Saturday, 28 February 2015

Review: Calypso Once a Day Sun Protective Lotion SPF40

Hi everyone! I'm here with another review, this time of a sun cream! We should wear sun cream every day to protect our skin against UV days and premature ageing, even when it's cloudy or dark, although it's easy to forget. I bought this sun cream, Calypso Once a Day Protective Lotion SPF40 in Wilkos during the summer as I wanted more protection for my face! Read on to hear my thoughts!

productinfo 
Brand: Calypso
Name: Once a Day Sun Protective Lotion SPF40
Price: £7-£7.50
Where to buy: Wilkos, Home Bargains, Tesco

This sun cream is water resistant (not waterproof though), preservative free, non-greasy and claims it is odourless. It is a physical sun cream and only has to be applied once a day for protection around 6-8 hours. It is then advised to wash it off when you remove your make-up/wash your face like normal.
packaging
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The packaging isn't anything amazing. It's the regular Calypso brand colours, white, orange and yellow. The sun cream comes in a white box with flashes of yellow, orange and blue. It says 'Suitable for kids', which is one of the reasons I bought it (I thought it might be better for the face, less likely to cause irritation) but the packaging isn't too childish, which I like. The actual sun cream packaging is a soft white plastic tube with an orange flip top lid. It has identical images and text to the box packaging.
application
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Even though the sun cream is described as a 'protective lotion', it's still a thick cream (I think of a lighter, more runny cream when you say 'lotion'). However, it spreads easily and is absorbed relatively quickly. It doesn't leave a white cast or any sort of sticky, greasy feel or as if there is a film over the skin.
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The cream partially rubbed in
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The cream rubbed in totally; as you can see, you can't even tell there's anything on the skin.

I guess I can't really comment on much else for this sun cream. After its absorbed, I apply my make-up like usual and it doesn't interfere with it. I can't tell the sun cream is on the skin and I can only assume it's doing its job of blocking out UV rays! I can't really say 'Oh, I can feel it protecting my skin for the first couple of hours but I can feel it fading after a few hours' haha. That would be a little weird...I can feel my skin cells burning and dying haha...
scent
I find it strange that this sun cream states that it is odourless, since mine smells very strongly of coconuts and bananas...I take it it's supposed to be a 'tropical' scent, but it reminds me of muesli breakfast cereal haha! I actually find the smell a bit overpowering, heady and sickly. I'm normally not bothered by fragrances, artificial or otherwise but this is very sickly smelling. I actually find myself not reaching for the product because of the smell, although I do wonder if I imagine the scent worse than it actually is sometimes, because when I do use it, it's not that bad. It's still overpowering and sickly but I'm not gagging from it. Maybe they mean that it is odourless when absorbed into the skin? Which is relatively true but still, it's definitely not odourless when applied and it's not fragrance free.
mythoughts
The sun cream does a good job of protecting my skin from UV rays, I assume, because how am I supposed to tell otherwise? I've never gotten burnt using this cream, but I don't stay out long in the sun anyway. The price is pretty good and I like the convenience of only having to apply this once a day. I like knowing that if I use this on my face, it hasn't faded after an hour or so, it will last right until I wash it off. The only thing I dislike is the scent, I find myself being put off using the product because of the sickly sweet and overpowering 'tropical' scent. 3 stars out of 5 for me!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Review: Aurelia Revitalise and Glow Serum

A while back I received a free sample of Aurelia's Revitalise and Glow Serum. I used it up so I thought I'd give my thoughts on it!

productinfo 
Brand: Aurelia
Name: Revitalise and Glow Serum
Price: £47 for 30ml

Aurelia is a UK company specialising in probiotic skincare that is dermatologically tested and suitable even for sensitive skins. This serum promises to hydrate, soothe dull and tired skin and 'promote' a luminous, dewy and radiant glow. I'm not sure what 'promote' is supposed to mean, rather than them say it actually creates a more luminous glow. I'm always wary of terminology that dodges actual claims.
packaging
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of my free sample packaging but it was just a small amber-coloured glass bottle with a pipette lid, a mini version of the full sized packaging of this serum:
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A dark amber coloured bottle prevents sunlight and UV rays from penetrating the serum and breaking down the active ingredients so I'm happy to see it in this type of packaging. The pipette is always fun to use too. However, as you start to run out of the serum, it gets to a point where the pipette won't reach right down to the bottle of the bottle, so I have to tip it out into my hands instead, otherwise the product would be wasted.
application
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The serum is light feeling and is a very light milky yellow colour. It spreads easily and is absorbed easily but I don't feel much hydration from it. It almost absorbs too easily for my dry skin.
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The serum partially spread. The serum has a really lovely fresh citrus scent, it doesn't smell artificial at all. I would expect that of a probiotic/natural cosmetics company or product. According to their website, it's scented with Jasmine, Plumeria, Tuberose and Mandarin. The serum also has peptides, antioxidants, baobab extract, Kigelia Africana (for firming, apparently), hibiscus and vitamin E in it. The mix of ingredients fights off free radicals (a cause of visible aging signs), accelerates skin cell turnover for a more even and soft complexion, firms and hydrates.

