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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Beauty Feature: REVIEW: Urban Decay's SUPERCURL CURLING MASCARA (Plus before and after photos)


In my experience, finding a good cruelty free mascara has been a bit of a challenge. I've had good days and bad days with my old staple (The Body Shop's Big and Curvy Mascara) without it ever quite living up to my expectations, and having used up every last inch of my old dried-up mascaras, I thought it was time to invest in something new. So, I've finally got round to doing a cruelty-free mascara review, as voted for in the poll by you guys. And the lucky mascara is...Urban Decay's Supercurl Curling Mascara! 


Scroll down for the full review and before and after photos!






PROS:

  • The packaging: The design is sleek and pretty and I always love the way UD products look in my make-up bag. In addition to the tube the mascara comes packaged in a cardboard box designed in the same way. Perhaps an excess of packaging there but it's a nice touch if buying as a gift for a friend and at least it's recyclable! The tube itself has an inbuilt 'de-clumper' which you can feel working as you pull the wand out and in my experience this is one of the few mascaras that live up to it's no-clump claims!
  • The wand: The wand is a moulded and curved design (see photo above) with rubber bristles which are my personal preference. This wand is one of the best I've used, the size and shape is perfect and lets me apply the mascara from the roots of the lashes as the design follows their natural curve. Speaking of curve... Urban Decay claims that the wand design helps to create that 'curled' effect and in my experience it certainly does. I tried the mascara both with and without using eyelash curlers beforehand and the difference was minimal! 
  • The formula: One of the best things about this mascara for me is that the formula contains conditioning ingredients such as Shea Butter and Meadowfoam seed oil so I don't feel as though I'm heaping loads of nasty stuff onto my lashes every morning!
  • The results: This mascara has been a winner for me, it coats and separates my lashes evenly and can easily be built up for a darker, more dramatic evening look. It does seem to create more of a curl than my previous mascaras and holds them up all day! 
CONS:
  • Not for weepers: I have struggled to find anything wrong with this mascara however it's wear is maybe not as good as it could be. It's not marketed as a waterproof mascara but put to the 'onion test' (Read: literally just chopping onions) after a couple of minutes my lashes were completely bare. So beware, if you're feeling particularly emotional maybe opt for a more waterproof mascara.
  • Splash your cash: At £15 it's maybe a touch more expensive than your regular mascara however for the quality of this mascara I'd say it was worth it! Also, if you purchase from Debenhams they very often have discount events throughout the year so you could get it for cheaper if you're savvy!

     Here are some before and after photos of me wearing the mascara so you can see how it measures up for yourself!

BEFORE: bare, uncurled lashes


AFTER: wearing the UD Supercurl Curling Mascara



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Did you find this post helpful? What is your favourite cruelty-free mascara? Comment below and share your thoughts!




Friday, 7 March 2014

Beauty Feature: REVIEW: Arbonne FC5 Complexion Revitalising Set


Hello! So, a little while ago I received some cruelty-free skin care samples from Arbonne and being given two sets of the three 3ml samples I decided to overhaul my current skincare routine and properly road-test this one! 

 Let's have a look at what I've been using:

  • FC5 Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener
  • FC5 Nurturing Day Lotion with SPF 20
  • FC5 Moisturising Night Creme


Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener

PROS:
  • This was really lovely to splash on in the morning as it contains fresh strawberry cell extracts which gave it a pleasant smell.
  • After using it my skin felt refreshed and tight which created a really nice base for the moisturiser to absorb in to. I didn't feel like I would have to use a toner with this product, it seemed to give that same effect on it's own.
  • After using it for six days I'd say my skin looked visibly brighter after using.
CONS:
  • The cleanser is used with water however the product doesn't lather at all. This is probably due to it being more of a moisturising formula and maybe I'm just odd but I like a face wash that really foams and convinces me it's doing something.
  • It doesn't remove make up - then again it doesn't claim to remove make up - however this means it's an added step onto my night time skin routine which sometimes felt unnecessary after cleansing and washing my face as normal.
  • At £20 it's quite expensive as an individual purchase.

Nurturing Day Lotion




PROS:

  • I formed a love/hate relationship with this product. For the first two days I absolutely adored it. After letting it sink into my face my skin felt super soft and silky - definitely not greasy - and my complexion appeared brighter.
  • Furthermore it created a fantastic base for my foundation (Extra Virgin Minerals by TBS), acting practically like a primer. My make-up, once applied, looked the best it had done in a while and really fresh faced.
  • Once again, smelled lovely (my notes say: like summer!) as it contains fresh kiwi cell extracts.
CONS:
  • Unfortunately this lovely relationship came to an end on around day 3 of the road test. After using the moisturiser for a couple of days my skin actually became drier. Or super absorbent anyway. My skin seemed to be drinking in all the moisture it could get and as a result my make up began to appear drier than usual and dull. Being an oil-based foundation it usually sits on my skin with quite a nice sheen however it began sinking into my pores and highlighting the dry areas. 
  • Therefore it seems that for dry skin such as mine a thicker more cream like moisturiser would be more suitable than this lotion which is quite thin. However judging from the effects I experienced in the first couple of days I think someone with normal/combination/oily skin would probably have a good experience with this!
  • Additionally this moisturiser took quite a bit of rubbing in to absorb into the skin.

