Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Sanctuary Spa Luxury Foot Polish Vs Liz Earle Foot Scrub

My feet needed some TLC, so with this in mind when I was given a choice of a free sample with a purchase at the Liz Earle store (by the way, more brands should do this), I picked the Foot Scrub (which is a 15ml size).
Later on in Boots I noticed The Sanctuary Spa range for the feet, and saw their Luxury Foot Polish so I bought this along with the Intensive Rescue Heel Balm (separate review to follow) with an aim to see how it compares with the Liz Earle. With a 3 for 2 on selected bath products at that time it was an ideal opportunity to try the range as I had never previously tried any Sanctuary products before.

Starting with the Liz Earle Foot Scrub, this has a lovely thick creamy base with ground pumice so it feels very scrubby which I like for the feet. The texture feels consistent so that there was a good distribution of pumice in the cream. Immediately when I used this I got a strong peppermint and rosemary scent which I love, it felt very refreshing, ideal for tired, achy feet. This has avocado and wheatgerm oils as well as West African Shea so when rinsed off it leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturised.

Onto The Sanctuary Spa Luxury Foot Polish, this one also has ground pumice in a cream base but the base is noticeably thinner, almost more liquid but the distribution of pumice is still even and feels just as scrubby. This has tea tree and lavender oil but the scent is much milder, it is not overpowering like the Liz Earle. It also has almond oil and shea butter so it does provide some moisture but the feet are not left as soft. Both scrubs leave the feet feeling clean and smooth.

The Liz Earle Foot Scrub is £10.25 for 100ml/£4.50 for 15ml where as The Sanctuary Luxury Foot Polish is £4.99 for 75ml.
I definitely prefer the Liz Earle Foot Scrub, it really is the scent and refreshing quality that does it for me. The Sanctuary Luxury Foot Polish I still think is a great buy, especially as the results are similar but at about half the price.

Disclaimer: The Liz Earle Foot Scrub is a trial size which I got free with a purchase, I bought The Sanctuary Luxury Foot Polish.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Picnic Post: Sweet Beetle's House

Picnic post is my little random rambling, and this week I was in London on Wednesday and I went to the V&A Museum to check out the Grace Kelly Style Icon exhibition. The exhibition itself is smaller then I thought it would be as it is located in part of the fashion area. It was still interesting to see the clothes and accessories that she wore in her life but I had hoped to see more imagery as they had a few magazine covers (love old covers) but not much else. 

The exhibition that really captures the imagination is the Architects Build Small Spaces where 7 architects build 7 different spaces which are located in different parts of the V&A. I saw 5 of the 7 structures, but my favourite one was the Beetle's House by Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori

Here is the house:

How cute is that!
I love exhibits like these where you can interact with the space as you are allowed to go climb inside the house (but you do have to take your shoes off). Unfortunately I didn't take a pic of the inside but there is moulded seating. I love the whimsical quality, it sort of reminds me of something I might come across in the animated film Howl's Moving Castle (I love Hayao Miyazaki animations). Terunobu Fujimori is worth checking out if you love interesting architecture as he has created some amazingly unusual but beautiful buildings.

Here is another pic which you can just make out my face in the window:

Me in the window

Architects Build Small Spaces is at the V&A until the 30th August 2010 and is free entry.
Grace Kelly, A Style Icon is until 26th September 2010 and is £6 (if bought at the museum in person).

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Prestige Baked Mineral Blushes: A Budget Alternative to a MSF?

I have several MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes which I use every now and then, Warmed being my favourite. However, in reality when I cast aside their pretty veined looks, as blushes/highlighters they are not the best in comparison to other brands. I can't help it, I am always tempted by these and am at the MAC counter faster then you can say 'Mineralize Skinfinish'.
This leads me onto Prestige, and their Skin Loving Minerals Fresh Glow Baked Mineral Blushes (a lovely long-winded name) which are a similar sort of product to an MSF. They come in 4 shades - 01 Pink, 02 Natural, 03 Peach and 04 Terra Rosa.

Here are pics of the all 4 shades (pics can be enlarged):

01 Pink on left,  02 Natural on right

03 Peach on left, 04 Terra Rosa on right
L-R-  01 Pink,  02 Natural,  03 Peach,  04 Terra Rosa

L-R-  01 Pink,  02 Natural,  03 Peach,  04 Terra Rosa

These are swatched heavily with my finger, when used with a brush they are not as heavily pigmented as say an Illamasqua blush, but they provide enough payoff to give a natural blush look. What I like most about these is they blend well into the skin and don't look powdery. Pink and Terra Rosa are my favourites which I use as blushes whereas Natural and Peach I use as highlighters.
The shimmer on these is rather fine so that they impart a nice glow. Closer up there are some very tiny glitter particles in Natural. There is not much different between Natural and Peach, Peach is ever so slightly warmer.
The staying power on these is reasonable, on my skin they don't last all day (about 5 hours) but fade evenly so there is a little colour left. 

These are not however perfect:
The packaging - I don't mind the clear casing on these, it's nothing special but the plastic around the hinges easily chips off and as I was photographing these a metal hinge fell out.

The price - these are considerably small for a blush at only 1.5g and the price is £7.99. Many blushes have at least 5g of product. If I would compare these to a MAC MSF which typically have about 9g, the Prestige ends up being the more costly product at £47.94 for 9g! From this perspective they could consider making these bigger and better packaged. The baked mineral bronzers from Prestige are 8g so I don't quite understand why there is such a difference in sizing.

