Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Three Tubing Mascaras You Need to Try

Weirdly, I don't actually have a favourite mascara. I guess I just get bored easily and brands are constantly releasing new and improved formulas and high tech wands and brushes that promise to lengthen, curl or volumise lashes and I inevitably get sucked in and want to try what's new. While I can't say I have a favourite particular mascara, years of trying out various high street and high end offerings has led to the discovery of a favourite formula; tubing. Tubing mascaras are not a very new concept but the 'tube' formula is being adopted by more and more brands due to its staying power and ease of removal.
tubing mascaras

Tubing mascaras use polymer formulas that encase individual lashes rather than painting them, so they are generally a good option if you don't want to deal with smudges (and who does, really) and want a mascara that requires minimal effort to remove. Tubing mascaras generally remove easily with just a little warm water to loosen the bonds, so little to no rubbing is required- great for sensitive eyes and arguably better for the condition of the lashes themselves.
My first experience with the formula involved a miniature sized tube of Clinique Lash Power which I think may have been a magazine freebie or part of a gift with purchase. I remember being a little bit mesmerized by how odd it felt when taking the mascara off- like each eyelash had been wearing it's own little rubbery suit of sorts- and how there was no evidence of the dreaded panda eye in sight.
Since that first wear of Clinique Lash Power, tubing formulas have been one of my favourite types of mascara to use so I'm always keen to try tubing offerings from various brands. These are my current tubing mascaras I have on rotation right now:

DHC Perfect Pro Double Protection Mascara

DHC Double Protection Mascara

I find the simplicity of this DHC mascara quite refreshing. The sleek, silver packaging and minimalist design perfectly complement the small brush which seems to easily grab every lash. Apparently this is Emma Watson's favourite mascara and I totally get why-  it's really, really easy to use and utilizes Japanese tubing technology to add volume and length to every lash. This mascara lasts ages on means I've even put in and taken out contact lenses with it on. The small brush and non-smudge formula make it perfect for doing bottom lashes too. £15.90 at Escentual.

L'Oreal Double Extension Mascara

L'Oreal Double Extension Mascara

I rather enjoy the two-step ritual of applying this mascara. First priming the lashes with the white conditioning base coat that contains little fibres and then sealing the deal with the inky black mascara. This mascara gives great 'length' due in part to the fibers in the base coat so it's a worthwhile option if your lashes are on the shorter side. The longevity is decent too but I did find it a little more difficult to remove than the other two tubers. £11.29 at Boots.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

Eyeko are pretty well know for their excellent tubing mascaras and Black Magic is no exception. Featuring a sizable curved brush, this mascara curls and lifts the lashes in one go and the formula dries pretty quickly once on the lashes. I really like the packaging of Eyeko mascaras in general- the squeeze tube means you get the most bang for your buck as you can almost get to every last drop before giving up and getting another tube. £17.50 at Marks and Spencer.

Like virtually all tubing mascaras, these three remove easily with just warm water. I found DHC Perfect Pro Double Protect Mascara removes the quickest though and (just like Emma Watson) I would say is my favourite out of the bunch for every day use.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

OUAI Hair Oil

OUAI is one of those brands that burst onto the beauty scene and had everyone paying attention from day one. There's just something so delicious about luxury and high end haircare and I'm a total sucker for beautifully scented and effective hair products so OUAI is right up my street. Created by celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin (the woman responsible for a lot of the Kardashian's much-coveted 'dos), OUAI products are designed to nourish and care for the hair and showcase its natural beauty. The collection includes sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, styling sprays, treatment masques, that dry shampoo foam that I am far too curious to resist trying and a hair oil, which I have to show you today.
OUAI Hair Oil
For the past few years, hair oils, creams and leave-in-lotions have been my thing. There was a time when I used them almost obsessively to keep my lengths and ends healthy and hydrated and I do believe that a touch of oiling makes a considerable difference to my medium/thick hair and stops it frizzing out. 
The hair oil is, incidentally, made up of quite a few different oils including African Galanga, Ama and Asian Borage, all of which I'd never actually heard of before and all of which are said to protect and nourish the hair. Some more familiar oils found in the rather extensive ingredients list include Argan, Jojoba, Sweet Almond, Rice Bran and Soybean. The OUAI hair oil features the brand's signature scent- a beautiful floral fragrance that lingers brilliantly.

