Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sleek Bare Skin Foundation Review

Right, let's get straight to the point. Sleek Bare Skin Foundation feels like nothing. As in, when I've got it on, it's really easy to forget I'm wearing any base at all and that's the truth.
In fact, it's so light on the skin that it's less noticeable than a lot of BB creams and tinted moisturisers I've tried, and that's saying something.
Sleek Control Shine & Prime and Bare Skin Foundation

Sleek Bare Skin Foundation

A liquid formula, the bare skin foundation glides on and blends in smooth as butter, evening things out and delivering light coverage on the way. The foundation comes in 12 shades ranging from very light to dark so most people should be able to find their perfect match, or at least something close to it. I have shade 'Shell' which is the second lightest and too be honest a little bit too light for me (though I got this in my goody bag from the Blogger's Tea Party earlier this month and we were asked to give our skin tone in advance so we could get a close match so I'm not complaining!).
I was also very kindly given the Control Shine & Prime Oil-Free Mattifying Primer which is fairly similar to Benefit's Porefessional primer in terms of look and feel. I'm sure this is a great product for oilier skin types but I'm going to keep this one stashed away until summer when things start getting greasy up in here.
Sleek Control Shine & Prime

I've tried the bare skin foundation with and without primer and I much prefer it without as it is a moisturising formula and I need all the hydration I can get right now!
In terms of coverage, when it says it's light, it's not fooling around. The coverage is definitely light but still enough to conceal minor blemishes and make everything look better in general.

Without Foundation
With Foundation

I haven't really dabbled in Sleek as a brand but I think this foundation may just convince me that the rest of their products are worth a shot. Sleek Bare Skin Foundation is £8.99 at Boots, Superdrug and online here.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Brazilian at Ministry of Waxing -a Brazilian Waxing Review

Last weekend I tentatively entered the doors of Ministry Of Waxing in Covent Garden with no clue on what to expect. I was booked in for a Brazilian wax - a bold choice for someone who had never had any part of their body waxed before, let alone that most private area!
I needn't have been too worried though - Ministry of Waxing are known for making the whole process as painless as possible and I must say that even though there was still an ouch factor, these ladies certainly know what they're doing.

After freely growing my hair-down-there for a few weeks and with nether regions that looked remarkably like someone who'd been lost in the wilderness for a year or so, I turned up at Ministry of Waxing's Floral St branch in Covent Garden to find out if these guys really did live up to their reputation.
After filling out a quick pre-treatment form, my therapist came and fetched me and led me down the stairs to one of the treatment rooms. The rooms aren't too dissimilar to what you'll find in a modern beauty salon decked out with cool contemporary d├ęcor. On the treatment bed there is a little information card explaining the high level of hygiene that is standard at Ministry of Waxing, a towel, a sealed PH balanced wipe so you can prep the area before the treatment and a little squeezy stress toy (I had a hippo). I was advised to remove everything from the waist down (yep, that includes knickers), use the PH wipe and lay down on the bed with the towel covering my modesty. The therapist leaves the room for this bit so don't worry about having to strip off in front of a stranger.

Once I was all set, my therapist came back into the room and it was time to get down to business. She asked if I wanted everything off and I said yes because I wanted the full experience!
The therapist explained that they use a vacuum sealed wax pack for each customer and never double dip. They also use a special wax formulation (no strip wax here!) designed to only grab the hairs and not your skin. My therapist used hard chocolate wax on me and mentioned that their waxes change with the seasons and the wax of choice for Summer was strawberry, which I think is a nice touch.
The actual treatment involved me putting my legs in a couple of different positions so she could reach the right parts of my girly bits. I'm not going to lie and say that the experience was completely pain free - after all it was my first time - but it certainly hurt a lot less than I had anticipated. If you're a woman, you'll probably guess which parts stung a little - the closer to the pink bits, the more it's going to hurt, sorry! That said, like most things in life, waxing is most painful when it's your first time and the more you wax, the less pain you experience. In fact, my therapist told me that many women experience no pain at all.
I do have to add that even though the waxing wasn't entirely pain free for me, as soon as the wax was removed, the sting was gone in an instant. In other words, it didn't feel tender or sensitive immediately afterwards, which is a massive bonus when you have to put your trousers back on and venture out onto the streets of London when you're finished.
Something I neglected to research was exactly what a Brazilian wax treatment entails so it took me by surprise when I was asked to roll onto my stomach and found it extremely difficult to curb my laughter (so I didn't). There's no point skirting the issue here - we all have hair between our butt cheeks. It's a fact of life and when Ministry of Waxing say you'll walk out of there totally fuzz free they mean it! I'll point out that this part was very quick and didn't hurt at all. The bottom is a resilient creature it seems. Even though I was essentially having my pubic hair ripped out from the roots, I was made to feel comfortable and at ease by my therapist who was very reassuring and told me that she averages on 16 waxes a day. Just remember, if you're worried about exposing your woman-parts, these people are professionally trained and have seen a plethora of lady gardens and vagines before yours. I'm no nudist and I have hangups like everyone else but I didn't once feel uneasy about the treatment, so that's got to tell you something!
The whole waxing process was done in just over 20 minutes, which was an extremely pleasant revelation as I expected to be in there for at least an hour.

