Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Re-Reviewed

I’m an absolute sucker for a sale! At a major sales event, where the crowds are going mad with trying to snag the best bargain, is when I feel most in my element. With these euphoric experiences however, also comes the ingloriously shameful habit of bulk buying and over-stocking – if ever there was an apocalypse, my bunker would probably be stocked full of skin care and make up!

Anyway, I had been frantically looking through my ‘unopened product’ drawers for a replacement mascara, when I found this little lifesaver! I had used this product a couple of years back and had been somewhat disappointed due to it’s thin, clumpy formula which did little for my already sparse lashes.

Perhaps the first was a dud that had dried out but in desperation, I gave the second tube lying at the back of my drawer another go – to welcoming results!

An initially light but easily buildable formula, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara makes it easy to layer up your lashes without clumping. Probably my favourite aspect of this product is the brush. The super chunky applicator with its fine bristles catches onto each lash, while the rounded head allows you to target specific parts of your lashes such as the ends where you may want to build up more length.

If you are accustom to a ‘va-va-voom’ statement look, this won’t be one for you. I recommend the Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara if you prefer subtle make up as this product will lend a pretty natural lengthening effect!

  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: 7/10

Cassie xx

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Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Blanc Chroma Oil Cleanser Review 5jul15 – Shu Oil1

As you may have read from my previous post, I’m a massive fan of oil cleansing, which has received quite the reception in the last year or so. Cleansing oils have been building huge momentum in relation to trending beauty products due to their ability to cut through dirt, grime and make up without harshly stripping the skin of essential moisturising oils.

In my previous post, I wrote extensively about the benefits, method and my own experiences of oil cleansing using natural oils such as almond, tea tree and coconut but I felt it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss store bought formulas without at least giving one a try.

So I decided to give this cult classic a go after stumbling across it at a beauty sale! Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oils have had a huge following as the pioneer and #1 oil cleanser since 1967. While there are 4-6 varieties on the market depending on what country you are in, I settled on Blanc Chroma for it’s skin brightening properties (I have tonnes of freckles!).

The claim?

Purifying Clay Extract and polishing Lipo HA lightens the skin tone by thoroughly removing accumulated melano-stains (dead cells containing melanin on the skin surface that cause uneven and dull skin tone).

The verdict? Overall a great product! It removed all dirt, oil and makeup extremely effectively. I like the way this lightweight, pleasantly scented oil feels as I give myself a mini facial massage every morning.

In terms of brightening, my complexion looks clearer and my skin more soft and supple. I didn’t see much of a difference when it came to fading my freckles but having only used this cleansing oil for a week, I’ve got my fingers crossed in the hope that this might be more of a long term effect.

The only drawback, and this might even be a positive depending on your skin type, was that the oil left my skin a little dry compared to the natural oil blends I had been concocting (please check out my previous post, Oil Cleansing 101 here).

All in all, with the Shu Uemura cleansing oil being more lightweight and purifying than my own natural blends, this would be a great repurchase for the summer when my skin requires less moisture.

  • Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Blanc Chroma Cleansing Oil 8/10

Hope this has been an insightful review! Please share your experience with this product or other cleansing oils!

Cassie xx

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Skrink Me: Top Picks For Pore Problems

Pores, pores, pores! We love to hate them but they actually play a vital role in channeling sebum (the skin’s natural oil) up to the surface which in turn helps protect and moisturise the upper layers of your skin.

For all you oily and combination skin types, this is the cause of the very dilemma that has plagued your existence! Over-active sebaceous glands lead to a secretion of too much oil leaving complexions shinier than a wok’s surface! This excess sebum traps dead skin cells and bacteria, resulting in pimples, blackheads and enlarge pores. While the logical step would be to blitz your skin with a host of aggressive cleansers, sand paper like exfoliants and drying acne treatments, this only aggravates the skin, signalling the alarm to produce even more of this oily protectant!

But don’t fret there’s still hope! I like to think that understanding how things work is the first step to solving the issue  so I thought I’d start by debunking a couple of pore-some myths!