OUAI Hair Oil Review

OUAI Hair Oil Ingredients:
 Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Isododecane, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Dimethiconol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Jojoba Esters, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Coconut Alkanes, Kaempferia Galanga Root Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Parfum (Fragrance), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polysilicone-15, Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Beta-Carotene, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Methyl 2-Octynoate, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxycitronellal, Geraniol

The OUAI Hair Oil is a do-it-all multitasking product and there's no real rule book on how to use it but personally I have been dispensing one or two pumps into my palms, rubbing my hands together and lightly smoothing over dry hair. This keeps fluffy, frizzy, wispy bits of hair in check and makes my head smell generally beautiful (which is probably secretly the real reason why I like the product so much).

Other suggested uses include working a few pumps through towel dried hair and leaving to dry naturally- I'm feeling inspired to try that next- and using the oil as an overnight mask and rinsing in the morning. Yep, I'll try that too. 
You can find OUAI Hair Oil for £24 as well as other OUAI products at Panache Cosmetics. * Receive a 7ml sample of OUAI Repair Shampoo and Conditioner with any purchase from the OUAI collection. One gift per customer, subject to availability while stocks last. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Transformulas Hydration Gold - a Moisturiser with Sparkle

There's been quite an influx of moisturizers and primers with more than a hint of shimmer in recent years and it's a trend I can't see going anywhere fast. There's something extra special about skincare that combines long term benefits with instant gratification and Hydration Gold from Transformulas is a prime example of this.
Transformulas Hydration Gold...Not the easiest product to photograph!

Designed to hydrate and nourish the skin, the moisturiser contains Hyaluronic Acid and genuine 23 carat gold powder(!) to create an instant, luminous look.
It has been claimed that as well as looking lovely, gold can also stimulate collagen production and blood circulation. While I'm not sure how convinced I am by the skincare benefits of gold, the instant effects speak for themselves and the Hydration Gold creates a very pretty, rather subtle glow. The subtlety is quite unexpected considering how densely 'gold' the formula looks when dispensed from the pump action packaging. I found that it sort of evened out my complexion and made the overall tone look a bit more 'uniform' which was especially nice as I've had quite a change in pigmentation recently - a result of pregnancy hormones I'm sure!

The only thing I don't really like about the product is the actual box it comes in - I don't think the use of a model on the front does it any favours and something more minimalist would appeal to me more personally as a consumer.

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Zea Mays Oil, Bhcetearth-12, Glycerin, Tocopheryl, Acetate, Methylparaben, Proplparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Phenoxyehtonol, Perfum, Mica Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Hyaluronic Acid, Gold Powder, Anise Alchohol, Coumarin, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, D-Limonene.

I've used this alone, as a primer and mixed in with my foundation and it's worked well for me each time- no 'rolling' or separation, just an extra bit of glow that's always welcome if you ask me! I have not used the moisturiser consistently enough to give an accurate account of the effects of long term use but as an instant glow-giver, it gets a big, gold tick from me.

You can find Transformulas Hydration Gold for around £42 from a few different online retailers including Transformulas and Feel Unique.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Mother's Day at the Bentall Centre Kingston

I was recently very kindly invited to the Bentall Centre in Kingston Upon Thames to spend some quality time with my mum. Mum lives a few hours away so we don't get as much time together as I'd like (especially since I'm mega pregnant and often just want a big mum-hug to remind me everything is going to be ok!) so it was a nice treat to spend last Sunday with her having a wander (or in my case, a waddle) around the Bentall Centre. We had a lovely mother/ daughter day which included a makeup application at YSL in the Bentalls Beauty Hall followed by lunch at Restaurant on 3, both of which are located within Bentalls in the Bentall Centre.
The Bentalls Beauty Hall, really does rival (if not top) the beauty sections in other department stores and whenever I visit Kingston I always end up browsing the beauty counters and chatting to the staff and if I don't leave with a little treat for myself, I'm almost guaranteed to at least end up with lipstick swatches up my arms and a serious case of reverse-buyers remorse, if that's even a thing. Bentalls Beauty Hall is an absolute haven for skincare and makeup lovers and home to top prestigious brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Kiehl's, MAC, La Mer and La Prairie, to name just a handful.
Mum and I were treated to a makeup application at YSL, which was a genuinely lovely experience. Not only did it feel amazing in itself to sit down and rest my feet for half an hour, but the real cherry on top was having my face transformed so I looked more 'glam' and less 'knackered mother-to-be'. The highlight of my YSL experience though was watching my mum being made-over and seeing how pleased she was with the end result - she even treated herself to the lip gloss that was used on her (which i will probably borrow indefinitely when I see her next).

