Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25hour Foundation in 200 Soft Beige

I'm always looking for an alternative to Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation* for everyday use as it's expensive and for me is a bit heavy to wear every day so I did a bit of research and decided to try this Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hour Foundation* - not that I'm going to wear foundation for over a day but you know, might as well try it!

I was pretty pleased with the range of colours and the fact that - unlike Double Wear - the bottle already comes with a pump dispenser so it's a lot neater and less wasteful.  At £7.99 a bottle it's about a third of the price of Double Wear so much more purse friendly for every day use!

The consistency feels a bit runny and ever so slightly oily to me.  You do need to be careful to blend well as I've found it streaks a bit during application, that's easily resolved though.  I find it sort of sits on the skin rather than soaking in and the finish isn't totally matte but it's still medium/high coverage - expect your face to be "whited out" in any flash photography - so covers a multitude of sins.  I prefer it to be more matte on my nose so I add a dusting of pressed powder a couple of times a day if I feel like I'm getting a bit shiny.

So does it last 25 hours?  Um, well I haven't worn it for quite that long but I have slept in it (tut tut) and it still looked pretty decent when I woke up!  I'd say it comfortably lasts about 8 or 9 hours, I don't think I'd want to go out after work without retouching it first but I'm not having to do it every couple of hours or anything.  Overall it's a decent enough every day foundation at a budget friendly price and I wouldn't hesitate to buy this again

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Jerome Russell Bblonde Platinum Blonde Colour Toner Review (and a bit about my experience with lightening my hair to platinum at home)

I'm bleaching my own hair to a light blonde/platinum colour at the minute and I've found that the toner I've been using (La Riche Directions White Toner) is "taking" too much at the roots - I'm ending up with a bit of a purple halo at the front and top of my hair!  I can't get away with not using a toner really as my hair can be a bit too warm/yellow when I bleach it.

I was sent this Jerome Russell Bblonde Platinum Blonde Colour Toner to review, excellent timing to give it a  go - I've heard of the brand before but as someone pretty new to the whole home dying thing I hadn't tried it until now.

There are a few more steps in my process to my normal toner (which is really just a "slap it on with a tinting brush and leave for 15 mins" type of affair) so in addition to about 90 mins to lighten, there's another 30 mins of toning on top.  Obviously read the instructions that come with the product rather than rely on mine but you need to patch test 48 hours in advance, use a clarifying shampoo, towel dry your hair, apply toner evenly then cover in plastic, blow dry for 5 mins then leave it on for a maximum of 30.  Not all as complicated as it sounds though,  honest.

The toner itself is a purple gel so doesn't drip or run.  It lathers up a bit too.  It was easy to apply and smells mildly chemically but nothing too strong.  As you can see from the pic below after I used the toner - not a hint of purple and a clean white finish.  Well worth taking the extra 30 mins to tone my hair.  I'm really pleased with the results of this and will definitely be buying this again - it's easy to use and totally does the trick on my hair to remove brassiness.  I've just had a bit of a Google and you can pick this up really reasonably so I'm going to stock up I think as it's meant to last 8 washes.

I've enjoyed my platinum blonde experience but it was only ever going to be temporary and in autumn I think I'm going to go back to the hairdressers for highlights/lowlights and a bit more of a natural blonde colour.  DIY bleaching to platinum's been ok, way cheaper than getting it done professionally and I can get it really light without a hairdresser saying "ooh well you can't in one go - it'll be 6-12 months of highlights".

However it's time consuming keeping up with roots, it's not pampering/relaxing/glamorous at all in the way getting your hair done is, my hair's been purple/grey/yellow a few times and to be honest the damage I'm probably doing to my hair worries me a bit - condition wise it feels fine, especially for bleached hair, but I don't really want to end up bald!  I use an intensive conditioner after each wash and keep up with coconut oil and serum.  I also wouldn't recommend a DIY job if you're really precious about your hair colour or you're likely to go into a meltdown if it goes wrong!

To keep yellow hair at bay I've also previously used Loreal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver Shampoo* (good all rounder, can be bought in huge bottles from hairdressing suppliers) and Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo* (definitely keeps yellow tones out of my hair but can make it a bit too ashy/grey looking) to maintain platinum between washes, and I try to just wash my hair a few times a week now.

Just thought I'd add these photos in too, they're of a couple of previous toning disasters with other products - grey hair on the left and lilac roots on the right (excuse the silly face I was in shock a bit!) - let me make this clear the pics below aren't after using the Bblonde Platinum Toner but just goes to show what a difference the right toner can make as I've used exactly the same bleach and process in all of the pics on this review!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Xen Tan Moroccan Tan Medium 148ml Review

I ran out of my usual tan so I took the opportunity to try out a new one - Xen Tan Moroccan Tan*.  I've tried other Xen Tan products before and I'd probably say they're my favourite tanning brand.

My first thought was that the bottle was small - it isn't, it just doesn't have loads of excess packaging and you'll easily get 4 or so full body applications from the bottle.  I applied mine using a mitt and I have to say this is some of the easiest to apply tan I've ever used.  It must be the Argan oil in the formula but it totally just glides on smoothly with no pulling or patchiness.  It also doesn't smell like tan (though that does come later after it's developed) and has a sweet vanilla scent instead.

After applying I was worried.  My boyfriend was worried too.  It was really really really dark.  Like ridiculously dark.  Luckily it was just the guide colour and washed off the next day!  I slept with mine on but the good think about Xen Tan is that it only takes 3 hours to develop.

I was really pleased with the colour, it was a proper tan (i.e. not too light or subtle) without being orange or streaky.  It clung a bit at my heel and elbows but to be honest most tans do because these parts of my body are so dry. 4 days later the tan is still looking great.

I'd definitely use this again in future, it really suits me and I think it's a great product.  If you're thinking about trying it out it's definitely worth giving it a go - you can buy it here*.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Couch to 5k - how am I doing?

In the last few years I've put on a bit of er...should we say "happy weight" and it really does need to come off, especially since I'm going to be getting married at some point in the next few years.  I want to get a bit more toned as well which is where exercise is going to have to come in.

I'm not a natural exerciser and I never seem to get the bug with exercise that other people get which keeps them going to their weekly classes and going for a run every night.  It's also the reason that over the years I've probably wasted a ton of money on gym memberships that I've never used properly!  I start off with great intentions and sort of taper off.

So I need a method of exercising that doesn't involve a massive outlay of money...hence, I've decided to try running and got these great running shoes from - they're Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Print in White/Purple and they're so much better than what I've been running in previously.

They're really, really light and flexible without compromising on the level of cushioning they give the soles of your feet on impact.  I can't explain how comfy and lightweight they are! I love the colour and pattern on these too, bright and colourful trainers are way better than something plain and boring.

They're really breathable and cool on the feet too which is important when you're running.  I'm not doing so great with my couch to 5k at the min, my fitness is actually better than I thought it's just my legs and muscles that can't keep up which I know will get better in time!  I think rather than couch to 5k, which gradually builds up your running/walking splits until you're running a full 5k in quite a rigid programme, I just need to get out and run a bit more and really push myself as much as possible.

Overall, I'd really recommend couch to 5k if you're a bit more disciplined than I am.  It's got me off the couch anyway which is a great step!  I would definitely recommend these trainers if you're looking for a great pair of shoes to run in, especially for a first pair - the Nike Free range do some that are even more natural feeling than these, it must be like bare feet!  These are totally lightweight, don't constrict my feet in any way but still absorb the shock from running on pavement etc.

I've gotten really into trainers now, there are so many nice ones on - definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a new pair.


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