, Rhubarb

MIDDLE NOTES: Jasmine, Cyclamen, Watermelon

BASE NOTES: Musk, Sandalwood, Lemon Tree

 

As you would expect from the notes, it starts as a fruity burst, followed closely by a waft of flowers. It dries down to a wonderfully feminine, musky warmth. Despite not being particularly feminine in nature, I do love to smell like a woman, and L’Imperatrice is as woman as they come. It is light and floaty, but somehow still close and warm. It lasts very well on my skin, and I can still smell it 12 hours later. It also has good staying power on clothing, without becoming distorted.

 

If I was forced to choose between my perfumes (who would make me do such a thing?!) then this would be in my top two. Along with this one, of course.

 

There are rumours that D&G have discontinued L’Imperatrice (or that they will be in the future) , but it is still available to buy for now. Hopefully that is just a nasty rumour, otherwise I would be forced to purchase several bottles to keep me going; I love it that much.

 

 

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Money Saving Make-Up

Does your make-up work hard enough for you? Does it save you money? Does it?

Do you ever justify a completely unnecessary sale purchase by working out how much money you have saved? Conveniently forgetting that if you didn’t buy it at all, it wouldn’t cost a penny.  I do this quite a lot.

Another fun way to deceive yourself, is to buy make-up that can be used in multiple ways.  It’s just good sense!  These are a few of my favourite multi-purpose make-up products.

 

make-up multi-purpose topshop shuffle the cards revlon highlighting palette paul and joe face and eye colour

 

highlighter topshop shuffle the cards chameleon glow eyeshadow

 

I am only going to mention powder products today; I am resisting the urge to include the Babylips Balm and Blush despite my love for it. The Topshop Chameleon Glow in Shuffle The Cards is an eyeshadow and highlighter in one.  It is the most gorgeous multi-coloured gold, with pink shimmery bits in.  Initially, I used it as a highlighter, but it is also gorgeous as an eyeshadow.  It is particularly spectacular layered over other shadows, to add dimension and an extra pop.  The Revlon Highlighting Palette in Rose Glow is another little gem that I originally bought as a highlighter.  It is more than that though.  A generous sweep over the whole face gives a pretty glow, for those days when you want to feel like a shimmery goddess.   It is also perfect for eyeshadow, and blusher.  A good all-rounder.  Excellent value for £9.99 – here. 

 

revlon highlighting highlighter make-up palette eyeshadow blusher blush shimmer brick bobbi brown

 

I have, of course,  saved the best ’til last.  The Paul and Joe Face and Eye Colour CS 094 has it all.  All the colours are gorgeous on the eye, if that’s what floats your boat.  The powders are soft and pigmented, and blend like a dream.  Personally, I do not contour, but I think the brown could be used for adding dimension to the face.  The darker pink is a perfect blusher, and the pale pink is a pretty highlighter. I tend to only use the turquoise as an eyeshadow.  I can’t say I have found a second use for that one. Yet.  If you travel a lot, I think this would make a handy addition to a scaled down make-up selection.  I also have to mention the packaging, which – at the risk of sounding like a giddy tween – is soooo cute.  It has flamingos on it.  And it’s gold.  And the powders have faces on! Get yours here.

 

paul and joe eyeshadow and face palette cd 094 spring 2015 ciollection famingos powder highlighter eyeshadow blusher

 

Of course if I were to try hard enough, I could probably use almost any make-up product for something other than the use it was intended for. But, really, where’s the fun in that? As satisfying as it is to use one palette all over my face, it is also exciting to have an extensive collection of daft and unnecessary make-up items.

 

What about you? Do you like a one size fits all approach to your make-up collection?

 

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Midweek Motivation

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.- Martin Luther King

 

Ok, so this is not strictly speaking motivation to get us through a bad week.  But sometimes these things just need saying don’t they? Occasionally, I think we get a little bit caught up in hating.  Some people seem to actively seek out things, and people, to hate.

Why though? Does it make us feel better to criticise others? Does it satisfy us to hate, lash out and correct people? To make them feel small? To put them down? Maybe for a moment, but not long term.  It’s human nature, I get that.  Life would be exceptionally boring if we all had the same thoughts and opinions.  If nobody disagreed, and we were all going in the same direction.  Can we live and let live? Accept the differences of others? Ignore the bad, and encourage the good?

Let’s all be kind today.  The End.

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Easy Squeezy Make-Up When Time is Short

Usually I am an all or nothing make-up wearer.  Because I don’t have the time for make-up every day, I like to do it properly when I do do it (doodoo. *chuckle*).  Sometimes though, for whatever reason, things just go awry.  Do you ever have days where you have approximately 20 seconds to get ready and out the door? I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Sunday was one of these days for me, and I thought I would share my tried and tested favourites for an easy make-up look.

 

 

clinique too faced cheek pop melon pop physicians formula maybeliine too faced chocolate bar make-up quick speedy fast mum mom mother

 

I don’t know about you, but when I have limited time, the last thing I want to be doing is fiddling around with new products that I have never tried before.  Routine and consistency is key in these emergency situations! These are my top picks for a quick and natural look, when I have under ten minutes to get my ready-to-be-seen-in-public face on.

I always start with a moisturising primer, like the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer.  While this primer doesn’t increase the lasting power of my base, it does add a much-needed hydrating layer to my dry skin.  It’s not the cheapest, but I would repurchase this over and over again.  I just love it, and a little goes a long way.  £27 – here. 

 

Despite having the largest concealer collection in the history of the world, I can count on one hand the few that I actually rate.  In times of need, my top pick is the Maybelline Fit Me concealer (I use no. 15, and I also have no. 10, which is actually darker than 15,weirdly).  It is an easy to use, affordable concealer.  It doesn’t cake, or settle into fine line, and it does an admirable job of covering dark circles and blemishes.  Not bad for £5.99 – here.

