Tuesday 30 September 2014

Dior Manicure Essentials

I spoke of my love for Dior's Top Coat Abricot a while back here, and since then I've been using a few other bits from their manicure range.

Gel Coat
Quite a few brands are coming out with gel like formulas, and Dior's offering is a lovely gel top coat that perfects the look of the polish underneath. This is a little bit thicker than the Top Coat Abricot but has a similar glide over the nails that is great for polishes that don't apply so well as it smooths the finish of the colour underneath.
This prolongs the wear of my polish a bit longer than the Top Coat Abricot but does not dry through quickly, so I only use this if I have time to spend on my nails.
It's very shiny (maybe a touch less then Shellac), but as a top coat it works well to keep nails looking perfect for longer.

Diorlisse 500 in Pink Petal
This is a ridge filler/base coat with a subtle hint of natural nude pink that slightly smooths the look of the nails. Even though I use this as a base coat, I like it more on it's own as it gives a lovely naturally polished look.

Top Coat Abricot
This is my 3rd bottle of this top coat (4th if I count the old version) and I don't see myself switching  anytime soon, for me this is pretty much HG status. It's shiny, dries fast, doesn't peel, prolongs colour wear and has minimal shrinkage. It does get gloopy towards the end of the bottle, but not as bad a Seche vite which goes gloopy halfway through. With Dior I can use up the whole bottle even when it gets a bit gloopy as the formula is quite forgiving. 

Dissolvant Abricot
This one was a bit of an impulse buy from Escentual as I was stocking up on other bits and curiousity got the better of me. This chic little 50ml bottle is a decent enough polish remover, but certainly not worth the price I paid as most drugstore brands do the same job. I would say some stubborn formulas take a bit more work then even a cheaper brand. I'm sticking with the excellent Zoya Remove + which I've just repurchased the salon size bottle.

Overall Dior's manicure range is a strong one, most of the products are repurchase-worthy, the star amongst them being the Top Coat Apricot.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Chanel Le Vernis - 631 Orage

The Chanel Autumn collection Etats Poetiques has some absolutely gorgeous items and the nail colour in Orage (631) is a stand-out product for me.

I can't resist a good grey as it's one shade I've found I like wearing all year round. Up until recently this grey had been the LE Dior polish in Perfecto, but Orage has joined my family of greys and it's very much a welcome addition as this toes the line perfectly in being a proper dark grey without looking like black.

The formula applies really nicely, with the colour gliding over the nail with ease although 2 coats are
required for complete coverage. 

Overall it's absolute love for Orage and it has gone straight into my favourite nail polish stash.

I bought this from House of Fraser.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Favourite Blemish Treatments & Skin Saviours

I think I'm finally getting to a place with my skin that I know mostly how to keep it in check. For reference I now have normal skin, slightly combo in places, recovering from post acne marks and scarring. The past couple of years my acne has subsided considerably to a point where my skin is mostly clear with smaller blemishes and the odd larger one now and then.

I'm 31 and upped the game with my treatment products these past few years so I thought I'd run through my favourite skin saviours - all of these I'd recommend in a heartbeat as they each excel in their own ways.

Murad Acne & Wrinkle Reducer
I spoken about this product before and it's still up there as a good blemish buster. I like this on occasions when I have larger, redder bumps as it helps to bring them down and also softens fines lines as well. I've used this all over my face at night with no issue.

Sunday Riley Good Genes
My love of Sunday Riley has begun with this amazing product. It is a little multi-tasker that at first seems quite unassuming as it's a light creamy serum that doesn't feel potent on the skin, but when used at night, the next morning it seems to have refined and brightened the skin and also brought blemishes down or gotten rid of them without pulling a sweat. I had ummed and aahhed for a while before buying this as it is at the top range of what I'd spend on a single product, but reading others glowing reviews and a Beauty Expert discount code swayed me into it, and I'm glad I took the plunge as it's a valuable product in my skincare arsenal.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
This was something I tried a sample of and it was immediate love. May Lindstrom uses the most exquisite natural ingredients and it's really telling in her products. This divine smelling balm includes Blue Tansy, Virgin Marula and Baobab oils as well as a whole host of other gorgeously pure ingredients. It's is a light blue coloured concentrated balm that upon contact with the warmth of the skin melts into a light oily texture. It completely soothes and calms the skin, reduces inflammation and evens the look and overall quality of the skin. You only need the tiniest amount of product so it doesn't feel in any way greasy or overwhelming but quite the opposite. I like using this post face mask or at night in place of a night cream, but it's one of those products that has a multiple amount of uses. I also have May Lindstrom's Clean Dirt and found that her products last a while so despite the high price tag (this was a treat to myself for passing my driving test), I'm confident the Blue Cocoon will last me ages before needing replenishment.

Cane + Austin Anti-Blemish Treatment Pads
When I first purchased these I was not really taken with them, I thought they were possibly a waste of money but as you can see I have finished my pot up of these pads and done a complete 180 from my initial assessment. To start with I was using them everyday but I think it was possibly too much so I only used them when I had more congested or uneven skin as the combination of 5% Glycolic and 2% Salicyclic Acids is quite potent and really helps to bring blemishes down. I would sweep a pad over my face, leave it to do it's thing for about 30mins, then follow up with a soothing or less active product (I like The Blue Cocoon or Ren's V-Cense Night Cream after this). It does sting a tiny bit initially upon application, but understandably so as it is a little powerhouse of a product.

This Works In Transit First Aid
As the packaging says this is 'brilliant in a crisis' and I would have to agree with this statement as it's one of those rescue products that is great for when I don't know what's up with my skin. On the odd occasion I've had some irritation or freak array of blemishes appear that I know need killing with kindness, this is does the trick nicely as it's a natural blend of oils with antiseptic qualities.

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum
I don't think I've ever spoken about Balance Me considering I've liked just about everything I've used from them (their cleansers are my fave picks from them) and this product is no different. This one I like to use in the day as the light gel serum texture works well underneath my moisturiser and is non-drying so good for use under makeup. It is gentle but works quietly to bring blemishes down and soothe skin. It's pleasant to use and smells lovely with a refreshing citrus scent.

As you can see I like a good selection and these definitely fit the bill. I'd love to hear your recs - what are your favourite skin saviours?