Saturday, 15 March 2014

Clever or Just Plain Crass? Risque Branding in Cosmetics

I know it's 2014 and I know I'm pretty crass myself ( I am Australian after all!) but I want to know what you think about the influx of increasingly sexual product names and ad campaigns adopted by a vast amount of beauty brands. Personally, I can see the funny side and I totally appreciate a cheesy pun (I'm looking at you Soap and Glory) but I can also appreciate how marketing strategies can put consumers off just as easily as they can drive product sales.
For instance, my mum saw my newly purchased tube of S&G 'Glow Job' the other day and let out a little tut and it got me thinking - product names are often enough to convince a person to buy something so by the same token are they also enough to scare people away?

Soap and Glory are well known for their punny ways and Glow Job is one example of cheeky marketing at it's finest, but then there's also Sexy Mother Pucker - a range of tingly, lip-plumping products.

Then of course, there are the rudely named world-famous shades by NARS - Orgasm, Super Orgasm, Striptease and the cringe-inducing Deep Throat.
I certainly can't imagine someone's Nan approaching a Nars counter and asking for some Deep Throat as she can't find her Orgasm and wants to try something different to go with her Striptease...

Urban Decay sell shadows called S&M and Booty Call while Illamasqua sell a nail polish in shade Phallic. Ehehehehe.

Too Faced Cosmetics are another brand that don't mind a bit of naughty branding as they sell products such as Better Than Sex Mascara and Juicy Melons Lipstick.

I've recently come across a US brand named 'B**** Slap Cosmetics' that have definitely taken the concept a little overboard as they sell questionably named products such as B**** A** Baby Daddy eye pigments, an eye shadow in shade Sperm Donor and a lipgloss simply named 'F*** Your Ex Boyfriend'. This brand also sell a range of penis shaped lipsticks though so I think that explains a lot.

I've really only skimmed the surface here - there are a lot of rudely named products on the market. Do risque names appeal to us because they're suggestive of a very basic human instinct? Do you as a consumer even pay attention to what a product is called or do you think you focus solely on the colour and formula? Have you ever not bought something because it was called something rude? Let me know!

Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum Review

The Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum* is my first foray into Avene as a brand and going on first impressions alone, I think it's probably a good introduction to the cult French Pharmacy skincare brand.

Developed for sensitive skin, this serum contains a high concentration of Avene Thermal Spring Water (which is available to buy as a spray) and therefore is extremely soothing and anti-irritating.
The serum features a patented liposome delivery system that basically means that the concentrated thermal spring water is released slowly to keep skin hydrated for longer. Not bad.
The Soothing Hydrating Serum also contains Glycerin which is known for its intense moisturising and comforting properties.

In terms of texture, the serum is quite thick and gel like and sinks into the skin pretty quickly, leaving things feeling soft and even a bit velvety which is always nice! As expected, the fragrance of this is barely there but ever so slightly baby-powder-esque which only adds to the soothing, comforting factor of the serum.

As I only received this a few days ago, I can't comment on effects of long term use but I can certainly say that first impressions count and this product has impressed me. As a side note, the Soothing Hydrating Serum provides a good base for foundation as I discovered last night having used it under my Nars Sheer Glow.

You can find Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum online at Escentual where it is currently on sale for £12.75 instead of £17.00 so it's a great time to try it out for yourself!
If you're a French Pharmacy lover like me, definitely pay a visit to Escentual as for the month of March they are offering up to 1/3 off French Pharmacy brands.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint Foundation Review

The L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint is not exactly a new product but I only got it myself very recently (thank you Boots 3 for 2) so thought I'd put forward my two cents.

L'Oreal Eau De Teint in shade Warm Ivory

The Eau De Teint is touted as a feather light foundation that feels as light and fresh as water and instantly fuses with the skin blending seamlessly to leave a silky, second skin effect. 

The foundation has been compared to Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion thanks to the unique oil formula that sort of evaporates, leaving a veil of pigment on the skin.
The application technique for Eau De Teint is pretty unusual too as it's advised that you tip a little on your fingertip then apply directly to your skin. I used about three 'fingertips' of the foundation on my skin and found that it provided pretty good coverage (though the shade I chose is a little dark for me) and certainly felt lovely- virtually weightless really.

I have a pretty complicated relationship with L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint. We haven't been together long but it's already clear that we only really get on when I'm having a good skin day.

I'm hopeful that things will improve in the coming months when it warms up a bit and my skin stops being so dry because I really feel that this is a foundation that requires a pretty smooth canvas in order to really work its magic. In other words, this stuff clings to any dry bits it can find and that's rarely a good look.