 

w7 bronzer bronze make-up highlighter busy mum mom mother face easy quick

 

I don’t bother setting with powder when I’m in a rush, because I can’t stand the disappointment quite frankly.  I always think it will be a good idea, then feel frustrated when it ages me by 30 years. Bronzer, highlighter and blusher go on to mostly naked skin.  I don’t know what it is about using a palette, rather than individual pans, it just feels as though it is saving time.  I’m pretty sure it makes no difference whatsoever, but whatever.  Recently, I have been loving this W7 Bronze and Glow duo.  The highlighter in particular is gorgeous.  The bronzer is very subtle (not a bad thing) and looks a little shimmery in the pan, but it isn’t glittery on the skin.  The best part? It is only £2.98 – here.

 

For blusher, I gravitate towards the Clinique Cheek Pop in Melon Pop, when I am rushing. The colour is absolutely gorgeous (read about my love affair with peach blushers here) and because it is very subtle, it is perfect for a quick sweep on the cheeks. Any more colour, and it would be too scary to use in a hurry.

 

 

eyeshadow palette too faced chocolate bar quick easy make-up mom mum mother

 

My favourite palette of all time is the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette.  It was my first high-end palette, so it has a special place in my collection anyway, but it’s not just that.  The colours are perfect for both natural, and more intense looks.  There is a good mix of matte and shimmer, and cool and warm toned shades.  The chocolate smell is divine, and makes it a pleasure to use.  When I am rushing, I definitely don’t overdo the eyeshadow, and I tend to stick to the warm browns in the Chocolate Bar, with a shimmer on the brow bone if I’m feeling fancy. If you don’t have one yet (er, why not?) get it here.

The Maybelline Big Eyes mascara is a well-loved member of my hoard.  It has two wands; a normal one, and a tiny one for the bottom lashes.  The formula is easy to work with, which makes it one of my favourites for slicking on in a rush.

 

Finally, lips.  I have a bit of a thing for tinted lip balms at the moment.  I love the ease of them, and the moisturising properties, when my lips are dry and cracked.  The Physicians Formula Super BB All-In-One Cheek and Lip Beauty Balm in Berry Pink is my current fave.  It is a pretty, pale pink and it is easy to pop on as I run out the door. No mirror required.  Physicians Formula is not easily available in the UK; I purchased this from Amazon (here).

 

blusher blush physicians formula make-up lip balm tint busy mom mum mother

 

I can slap all this on in around ten minutes, maybe even less if I am not interrupted (which is rare). It is quick, fresh and perfect make-up for busy mums, or just busy anyones.

 

What do you think? If you’re rushing, do you have favourites that you come back to?

 

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Midweek Motivation

inspirational quote teddy roosevelt believe you can

 

Have a great week!

Need more motivation? Check these posts out.

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The Most Flattering Blusher Colour?

Until very recently I was a pink blusher kind of gal.  The majority of my, albeit limited, collection are pale pinks.  As someone who blushes at the drop of a hat, I tend to avoid dark colours, to avoid looking like I am constantly embarrassed. I AM constantly embarrassed about one thing or another, but I don’t want to look like it if I can help it.  Recently, though I have ventured into the realm of peach blushers.  Peach is a universally flattering shade, it suits every skin tone, but I was always afraid of it for some unknown reason.

 

blusher Blush milani maybelline tony moly clinique peach flattering blush

 

milani baked blush luminoso clinique cheek pop melon pop maybelline baby lips innocent peach tony moly petite blusher delight petite coral

It all started with the new Maybelline Baby Lips Balm and Blush.  I chose the shade Innocent Peach, because I decided I wanted to look like an innocent peach.  Not really, but I thought it was the most different from all the other blushers that I own. I have waxed lyrical about this little ball of loveliness many times already (including on Instagram) but I can’t help it. I love it so much! The colour is so flattering, and I love the fact that it is creamy but not sticky.   And they are only £4.99 here.

 

blusher blush peach tony moly flattering

 

I recently bought a few Korean sheet masks on Ebay, and at the same time I chose a pretty Tony Moly blusher.  The Petite Blusher Delight in Petite Coral is so pretty.  It came with a little puff, and the packaging is very pleasing to me.  Yes, I’m one of THOSE people who gets just as excited by the outside of the product as I do by what’s inside.  Again, this peach pretty was very affordable; less than £4 in fact, and with free shipping (here)

 

milani baked blush blusher peach luminoso

 

As an avid watcher of YouTube beauty videos, I have heard the words ‘Milani’ and ‘Luminoso’ on several (hundred) occasions.  It seems to be one of those much-loved products, that everyone owns.  It is also one of those rare beasts that actually lives up to the hype.  Luminoso Baked Blush by Milani, is a more orangey peach.  That’s not a bad thing though; it’s a glorious golden orange that gives a flattering glow.  The formula is soft and it blends perfectly.  Get yours here.

 

Finally, the newest addition to my peach blusher collection; the Clinique Cheek Pop in Melon Pop.  I have been lusting after Cheek Pops for a while.  They are a little more on the expensive end of the spectrum, so it’s taken me a while to pluck up the courage.  I’m glad I did though, Melon Pop is a gorgeously subtle peach that adds just enough colour to the cheeks.  Of course, the fact that this blusher is shaped like a flower does not influence my opinion whatsoever.  £17 – here

 

clinique cheek pop blusher melon pop blush

 

Now that we are coming in to spring (apparently…) I know I will be getting a lot of use out of these peach blushers.  Peach is such a flattering colour, and it makes a very welcome change from the myriad of pink shades that seem to be the norm.

 

What do you think?  Do you like peachy blushers, or do you stick to pinks or berry colours?

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