After our makeup application we headed up to the third floor of Bentalls to grab lunch at the aptly named Restaurant on 3. Restaurant on 3 offers buffet style, salad bar, deli, carvery and cooked to order options and is a perfect setting to take a load off over lunch or afternoon tea. There was a huge selection to choose from but mum and I both went for the classically English choice of Fish and Chips-which was such a generous serving neither of could finish it-and some mango and coconut presse, which has since become my latest obsession.

The Bentall Centre has been the shopping destination in Kingston for the last 25 years and features over 80 stores and more than 1000 brands.
There are some big things lined up for the Bentall Centre in 2017 as even more great brands join the already huge retail mix and an increased leisure offering is set to bring even more appeal to the centre. If you've not shopped in Kingston before, it's definitely worth a visit to the Bentall Centre and I can confirm that it's a great place for a girly day out with your mum this Mother's Day. If you fancy a pamper you could visit the Beauty Hall in Bentalls and book yourselves in for a treatment or makeup application and visit one of the plethora of cafes and restaurants to rest your weary feet when you're all shopped-out.
If you're still on the hunt for something special for your mum/ grandma/ aunty/ special woman in your life this Mother's Day, The Bentall Centre have a great selection and have rounded up a few ideas that you can find in store now:

For something your mum can treasure, head to SWAG for their Mother’s Day exclusive range including special edition ‘Mum’ themed jewels. There is a gift with purchase when you spend £125 on Mother’s Day items in the form of a beautiful Pandora jewellery box.
Pandora Luminous Knot Gift Set £99
Pandora Love For Mother Charm £35

Paperchase are catering for Nans as well as Mums this year with ‘Mum’ and ‘Nan’ themed gifts. From eye masks to phone cases, journals to canvas totes, there’s something to suit everyone.
Paperchase Super Nan Eye Mask £12

Oliver Bonas never fails to deliver on style and you’ll be spoilt for choice amongst the gems of the current collection. Highlights include, beautiful glazed pottery in soft-hued tones, statement gold and pastel jewellery and OB classics candles.
Oliver Bonas Lilian Vase £18
Oliver Bonas Florbella Vase £28
A treat from T2 is the perfect gift for any tea lover. The Mother’s Day loose-leaf tea gift-set comes with T2’ best-selling Jade Mountain loose-leaf tea, which offers notes of cocoa, brittle pieces, green tea and a hint of sweet hazelnut praline. The pack comes fully-equipped with everything you need to brew the perfect cuppa –a colourful print tea cup and saucer and cute ball-chain diffusers!
T2 Escape To The Mountains Set £35

Visit: www.bentallcentre.co.uk
for even more Mother’s Day inspiration 

If you fancy a visit to The Bentall Centre this Mother's Day and beyond, you can find it at Wood Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1TP.

My mum and I were invited to The Bentall Centre as guests. Words and opinions are my own.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Trilogy Age Proof Collection

I'm sure I remember buying a dropper bottle of Trilogy Rosehip Oil years and years ago from a little boutique pharmacy when I was still in Australia. It must have been about 8 or 9 years ago and even back then Trilogy was the brand when it came to Rosehip Oil. Trilogy is a Kiwi brand and as with most beauty products made in New Zealand, you just know the quality is going to be high- it's almost a given when you think about the beautiful flora and fauna the country produces. From the much loved Manuka Honey and mineral rich volcanic muds and of course, Rosehips, NZ is almost mystical in its ability to produce natural beauty goodness. It's no surprise then that Trilogy is New Zealand's number 1 skincare brand and has developed somewhat of a cult following around the world now too. Since they produced those first batches of Rosehip Oil, Trilogy has gone from strength to strength and released numerous lines and ranges all based around the same principle- natural products that are concentrated, effective and unique. The latest range that I've been trying out is the reformulated Age Proof Collection, an edit of cleansers, creams and oils developed to help people everywhere 'embrace the  aging process in the same way they embrace the wisdom that comes with years'. 