Moisturising Night Creme

PROS:
  • This was definitely my favourite of the three samples. It left my skin feeling really silky and felt like a great pick me up for my skin after a long day/evening out.
  • It contains fresh mango extracts and applying this onto my skin after wearing make-up all day felt like I was really treating it.
  • Waking up in the morning my skin still felt really soft and as I don't usually moisturise at night I feel like it improved the condition of my skin and I would definitely consider adding this to my night-time routine!
CONS:
  • At £43 for 50ml this is definitely not a budget buy and one for those with a more expensive budget. That being said, it is a really good quality product so I guess you're getting what you pay for in this case.


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Did you find this post helpful? Which cruelty-free skincare products do you swear by? Have you tried Arbonne before? Comment below and share your thoughts!


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Beauty Feature: REVIEW: Arbonne RE9 Anti-Ageing (cruelty-free!) Skin Care Line




 Hello all! Sorry for the long wait between posts but I am now pleased to say I've procured my mum's extensive notes on her experience with the Arbonne RE9 samples I sent to her so I can now fully review the products, yay!

First off, what was in the range? Let's have a look:
  • Smoothing Facial Cleanser (Step 1)
  • Regenerating Toner (Step 2)
  • Intensive Renewal Serum (Step 3)
  • Corrective Eye Creme (Step 4)
  • Restorative Day Creme SPF 20 (Step 5 - day)
  • Extra Moisture Restorative Day Creme SPF 20 (Step 5 - day)
  • Night Repair Creme (Step 5 - night)
  (What a lucky mum!)


The range is marketed as a five step daily skin-care routine and so my mum, Jeanette, made sure to apply them in the correct order (as shown above) morning and evening until the samples ran out. I asked her to make notes on how she found the range and her overall verdict of each product. Here's the results!


The Smoothing Facial Cleanser


Pros:
  • The product left her skin feeling smooth and tight after use but still soft. 
  • She found she only had to use a pea sized amount for face and neck as a little went a long way
  • It did not lather too much, making it a moisturising creamy wash rather than one that left her skin feeling dry.
  • Enjoyed this as part of her morning routine and would probably buy again.
Cons:
  •  Jeanette found using the cleanser at night unnecessary, preferring to use her normal moisturising make-up remover and water.

Regenerating Toner


Pros:
  • Once again, left skin feeling tight and refreshed
  • A light, pleasant smelling product

Cons:
  • Found application difficult with sample, on Day 1 applied with finger tips and coverage was not very good (had to use a lot). However, on Day 2 applied with cotton wool and this improved significantly. 
  • The sample ran out very quickly however the full sized product comes as mist with a pump and Jeanette believes that this would result in a much better application and longer lasting product.


Intensive Renewal Serum
Pros:
  • Two pea sized amounts covered face and neck; a little bit goes a long way
  • Jeanette found it smelt lovely,went on easily and was quickly absorbed into the skin, leaving the skin smooth and dry to the touch, soft without a greasy feel. 
  • One of the longest lasting of all the samples
  • After 6 days of use Jeanette found an improvement in some fine lines and would probably buy the product again.
Cons:
  • Whilst the (3ml) sample did last a week Jeanette finds the cost of the full sized (30ml) product very expensive at £46 compared to her normal skincare range.

Corrective Eye Cream

Pros:

  • Woohoo! (My mum didn't say woohoo but this was by far her favourite product of the range) Very pleased with this product, labelled it as 'excellent' and would definitely buy again.
  • Jeanette saw an improvement in puffiness and dark circles around the eyes after just 24 hours.
  • Only a tiny amount needed
  • She found it a very light and easily absorbed cream which she prefers to other, heavier products.
Cons:
  • Finds it a shame that the full size product is only 15ml compared to the 30ml of other products in the range.
  • Again, very pricey at £44, however believes this product is worth the investment.

Restorative Day Creme and Extra Moisture Restorative Day Creme

Pros:
  • Jeanette did not find these suited to her skin type however would recommend them for those with very dry skin
  • Once absorbed it did leave her skin feeling very soft and noticeably smoother
  • Found the 'Extra Moisture' version was significantly different to the normal one in terms of thickness and richness of cream. Unsuitable for her own skin type but for those with very dry skin would be very beneficial.
Cons:
  • Found the consistency slightly greasy and found it took quite a while to absorb into her skin (was still 'tacky' after five minutes) however as stated above it did leave her skin feeling very soft once absorbed therefore not suitable for those who prefer a quick skin routine in the mornings.


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Overall, Jeanette enjoyed her trial of the RE9 skincare regime and found a definite improvement in skin firmness after six days. However, as a 'routine' she found many of the products unnecessary at night time, preferring to sleep bare faced. The eye cream was definitely her favourite of the collection, would recommend, and is herself looking into purchasing the full sized version soon! As a collection, the RE9 full sized products would put you back a steep £257 however, purchased individually they range in price from around £25 to £46 and in the case of the Corrective Eye Cream and Intensive Renewal Serum Jeanette believes it a good investment!

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Have you found this post helpful? What cruelty-free skincare products would you recommend? Have you tried any Arbonne products before? Comment below and share your thoughts, we love to hear back!