While I'm not completely crazy about the L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint, I'm going to hang in there and see how we get along come summer. You can find it at Boots or Superdrug for £9.99. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water Review

Micellar water is a must have for many people these days and I myself have been converted by the universally loved Bioderma Sensibio H20 cleansing water.

As a fan of Sensibio H20, I was curious about the new Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water so I played it against my beloved Bioderma to see how it faired.

I figured the best test for the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water would be to task it with the removal of my eye make up. I soaked a cotton pad with the water and gently pressed it over closed eyes before wiping it away. 
The results were as I suspected - my eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner and mascara all wiped away easily with very little effort and no stinging, which is obviously a bonus. Like Bioderma, it only took a few wipes to remove the makeup and leave my eyes bare. The water is also beautifully cooling and refreshing so it will be extra appreciated in the summer I think!

While there is very little difference between the two products, I will say that I thought the Garnier offering feels a little bit 'oilier' than Bioderma Sensibio H20, but other than that they feel virtually the same to me and both do a wonderful job at taking off makeup.

One way that they do differ significantly though is in the price point. The Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is £4.99 (currently £3.32 at Superdrug) for a generous 400ml while the Bioderma formulas are around £9.99 for 250ml. Overall, I think this is a brilliant product and I will be repurchasing, though I doubt I'll resist stocking up on Bioderma the next time I visit Paris.
Have you tried Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Heavily Discounted Fake Tan at Superdrug

So something ridiculous just happened. I was having a quick look in Superdrug tonight and came across a load of fake tan products with some very puzzling price tags.

At first I spotted the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze One Day Tinted Gel for Face priced at £1.25. I took it to the counter and asked if it was a mistake so the shop assistant scanned it and then informed that it was a mistake and it's actually 50 PENCE. That's right ladies and gentleman - 50p for a product that usually retails for £12.99. I haven't tried it yet but at 50p it won't be a complete tragedy if I don't get along with it.
The other product I picked up was Famous Dave's Spray Tan for (wait for it) the minuscule price of 10 PENCE. I've got the gradual tanner by this brand and I'm pretty chuffed with it so I'm glad I got the spray to go with it.

There were also a load of other brands at really, really cheap prices and I was informed that this is going on at Superdrug stores everywhere at the moment due to re-branding, re-packaging and discontinued lines. If you're a bit of a fake tan junkie or a complete novice wanting to try a few brands out, I suggest you run down to Superdrug at your earliest convenience!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Raw Gaia MSM Beauty Cream

First things first - if I could try everything by Raw Gaia I would. When I recently logged onto the website I spent a good hour just swooning over every single product!

I've had my hands on the MSM Beauty Cream since last Saturday and I've found myself dipping into the pot a good few times a day just to pat a little bit extra on my face or massage it into my hands.

MSM Beauty Cream is essentially a brilliant organic cacao butter based moisturiser with added skin-loving bits and MSM. Formed naturally as a by-product of algae, MSM stands for Methyl-Sulphonyl-Methane, a 'nutritional sulphur' that is commonly used to treat the effects of arthritis and helps to form collagen, elastin, cartilage and keratin.
MSM is also known as 'The Beauty Mineral' as it promotes a clearer, more radiant complexion and healthier hair.
The MSM in the Raw Gaia Beauty Cream is there to bring a glow factor to the skin and while I can't comment on any long term effects at this stage, I can say that my skin is definitively 'glowier' once I've massaged it into my face.
Consistency wise, the cream is like a solidified oil that melts with the warmth of your hands. I find this particularly pleasant as it sort of adds to the whole ritual of a skincare routine. The MSM crystals are actually noticeable too- once you rub a little of the cream on your hands you can see (if you look closely) and feel the little transparent particles.

The Raw Gaia MSM Beauty Cream is particularly good for dry or mature skin as it contains organic apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, organic frankincense essential oil and myrhh essential oil all mixed up with organic cacao butter and MSM crystals.
The scent of the MSM Beauty Cream is definitely something to write home about too. The combination of cacao and frankincense gives the cream a rather indulgent dark chocolate aroma - and you can't go wrong with that!

Raw Gaia MSM Beauty Cream is £27.99 for a 60ml jar and is available online at Raw Gaia here. I challenge you not to spend far too long pondering the Raw Chocolate Face Pack, Shikakai Hair Wash or Grapefruit and Lime Bath Salts.

*Post contains press sample