Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Make-Up Alphabet: To BB or to CC

 As you'll know by now, any beauty posts on this blog are part of my journey of make-up discovery. In 5 months I've gone from make-up Neanderthal to cosmetic addict, but there are still some products out there that throw me, and this post is about one product in particular.

For the last couple of years an alphabetical trend has emerged in the beauty world - I'm talking about BB/CC creams. 

These abbreviations have been thrown around with the assumption that we're supposed to know what they mean. I'm not one to buy products if it requires any guess work as to what it does. I'd only just come to understand that BB stands for Blemish Balm and was ready to give it a go when CC creams came and stomped all over my new-found knowledge, bringing with them a wave of confusion. So what's the bloomin' difference?! 

BB creams are Blemish Balms and from what I can gather are basically foundations with added skincare benefits such as SPF or anti-oxidants. Slap-bang in the middle of foundation and tinted moisturizers in terms of consistency and coverage, they're good if you want to 'ditch the cake' (sorry Georgia, stole your line.)

CC creams on the other hand are Colour Correctors. Using 'light-diffusing particles' CC Creams address skin issues like redness, dullness or blotchiness.

So coverage-wise there isn't much difference, but whether you use a BB or a CC all depends on what effect you want it to have on your skin.

To help me understand, Clinique were kind enough to send me their latest CC creams so I could figure out what all the fuss is about.

Despite the difference in packaging, both of these products are the Moisture Surge CC Cream. They just differ slightly in texture and SPF. Whilst the compacts are SPF 25, the bottle is SPF 30 . Also, the bottle is of a more fluid consistency, whilst the compacts are thick and moussy, and obviously this has an effect on the ability to build up coverage.

The bottle is available in 9 shades, whilst the compact is available in 6, which is a little bit of a nuisance if you find a shade you like with the bottle, but want a different consistency.

Personally, I prefer the bottle because of its lightweight, liquid texture. When using liquids of any sort, I prefer a dewy finish to a matte one, otherwise my skin can look quite dry. The coverage on both was excellent. My skin is quite patchy anyway due to a mixture of old acne scars, dry patches and recent Summer tanning, so having a product that evens that all out is brilliant.

Clinique sent me these before I went on holiday, and I was using the Light compact as it matched my skin best, however when I returned, my skin had knocked me up to a medium, so luckily I could test both shades. They are a perfect match and blend with my tan instead of changing it.

The bottle is £28, and the compacts are £30. Now if you're looking for full-on coverage, I wouldn't recommend these. But if moderate coverage as well as the added skincare benefits are what you're after, I can assure you that you're in good hands with Clinique. I've had these products for two and a half months now and am still not close to running out so they will last you a good while. They're also versatile in the way you can use them, whether it's underneath foundation or mixed with moisturiser, or even alone, they'll do the job.  

So, do you BB or CC, or are you sticking with the good ol' foundation? 


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Summer Festival Foundation with Oxygenetix

IT'S FESTIVAL SEASON! There's nothing that makes me more excited for Summer than festivals, especially if I'm going to one. I wanted to go to Download, Sonisphere and Glastonbury this year, but I had to make do with watching it on TV (sad face). 

Even though it's unlikely I'll be attending a festival this year, I've been an avid festival goer for the last 5 years now, and as someone who loves fashion and make-up, packing was my Everest. Each time I went, I would learn some packing life-hacks that would make my next fest less stressful. However the one thing I always failed to get right was make-up. What do I take? What will the whether be like? Can I go without? If it rains will I look like a panda? If it's too hot will it melt?  Blah blah blah blah. 

There were multiple times when I'd settle with a quick touch of foundation and be done with it, but it would never stay on, and the notion of reapplying was a bit of a palava. Just recently though, Oxygenetix were kind enough to send me a sample of their 'Summer & Festival Friendly' foundation. I must admit I smugly smirked with skepticism when I read this. I wondered if the people at Oxygenetix had ever experienced being packed in like sardines trying to catch a glimpse of your favourite band whilst someones sweaty back is rubbing up against your face. But I pushed my doubt to one side and gave it a go. 

The moment I tried it I swallowed my words. You'll all know by now that I'm a huge fan of mineral make-up, and gave up on liquid foundation quite some time ago, however Oxygenetix's may have changed my mind. 