  1. Pores can’t disappear – they’re simply a part of your skin’s surface, all you can do is make them less visible to the naked eye
  2. Pores can’t open or close by themselves- contrary to popular belief that heating and cooling causes pores to expand and contract – pore don’t have muscles. Steam merely helps loosen dirt and oils to unclog pores resulting in them appearing smaller

Pores have been a huge focus of my skincare regime of late! I’ve found that fixing my pore problems has in turn helped solve lots of reoccurring superficial skin ailments. So here are my favourite pore refining products.

Forever Flawless Diamond Infused Enhanced Facial Peel

The most important thing I’ve learned through years of trial and error in formulating the perfect skincare regime (not that there isn’t always room for improvement!) is: be gentle! Long gone are the days of my dismal attempts to scrub my face clear which not only aggravated the situation but caused scarring.

Exfoliating is key to removing those layers of dead skin cells that can end up clogging pores. I like to use this ultra gentle peel twice a week which removes dry skin, dead cells and other impurities from the surface without harsh or abrasiveness products.

Skin Doctors T-zone No More Pores Night Treatment

A leave on cream that works while you sleep, this night treatment includes one of my favourite skin care ingredients, glycolic acid to unclog pores, accelerate the skin cell renewal process and reduce scarring. Containing lactic acid, this product helps moisturise deep within the skin layers which decreases production of all that gunky sebum to visibly shrink pores! I use this in very small quantities at night as it’s quite potent. It’s also great for clearing stubborn blackheads without pinching or squeezing!

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

This is a product people either love or hate! I, personally am a huge fan and would highly recommend it for mild to moderate blackheads. A small paper adhesive strip that sticks, molds and dries to your nose (and they have ones for your forehead too!), it visibly pulls out blackheads from the core. I find this product works particularly well in conjunction with the Skin Doctors T-zone No More Pores Night Treatment as the strips are able to extract the oxidized solidified particles of sebum that the glycolic acid cream loosens.

Laneige Water Sleeping Pack 

This is a product I’ve featured previously but couldn’t resist doing it again (check out the full review here). An ultra hydrating face mask to be left on while you sleep, I love the calming effect this light gel has as it pampers my skin throughout the night.

The deeply moisturising properties of the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack not only revitalizes, plumps and hydrates my complexion making my pores appear smaller, but over time (I’ve used this sleeping pack for a couples of months, every other day) has slightly decrease the oiliness of my t-zone during the day.

Rosehip Plus Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil

From harsh products, indoor heating, sun damage and general dry climates, our skin sure puts up with a lot! Like a tired toddler, stressed skin can throw quite the tantrum in the form of angry red protrusions and extra oily secretions. Then there’s aging. Like everything else that seems to get droopier with every passing birthday, pores also appear larger as we get older when the skin around the pore begins to loosen from daily wear and tear.

Renown for it’s amazing hydrating and anti-aging properties due to it’s omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamin A and antioxidant content, rosehip oil is a great skin balancing treatment that repairs the skin and regulates sebum production, which in turn, helps to reduce enlarged clogged pores.

Thanks for reading! Please share your favourite pore refining products.

Cassie xx

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Lancome Rouge In Love Lipcolour Review – Reds

If you’ve been following me for a while you might have worked out my obsession with a painted pout. A classic red lip complements any outfit which is why I just had to give Lancome’s Rouge In Love Lipcolours a go!

This was also part of the recent beauty haul I featured on Instagram (follow me here pretty please!) which I have been eagerly waiting to dive right into. I purchased three different reds from this range:

  • 340B Rose Boudoir (coral with a pinkish hue)
  • 159B Rouge In love (candy apple red, the brightest of the three!)
  • 163M Dans Ses Bras (A natural red with slight plum undertones)

The claim?

  • High potency colour and shine
  • Six hours long wear
  • Featherlight texture for comfort

The shades are classified into three categories: Jolis Martins for daytime, Boudoir Time for cocktail hour and Tonight Is My Time for night.