Overall, Ministry of Waxing* lived up to their reputation of being total Waxperts and I really recommend you pay them a visit for a pruning. Whether you're a wax virgin or veteran, book in for a visit and experience the Ministry of Waxing way - they don't just do Brazilians and you can choose a simple bikini wax if that's more up your street or even add a cheeky shape to your wax. They also cater for men and I'm told that 'Boyzillians' are big business these days ;). To find out more about Ministry of Waxing and find your nearest location visit them online here.


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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

How I Stopped Biting My Nails!

I never, in a million years thought I'd be one to write a blog post like this. I am a bonafide nail biter, picker and peeler and have been since I can remember. It's a childhood habit that I seemingly never grew out of and now, as a fairly anxious grown up (if I can call myself that), as soon as I feel worried about anything, my nails are the first thing to pay the price.

Incredibly though, for the first time since I was an infant I currently have a full set of strong, semi-healthy nails that I managed to grow all by myself. Yes, they're short and modest but this is literally the first time they've been long enough to tap on my desk. Win.
They haven't been growing for very long but I suppose I'm a bit overexcited and wanted to share how I've got this far. The points below may seem obvious but they've worked for me! Here's how I've stopped attacking my nails:

Falsies are your Friend!
Fake nails are notoriously bad for your nails because frankly, they don't give a damn about your natural nails underneath. If you get gels or acrylics done professionally it's usually extra detrimental to your real nails because they use those industrial strength electrical tools to file them into oblivion. It's a bit of a juxtaposition really because if you're trying to grow your nails, sticking on some falsies can actually be a great first step. With this in mind, I popped down to Boots and got a couple of packets of really short DIY glue on nails so I could control how much I annihilated my natural finger nails. Each set stayed on for 5 to 7 days at a time and once they started falling off/ getting gross, I just replaced them with fresh nails. I did this for about two weeks, allowing my natural nails to grow underneath. The temptation to rip them off was real but somehow I managed to persevere and once I (carefully) took them off for good using acetone, I was pleasantly surprised by the nails underneath.

Give them Strength
If you're a nail biter/picker/peeler you'll probably have really weak nails that won't grow very much without a little extra care. When I first removed the falsies, my pinky nails were pretty long but I had to file them down because they were so bendy and weak they would have fallen at the first hurdle (ie when I did the washing up). To make them as strong and least prone to breakage as possible, I applied a super thick protein rich coating in the form of Perfect Formula Gel Coat.  My boyfriend's mum gave this to me last Christmas (think she may have been trying to tell me something) and it has pretty much saved my nails. I'm sure you can get other colours but I like this light powder pink shade because it was subtle enough to not look ridiculous on my growing nails. I recently bought the Essie Grow Stronger fortifying growth base coat which is thinner in consistency but basically does the same job.
Perfect Formula Gel Coat Colour

Nourish your Nails
I've made a conscious effort to apply hand cream throughout the day and it's now compulsively become the last thing I do before I get into bed. Not only is it a nice little pampering ritual I can do any time, it's good for my hands and great for my nails. I was using Clarins Hand and Nail Cream but I've now run out so I'm using Burt's Bees Beeswax & Banana Hand Cream and CicaBiafine Creme Mains Reparation Intense alternately. Also, something I've read so many rave reviews about - Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream! I'm so pleased I've added this to my new nail care routine. It's super moisturising and smells lemony and fresh.
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Paint your Nails!
One of the best ways to stop myself attacking my nails is to keep them painted. For some reason, if they've got a colour on them I'm less inclined to bite or pick. Maybe it's because I subconsciously know I don't want to ruin the paint job. Whatever the reason, it works for me! I've been alternating between classic reds, fuschia pinks, black cherries and the nearly nude wonder that is Essie Ballet Slipper.

Are you a nail biter? Have you overcome the habit or did you never start? Any tips? Let me know your thoughts!