The reformulated collection now contains Trilogy's breakthrough new ingredient, Glycablend™ which is a blend of four plant oils, each of which target different skin concerns:

  • Pomegranate seed oil: Protects against free radical damage while promoting healthy cell metabolism 
  • Blueberry seed oil: Improves circulation and aids in collagen production 
  • Strawberry seed oil: An anti-inflammatory 
  • Chia seed oil: Nourishing and strengthening, Chia seed oil is also anti-inflammatory and contains Omega 3 and 6

There are quite a few different products in the Age Proof Range and I've got three to show you- the Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream, CoQ10 Booster Oil and Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF15.

Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream

I don't have a great deal of experience in using cleansing 'creams' as such, but I can still tell you that this one is pretty great. Containing exfoliating fruit enzymes (papaya) and enriched with sweet almond oil and avocado oil, the Cleansing Cream is massaged into damp skin then can either be rinsed off or removed with a warm, damp flannel. I prefer the flannel/muslin removal method for extra exfoliation and so I can be certain every trace of the cleanser has been removed. I'm a bit funny like that. £27.50. Full ingredients listed below.
Aqua (Water), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside (and) Glyceryl Oleate, Jojoba Esters, Xanthan Gum, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Root Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria (chamomile) Flower Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Glycerin (Vegetable), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Parfum, Titanium Dioxide, Citric Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid (and) Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Limonene, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Linalool, Dehydroacetic Acid (and) Benzyl Alcohol

CoQ10 Booster Oil

As an avid user of facial oils, the CoQ10 Booster Oil has so far left me very impressed. Subtly scented, the reformulated face oil contains the aforementioned Glycablend™ as well as Co-Enzyme Q10 and Tamanu, Black Caraway Seed and Macadamia oils. Designed to renew radiance and smooth fine lines, the oil can be used alone, under moisturiser or mixed into your foundation for a dose of dewy goodness. Two to three drops is all I need for my (rather large) face and I prefer to apply it onto still-damp skin. £31.50. Full ingredients listed below.

Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF15

I'll level with you- I did a little internal squeal when I first tried this moisturiser. I'm usually a total lover of the dewy skin look but I remember last summer I was pining for more of a matt effect moisturiser but was hard pressed tracking one down that wasn't packed full of silicone (I don't hate silicone in skincare products but just can't deal when it feels obviously silicone-heavy). Basically, this is the moisturiser I wish I had last summer. Brimming with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamins A, E and C, the moisturiser with added UV protection hydrate sand mattifies at the same time- absolutely perfect for warmer days when you fear the facial oil slick/don't want your foundation to slide off. Also perfect as a primer. Key ingredients include Trilogy's famous certified organic Rosehip Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and anti-inflammatory Licorice Root Extract. £29.50. Full ingredients below. 
Aqua (Water)Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed OilGlycerin (Vegetable)Cetearyl AlcoholCaprylic/Capric TriglycerideCetearyl Olivate (and) Sorbitan OlivateRosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed OilHelianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed OilOenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Seed OilSesamum Indicum (Sesame) OilSodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid)Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf ExtractAloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf ExtractGlycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root ExtractCucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit ExtractChamomilla Recutita Matricaria (chamomile) Flower ExtractHamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) WaterRetinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C)Sodium Stearoyl GlutamateRosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf ExtractXanthan GumTriacontanyl PVPGlyceryl StearateSalicylic AcidPhenoxyethanolEthylhexylglycerinGlyceryl IsostearatePolyhydroxystearic AcidParfumCitralGeraniolCitronellolLimoneneLinaloolPhenoxyethanolEthylhexylglycerin
Other products in the Age Proof collection include the Botanical Lightening Treatment, Hydra-Tone Softening Lotion, Replenishing Night Cream, Line-Smoothing Day Cream, Nutrient Plus Firming Serum and CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate. 
You can find out more about Trilogy products via their website.