So here are the results!340B -Rose Boudoir159B – Rouge In love163M – Dans Ses Bras

Note the term lipcolour. This is a cross between a lipstick and a gloss. It’s not opaque like a traditional lippie that gives off that tattooed effect instead the colours are fresh with a translucent quality.

So to the good news. As moisturising as a balm with a creamy light texture, the colours are playful yet stunning. Because it allows the natural colour of your lips to come through, it complements most skin tones.

The bad news? Six hours is a bit of a strong claim. While the gloss didn’t last long, the colour faded evenly through meals leaving a natural stained effect over the course of a few hours. I didn’t mind this though as I quite liked reapplying it to soothe chapped lips throughout the day. For me, it’s not one for a big night out as I prefer a strong, bold lip for these occasions.

The Lancome Rouge In Love Lipcolour however is perfect for a more casual setting and I officially declare it my new everyday lipcolour!

  • Lancome Rouge In Love Lipcolours: 8/10

What are your thoughts on this product, if you’ve tried it? Or share your favourite red lipcolour?

Hope you enjoyed this review!

Cassie xx

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Urban Graphite Nail Art Tutorial & Essie Nail Colour Review

A lazy Sunday afternoon calls for the perfect opening in my schedule for Marco and a mani. And no, Marco is not my man but in reference to the Netflix series Marco Polo, inspired by the life of the early explorer which I’ve been obsessively watching (I always loved history – even if the show might not be entirely accurate)!

So picking up my recently purchased Essie colours, Bobbing For Baubles and Over The Edge, from my massive beauty haul featured on Instagram (please follow me, as I’ve just started putting up my most recent beauty buys and outfits here!), I drew inspiration from the real urban vibe that the dark denim blue and gun metal grey shades gave off.

What you’ll need:

  • Dark Blue nail polish
  • Metallic grey nail polish
  • Top coat
  • Nail tape

So on clean nails, start laying the tape in a random directions. Once you’re happy with the layout you’ve created, press the tape down firmly to ensure it adheres well to the nail to prevent any polish seeping under the tape.Now paint two even coats over the entire nail. I chose to paint my thumb and ring fingers in Over The Edge (grey) and the rest in Bobbing For Baubles (blue).Once the polish is semi-dry, carefully pull off the tape. The best way to describe when it’s ready is when the top layer has somewhat hardened but the bottom is still soft. Remove the tape when it’s too wet and it will smudge, remove the tape when it’s too dry and it might pull the polish off as well!

Once the polish has completely dried, finish off with the usual top coat and you’re done!

Review
Overall, I’m mightily impressed by the Essie products. A crime in itself, this was my first time using Essie Nail Colours – better late than never! The polish went on smoothly and evenly with great colour pay off! What I was most intrigued with was the extra wide brush which allows you to cover more surface, more evenly than a regular sized brush. The dry time was also pretty quick considering I had painted on relatively thick layers of polish. So a big thumbs up for Essie, I couldn’t ask for a better product!!

  • Essie Nail Colours in Bobbing For Baubles and Over The Edge: 10/10

Hope you all enjoyed this tutorial!! What are your favourite Essie shades?

Cassie xx

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OPI New York City Ballet Collection Review

I’ve been really into pastels of late! Whether it’d be fashion or beauty, pastels offer such a light feminine chic! After a spring clean of my nail polish box which involved throwing out a whole lot of dried up polishes (thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a bottle of nail colour in my life!) and the bits and bops that seem to accumulate at the bottom of the barrel, I was seriously low on supplies!

So after stumbling upon the OPI New York City Ballet Collection online, I decided to make the purchase! It had all the pastel shades I had been looking for,  a pink, a white, a grey and as an added bonus, a clear glitter polish in mini size bottles which I hoped would reduce some of the wastage.

So the shades included in the collection are:

  • My Pointe Exactly (sheer grey)
  • Don’t Touch My Tutu! (wispy white)
  • Care To Danse? (lilac)
  • Pirouette My Whistle (silver sparkle)

While I’m a huge OPI fan, unfortunately this collection didn’t deliver. The consistency of the polish went on smooth and evenly as per all OPI nail colours, however, the colour or lack of was probably the biggest deal breaker. The polish created a milky, translucent effect which was quite beautiful – if only all three shades didn’t produce the same result. Even after three coats, I still found it difficult to differentiate between the three colours as per below (thumb – My Pointe Exactly, index and middle fingers – Don’t Touch My Tutu!, ring finger and pinkie – Care To Danse).