Overall I love the blushes themselves, they are my go-to blushes but price and packaging is an issue.
This was supposed to be more of a rave but it's turned into a bit of a meh review. Oh well.

Disclaimer: These were purchased by me

Monday, 26 July 2010

Product Rave: Beauty UK Glam Nails Polish

Beauty UK is a budget makeup range available in Superdrug that I have often just glanced at but never bought anything, that was until a week ago. I spotted some promising nail polishes in a good range of colours, and a few in particular caught my eye as they looked different to what I have currently.
The shades I bought are Smokey Lilac (No.51), Blue Moon (No.49) and Turquiose Shimmer (I think this is an old packaging as it doesn't have a number). All the pics are without a topcoat and can be clicked to enlarge.

Below is Smokey Lilac, which is a spot on name as it is a beautiful light lilac with a subtle grey tone. The closest thing I have to this is probably OPI's Done Out in Deco but that is more purple and less grey where as this as a very slight pink tone to the lilac and a bit paler. This is 2 coats and the brush is a basic brush (not wide or anything like OPI). It applies quite well, the consistency is fluid without being thin and is not thick or gloopy. This is my joint favourite of the bunch. 

Indoor natural light with flash
Indoor natural light without flash

Next is Turquiose Shimmer, a beautiful deep blue/green sea colour with faint blue/green shimmer. This reminds me of a greener and more creamier version of MAC's Plasmu Blu that was released in their Neo Sci-Fi Collection. This one dragged slightly on application, but coverage was pretty opaque in 2 coats.

Indoor natural light with flash
Indoor natural light no flash

Finally is Blue Moon which is a creamy light blue that looks brighter on the nails then in the bottle which was a pleasant surprise. I adore this colour, I haven't got anything like this as I usually go for darker blues. Unfortunately this applied a bit streaky and dragged slightly so this pic is with 3 coats. The colour is a saving grace so I'd happily buy this again if I run out.

Indoor natural light with flash
Indoor natural light no flash

In terms of wear they are not the best, I do get a bit of tip wear after a day or two but most nail polishes on me don't really last longer then 2 days. 
Overall I am really pleased with these, especially with Smokey Lilac and Blue Moon as sometimes I have found with cheaper brands the cream shades look a bit like coloured Tippex so they look flat on the nails which I am happy to say is not the case with these.   
These are 9ml and £1.79 each in Superdrug.

Disclaimer: These were purchased by me

Sunday, 25 July 2010

From Indifference to Love: Liz Earle Spot-On

Liz Earle Spot-On is a lovely little rollerball bottle of a blend of natural Vitamin E and pure essential oils which can be used to treat blemishes, bites and cuts. 

Initially when I bought this a few years back I used it a few times but was underwhelmed and it sat in my drawer for several months when one day I had a particularly horrible breakout and rooting around found this and gave it another go. I am so glad I did because it really helped to bring the redness and inflammation down gradually. I think for me it helps for more redder bumps rather then smaller spots (although it's not bad on those either). What I like about this in particular is that it is alcohol and water free so I can apply it as much as I want throughout the day without it drying out my skin. It says that it can even be applied over make-up but I do not like doing this with any spot treatment.

Currently my skin has calmed down quite a bit with regard to spots, so nowadays I use this after threading or waxing eyebrows/upper lip to help soothe the area and bring down redness. I find this also helps prevent spots forming after threading and waxing which I am prone to on my face.

Since those early misguided days of thinking this product was another crappy spot treatment, I have done a complete 180 and continued to repurchase this, with one of these rollerballs lasting me about a year (I only use it on my face). This is my favourite Liz Earle product and an absolute essential for me.

I bought this for £7.75 from the Liz Earle store in London.

A list of ingredients:

Does anyone have any products they didn't like at first but now love?

Disclaimer: This product was purchased by me

Friday, 23 July 2010

Product Review: NARS Lipstick in Morocco

This is my first NARS lipstick that I purchased from John Lewis on a recent trip into London.

Morocco is a creamy, terracotta type shade which I find lifts my complexion because it has a subtle brightness to it. Being a bit red-lippie shy, this for me makes a good alternative to a bolder lip colour and would work well as a transitional autumn shade.

The texture is lovely and creamy, and wears down well to leave a slight stain on the lips. It is not the most moisturising formula I have come across, but it does not dry out my lips either.

The swatch on the NARS website looks pretty spot on, as when I was trying to photograph this applied to my lips it tended to look rather orange when in reality it is a bit more brown.

Disclaimer: This product was purchased by me

Welcome to MakeUp Picnic!

I am hugely passionate about all things health and beauty related and enjoy reading all the fab blogs in the beauty community. I have been umming and aarring about starting this blog (as well I writing posts in my head) but I told myself to just do it!

Anyway welcome to MakeUp Picnic!

I hope to cover a great many beauty related topics, varying from high-end to low-end cosmetics as there are so many brands out there with wonderful things to offer.

A little about me - I am a general cosmetic enthusiast with a background in art and design. I do love using more natural based skincare and generally prefer this but I do stray on occasion;) My skin is combination/acne-prone so I am always on the quest for products that help keep my skin in check. Makeup wise I like to explore, but generally I play up the eyes and keep a neutral lip.

Let's get cracking!