After doing a bit of research, I learnt that as well as being a good foundation for Summer and festival atmospheres, it's also aimed at those with surgical/acne scars or skin injuries. So of course, the coverage is incredible. I have a few acne scars on my cheeks from those spotty teen days and other than applying layer upon layer of mineral foundation, I've never found anything else that covers them. One layer of Oxygenetix was all I needed though. It blended in perfectly with my skin tone, and was incredibly light, which was my original reason for preferring mineral over liquid. It's also 13 times more transfer resistant than other cosmetics, so whether you're swimming, running, dancing or even moshing, it won't rub of on your clothes or other people's. It's also water resistant for up to 90 minutes of swimming time and lasts all day. So you don't have to worry about touching up your make-up if someone in the crowd throws a cup of beer (at least lets hope its beer) your way. With an SPF of 25 on top of all it's other benefits it seems that Oxygenetix caters to all the foundation issues you'll encounter whilst on holiday or at a festival. 


Monday, 31 March 2014

Jane Iredale Starter Kit

Afternoon all!
Just recently, the lovely people at Jane Iredale sent me over their new Starter Kit, which is aimed at helping you to achieve radiant skin in three easy steps.
Before I went to university, I worked in a hair and beauty salon, and the beauticians were always using Jane Iredale on the clients. It was a brand I’d never heard of before, but the clients absolutely loved it. So a few months ago I reviewed their Puremoist Lipstick for a newspaper I write for, and began to understand why this brand has such a strong reputation. All of their products are of amazing quality, and the brand has your skin’s best interests at heart.

Now I’ve tried a lot of foundations and as you’re probably aware from my recent make-up post, I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing can beat mineral foundation, so I was well and truly excited to be given the opportunity to work with another patron of this make-up wonder.
The Jane Iredale Starter Kit contains a Primer, an Amazing Base, which is basically a loose mineral foundation, a PurePressed Base, a Hydration Spray and a mineral foundation brush, all of which come in a chic travel-size cosmetic case with an extra-large mirror.

The Amazing Base is for more of a luminous, natural look, whilst the PurePressed Base gives a semi-matte look. After trying both separately, both matched my skin perfectly, but I didn’t find the coverage as strong with the PurePressed Base as I did with the Amazing Base. The PurePressed Base would work really well for a light, daytime look, if you don’t like wearing anything too heavy. The Amazing Base is light too, but the coverage is more of a matte porcelain look. For me, I used both, and really loved the results. I’ve also never had a foundation that matches my skin tone so perfectly. I absolutely hate the line of foundation you get just above your neck, and no matter how much I blend, I’m always really conscious of it. I loved that with these products I didn’t have to worry about that.

I found that the brush provided wasn’t dense and rigid enough to blend the minerals into my skin; instead it just kind of stroked me. So I opted for my Body Shop mineral foundation brush, which did the job perfectly. Before I knew too much about make-up, I never bothered with primer, but I’m slowly being convinced as to why it’s a worthwhile investment instead of a money making scheme (I sound so cynical haha)  The only other primer I’ve tried is the RevlonPhotoReady Perfecting Primer (which by the way, is INCREDIBLE), so I only have that to compare to. I was really happy with this one; it creates a smooth and matte base which works really well with the other products by minimising the appearance of pores and increasing luminosity. The only criticism I’d have is that the amount given in this starter pack isn’t enough. One thing I love about mineral foundations is that you don’t need a lot, and they last forever, but I’m almost half-way through the tube of primer, and I’ve only had the products a week.

I’ve never used a Hydration Spray before, and had no idea what it was for. So for those like me, the POMMIST Hydration Spray helps to set the minerals and give your skin a dose of healthy botanicals. The smell of this stuff is amazing. It’s like spraying fruit juice on your face, but without the stickiness. I find that with the primer and good quality of the foundations, the make-up lasts pretty well on its own, but I guess there’s nothing wrong with an added helping hand. I think a product like this would be more useful during the hotter months, when you can feel your make-up sliding down your face.

So all in all, I’d give this product 4/5.
I adore the foundations, and although I have intentions to review plenty more, until I find the next best thing, Jane Iredale’s foundations are my new make-up soul mates. I love the primer too, but there just isn’t enough, and I’m yet to discover the full benefits of the Hydration Mist.

Retailing at £34.95, I’d say this little set is well worth the price if you’re just getting into make-up and are looking to test out mineral foundations, primers and hydrations mists for the first time. If you were to buy these products individually, it would cost you a lot more, so for those make-up newbies out there, it’s a worthy investment.

Steph x x x