The biggest positive was the silver sparkle polish, Pirouette My Whistle, which has my full tick of approval! Like snowflakes on a frosted window, it added that much needed ‘pop’ when layered over the other colours.

Overall, the effect of the four shades, when used together created a pretty little manicure, I just wished there were more contrast between the three pastel shades!

  • OPI New York City Ballet Collection: 6/10

As I’m still on the look put for more pastel nail colours, please share your favourites!!

Cassie xx

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My All-Time Favourite Beauty Products

Having battled hyper sensitive, break-out prone, combination skin for years, I’ve become increasingly careful about the products I use. While my skin has really settled now that I’m in my twenties, one could call it paranoia, has meant that it’s not often that I welcome a new product to my daily staples. On the rare occasion that I find a product I truly fall in love with, I tend to jump in wholeheartedly, religiously drenching myself in it. So these are my top beauty must-haves (at least for now)!

Avene Eau Thermale Trixera Emollient Cream
I’m convinced that this luxurious, hypoallergenic cream can cure a whole host of skin ailments! An amazing face and body moisturiser, infused with water from the Sainte-Odile springs in France, its anti-irritant properties has calmed my skin from redness, allergy related sensitivity, dryness in the winter and sunburn in summer. I use this daily, particularly on my face under my BB cream. The large tube last for ages and being fragrance free, it won’t interfere with the scent of your perfume like other body lotions!Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Compact Powder
My favourite compact by far as you may be able to tell from the numerous scratches and fingerprints! This powder creates the softest, sheerest veil. Everything from the sleek gold compact to the dewy light to medium coverage is just perfect! Due to my neurotic obsession with everything and anything anti-aging, of course I had to find a make up that added something positive to my skincare routine. Containing a Matrix Rebuilding Complex (no idea what this is but sounds good to me!), skin-brightening photonic green crystals as well as Vitamins C and E, this age defying formula fights wrinkles and provides anti-oxidant power!Napoleon Perdis Divine Goddess Lipstick in Calypso
Though I love that little bit of extra chic a classic crimson pout adds to any outfit, the all day maintenance can be a real hassle, not to mention the unsightly thought of unevenly faded lips! I wore this colour in a previous outfit post, Romance Was Born, being a pink kinda girl this is my go-to shade – my pocket size tube of confidence! While I adore this playful colour, it is its rich, creamy formula and bold pigments that creates a long lasting, fade proof pout, even through eating (though perhaps not fried chicken) is what keeps me back coming for more.Skin79 Hot Pink Super Plus Beblesh Balm SPF 25
I’m a huge advocate of this product. I’ve used this BB cream for years and still can’t get enough! An anti-aging treatment, skin brightener & toner, UV protector, make up primer, mattifier by controlling sebum production and light coverage tinted moisturiser all in one. It’s because of this product that I haven’t used liquid foundation in forever! This BB cream creates a smooth base and extends the longevity of my Napoleon Perdis compact powder. A built-in sunscreen means it prevents aging as much as it treats it. Even if you don’t spend much time outdoors, you’d be surprised how much sun damage can happen just during day-day driving in the car!L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil
I had to spice things up by throwing in a hair product! This is the only saving grace for my regularly chemically hair. Initially devoted to the coveted Moroccan Argan oil, I grew partial its lighter texture and fragrance scent (as an added bonus, it’s much cheaper too!). A unique blend of six oils, (lotus, chamomile, rose, tiare flower, matricaria and flax). It leaves locks soft and healthy when infused into wet hair, can be used as a deep nourishing mask to treat damaged strands and roughly scrunch into dry hair as a leave-in condition for added shine!

So that’s it from me and don’t forget to share the products that you can’t live without.

