Friday, 17 February 2012

Swatch and Review: MAC Sophisto Lipstick

As I mentioned in my MAC Lipsticks post, Sophisto is the odd one out in my collection. I won it in a giveaway when I first started blogging and it was actually my first ever MAC lippy. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this, when I first got it I didn't like it but after swatching it on my lips it doesn't look too bad when I have a bit of a tan. 

Looking at the actual stick it is a berry red/pink colour with what looks like gold glitter in it but you can't really see the gold in it upon application. To be honest the colour payoff isn't great and to get a good lip coverage you need to spend a bit of time evening it out. This could be due to it being Lustre formula as my other MAC lippys apply really well. 

It doesn't last very long to be honest, maybe a couple of hours at the most but I do wear this sometimes on nights out because going to reapply a bit of lippy is part of the night out in my book!

If and when I run out of this, I won't be repurchasing but it's nice to have a bit of a variety of lip colours because most of mine revolve around nudey/brown colours.

I shall leave you with a lip swatch :) 


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Xen Tan Dark Lotion with before and after photos

Before I start, Happy Valentines day to those who celebrate it!

First of all I have a few apologies to make in advance about this post; the bottle had been used at the time of taking the photos; normally I hate doing this because I just don't think it looks as good but I totally forgot to take photos of it before I started using it because I was so excited to get it cracked open after all the hype around it!

What do they say about Xen Tan?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you should have already heard about Xen Tan, a bit of a cult product really; raved about by some of the biggest beauty bloggers and first introduced to most people when a sample tube featured in one of the first GlossyBoxes. 

Paraben and oil free, this tanning lotion applies with a sheer finish and has subtle olive undertones. It's supposed to be the 'weekly tan' so it encourages the assumption that it should have some staying power. It is vanilla scented; which to me is a refreshing change for a tanning brand to admit to it having some scent because often they say 'fragrance free' but it actually leaves you smelling like a biscuit tin.

What do I say about Xen Tan?

Before I got this I was a bit tan-o-phobic to be honest, I'm quite pale and I have a right panic on with most tans because I'm worried about ending up like an Oompa Lumpa. 

But given the hype I thought I'd take the plunge, invest in a tanning mitt and try this bad boy out. Please be warned, you are about to see a photo of my very pasty, chunky, white legs.

Glad that's over, I thought it was better that you saw a before and after picture rather than just after because then you'd have nothing to compare it with. 

Before I applied this I used some Xen Tan Exfoliator in the shower to get rid of the dead skin, It smells divine but I shall tell you more about that anothet time.

So when you apply the product it does leave a trace of where it's been so you don't forget where you've been and cake it on. I only apply quite a thin coat and it soaks in well and doesn't leave your skin at all greasy; in fact I'd say my skin feels really moisturised after using this. I usually apply it before going to bed so I can sleep on it for a good 6 or 7 hours and wash it off in the morning so I know it's had enough time to develop. 

This is what my legs look like after Xen Tanning.

I absolutely love it, it's the perfect colour which I totally didn't expect. I actually applied some of this when I came back from Greece because I don't tan at all and everyone commented on what a lovely colour I was.

The only downside to this for some people is that is does smell, but strangely enough I actually like the smell. The other half doesn't, he said when I've tanned it's like getting in bed with a Caramac haha! The smell does pretty much disappear after your first shower though so it's nothing to worry about too much! 

Unlike some tanners i've tried, this fades gracefully and doesn't end up patching around your elbows or knees which is a massive plus, and it does have some decent staying power unless you wash excessively or go swimming a lot.

This is a bit of a pricey product at £21.50 for 236ml but I think it's definately worth it because I've had a fair few uses out of it and it's still got about a quarter left in the tube. 

You can buy this on the Feel Unique Website

I'm dying to try some more Xen Tan products, next on my hit list are the facial tanner and the gradual tanner!

*This product was a giveaway prize. As always, this does not affect my opinions in any way*

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

This is a product that seems to have split the blogging jury somewhat, some love it and some pretty much loathe it. Some said it was too heavy and felt like a mask, others said it gave them the perfect coverage. I don't normally use Estee Lauder products because I always thought of the brand as something for the older ladies but I thought I'd give Double Wear a try.

Containing SPF 10, Estee Lauder say that this foundation can stay in place for up to 15 hours and can power through heat, humidity and non-stop activity. It shouldn't come off on your clothes (the dreaded orange collar!) and it should feel lightweight and comfortable.

What did I think?

Well first of all, I was very surprised at how thin in consistancy it is, I find it really difficult not to waste any when I pour it out to use it because its surprisingly thin considering it's a medium to full coverage foundation, by how people were talking about it I was expecting a thick gloopy mess.

I don't wear this on a daily basis, I tend to alternate my foundations according to the occasion or what my skin is like. I wear Double Wear when I'm going out or when I feel like my skin is particularly bad.

It's very easy to work with and blends really well, I use the Sigma F80 brush and honestly at this present moment I couldn't think of any better tool to help me apply my foundation. A little of this product does go a long way and I know that i'm in danger of losing the product just through wastage on my brush and on my hand. 

To me, it doesn't feel like a mask at all, it just feels like any normal foundation; no different to my MAC Studio Fix Fluid just with better coverage. If you really are worried about it feeling too heavy on your face then I definately recommend asking at the counter for a sample of both Double Wear and Double Wear light. The on the other end of the scale there is Double Wear Maximum cover which acts as a total camouflage type of makeup. 

As for staying power, I did a full hours zumba class whilst wearing this and it pretty much stayed put. Used with Benefit Porefessional, this foundation keeps oil breakthrough to a minimum and is the absolute perfect colour for me. (I went to Debenhams to get a colour match and although the woman was good at what she did, boy did she need to learn how to smile more... but that's a whole other story). I do believe that my shade is 2N2 (Fresco) But I'm blogging at university at the moment so I will check that when I get home.

The only downsides to this foundation are the fact that it doesn't come with a pump (although I do believe they can be bought!) and possibly the price. At £26.50 it's not cheap by any means and the bottle is still only 30ml, however I personally think it's worth the money and I will definately be rebuying when I finish this bottle (which will be a long while yet!)

You can buy this from Debenhams for £26.50 but I don't recommend that you buy it blind, I highly recommend going into store and trying this out first!

Have you tried Double Wear? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Afternoon Tea at Betty's


I feel like I've been away from my blog for agessss (when really, it's only 2 days ) so I thought that I'd just do a little non-beauty post to tell you a bit about what I've been up to in between stressing about my dissertation (even the word makes me want to burst into tears!).

I went to York the other day with my friend mainly to go to Betty's for afternoon tea as a little treat but also just to have a day away from the usual crap of everyday life. If you haven't heard of Betty's it's a gorgeous traditional tea room which was established in Harrogate in 1919 and eventually opened 5 other tea rooms in various other places in Yorkshire, including York. For me, although it originated in Harrogate, I always associate Betty's with York... during the school holidays and at weekends it's notorious for having a queue right around the corner for a table so I definately recommend booking if you're considering it during those times! 

They serve all manner of gorgeous treats from Yorkshire Cream Tea to Steak and Ale Pie, but let's be honest if you have to treat yourself to Afternoon Tea at Betty's least once in your life. Their Afternoon Tea consists of 4 crustless triangle finger sandwiches (Salmon & Prawn, Roast Chicken, Roast Beef and Egg), A sultana scone with jam and clotted cream and a selection of 3 mini cakes (I got brownie, pistachio macaroon and a raspberry tart) all washed down with a few china cups full of their finest tea (made with proper tea leaves, you get a strainer and everything). 

I'll be honest when I went I was expecting to want something else to eat when I got home but what you get is surprisingly filling (I even saved a cake and asked them to box it up for my other half, he thought I was being really nice, but really, I was just too full to eat it haha). Sitting in Betty's is not something I'd actually put my other half through but I'm definately planning to take my nana at some point (72 and never been to Betty's, she'd LOVE it).

It's not cheap, but for all the tea and cake lovers out there, it's a definate must! Afternoon tea isn't cheap at £17.95 but it's not something you'd do every weekend and we all deserve a treat once in a while so next time you're in York or Harrogate, seriously consider a visit!
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