Cassie xx

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Green With Envy: A Twist On a French Classic Nail Art Tutorial

Pinks, reds and burgandys tend to be the usual shades I opt for when it comes to nail colour. I must admit that I was equally excited yet skeptical when I purchased this bold emerald polish by Revlon. On first test, the colour was rich, unique and definitely popped! I decided it made for the perfect accent for this super simple twist on a classic french manicure!

All you need is:

  • A bold or bright nail colour (I’ve used Revlon Nail Enamel in Posh)
  • A top coat (my recommendation: Revitalnail Nail Hardener)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Disposable eyeshadow applicators

With a steady hand, carefully paint the white tips of your nails with your chosen shade by following the natural curvature formed between the nail beds and tips. The technique that I’ve found useful is to use small dashes and once you’re happy with your initial coat, reload your brush and apply your second coat in one smooth motion.

If you’re not too confident with free handing, you can use pre-cut adhesive nail strips created specifically for french manicures as a guide or you could create your own adhesive guides using tape.Now for a quick tidy up! Dip a disposable eyeshadow applicator in nail polish remover to clean up any mishaps. I like to use this step to really neaten up the curve between the now green and pink parts of your nail.Once your brightly coloured tips are surface dry i.e. they shouldn’t smudge when the next coat is applied, seal your manicure with a layer of top coat to give a polished finish … and voila! Painting your french tips free hand can take a little practice but once you have this technique perfected this look really becomes a piece of cake!

Cassie xx

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Break Free From Chips & Breakages: Recipe For Long, Healthy Nails

I find doing my nails quite therapeutic. It’s for this reason I rarely get my nails done at the salon, saving me a whole heap of money too! I literally beam with pride when my my natural nails are mistaken for acrylics so one of the questions I am often asked by friends is how to maintain healthy nails and prevent breakages (because we all know how devastating that is!).Get To Know Hand Cream My first and most important tip: hand cream! I literally have a tube of this stuff everywhere; in my hand bag, my car, at my desk at work and on my bedside table. Just as the skin on your face looses moisture throughout the day, particularly if you’re surrounded by air-conditioners and heaters, moisturising your hands regularly is the easiest way to prevent dry, brittle nails. For extra TLC, rubbing cuticle oil into your nails once daily will help give them that added nourishment and keep cuticles look soft and supple! My recommendation: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (Fragrance Free) and Revitanail Nourishing Treatment Oil

Cut, File & Buff Just as for healthy locks, we trim our hair, it’s vital to cut and file your nails regularly even when you are trying to grow them out. Trim down any chips to prevent further splitting of nail layers and finish off with a quick buff to smooth down ridges. My recommendation: The Body Shop Nail Polishing Block and Manicare Nail ClippersPerfectly Coated Give your nails the protection they deserve with a sleek coat of nail strengthener. This not only shields them from the elements but many products also double as a top coat or contain nail whitening properties. Another crucial tip if you tend to hand wash dishes is to make it a point to wear gloves when doing so. As tedious as this may sound, frequent exposure to water and the chemicals in detergent causes nails to dry out. My recommendation: Revitanail Nail Strengthener

Breath Free Nails that are constantly covered with polish, gels or acrylics will turn yellow and often weaken. So much as we all love that fresh mani feeling, it’s essential to let your nails breath! I try to alternate the weeks I have polish on and stay away from gels and acrylics completely (I can already feel the glare from those of you who might wear gels 24/7!). But trust me, your nails will thank you for it!

Nourish From Within A balanced diet is the building blocks for providing your nails with the essential nutrients they need to grow. Nails are composed mainly of keratin, a protein found in hair too! So naturally, foods such as red meats, salmon, eggs, milk and nuts that are high in protein as well as contain biotin, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for the development of healthy nails. I also take a hair, skin and nails supplement for that added nutritional boost, but it’s best to check with your doctor to ensure that you’re not exceeding the recommended daily intake as some minerals are toxic in certain levels. My recommendation: Swisse Ultiboost Hair, Skin & Nails Liquid.

Hope you found this post useful and thanks for stopping by as always!

Cassie xx

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