I followed this serum up with my regular skincare routine; eye cream, face oil at night, moisturiser and sleeping mask at night. It didn't mess or react with any of my regular products and I had no problem with this serum. The sample was 'deluxe' sized, so I got about a weeks worth of use out of it but I didn't see any noticeable results from using the serum. I wouldn't really expect to from only a week's usage, and I suppose that prompts people to buy the full sized product but I think the serum is expensive for what it is and I have no doubt I can find serums with similar claims and ingredients, especially in Korean cosmetics.
mythoughts
The serum was quite nice to use but it wasn't massively moisturising for me. I didn't notice any brightening results but I didn't have much time to try the serum. It's an alright serum, nothing amazing to me and I wouldn't repurchase because I believe I can find an equal or better serum for a much lower price. 3 stars out of 5 for me.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Recent Outings, Outfits and Makeup

I have a couple of photos from previous events and such so I thought I'd share them with you! To still try and show this is also a fashion and makeup blog haha XD

I went to see Babymetal with my bestie Jayde in London last year and of course selfies ensued!
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Although you can't see it very well in the photo I wore a Putumayo JSK and black net top underneath for a Punk Lolita look.

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At some point when I went to visit my mum, I got a rare photo with her! And my brother's dog in the background... >_> So yes...this is my mum Jill! Neither of us think we look alike although I know the hair colours make a large difference but let me know what you think heh heh~.

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A photo of me and two Lolita friends at Hyper Japan Christmas Market! My outfit breakdown:

Blouse: Surface Spell
Bustier: Chess Story
Skirt: Anna House
Hair accessory: Peacockalorum

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I remember a time when I used to take selfies with the default/back camera...one reason I haven't taken a lot of selfies recently is because I get disappointed when I use the front facing camera as 90% of the time they turn out crappy quality...and I can only really use the back facing camera if I have a mirror in front of me, so I can see my image reflected on the screen/mirror and work on my posing XD So here's a nice higher quality selfie, just running errands. Make-up breakdown:

Face: Etude House Sweet Recipe Baby Choux Base in Berry, Diorskin Star Foundation in 010 Ivory, Clinique Almost Powder in Fair, Missha Signature Extreme Cover Concealer in Shade #21, MAC Pro Longwear Blush in Baby Don't Go (contour), Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher in Strawberry Mousse, Canmake Highlighter in Shimmering White.
Eyes: MUA Undress Me Too Palette, Estee Lauder Artist Pencil in Softsmudge Black, Y.E.T. Catgirl Waterproof Pen Liner in Black, Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara (on bottom lashes only), Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara.
Lips: Clinique High Impact Lipstick in After Party

PS I fucking love that net shirt haha, I wear it under stuff all the time~ XD

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The first event of 2015 was Animanga Pop in Plymouth! I went with my brand last year and it was a good event so I went again this year. It's about as far in distance as I can possibly go (Plymouth is verrrrrry south, there are only 2-3 locations further down at 'Land's End', Truro, Falmouth and Penzance. I went for 3 days and stayed in a hostel, and wore Lolita all 3 days to save room in my suitcase from my petticoat! Each coach ride was 8 hours, a total of 16 hours on a coach in Lolita~ XD This was a casual coord and makeup for travelling back to Derby. My makeup is pretty much identical to the breakdown above, except I used The Saem Saemmul Flower Gloss in 01 Rose Red on my lips for a natural flush.

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Outfit breakdown:
JSK: Alice and the Pirates lucky pack dress
Bolero: Peacockalorum
Choker: Atelier Pierrot

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Then last weekend I ran my boyfriend's shop whilst he was away trading at MCM Telford! He has two shops in Derby, Viva Hate for alternative fashion, music, film, video games and comic merchandise and the newly opened Cryptid Clothing, an original paranormal themed brand made by him and his friend, and it also sells complimentary brands like Killstar and other items! Cryptid has green lights over the door for an eerie 'X Files' feel, you can see them in my photo! I ran Cryptid for most of the day but swapped to Viva Hate for a few hours in the afternoon. Again, makeup is identical breakdown to above but I wore Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape on my lips!

I hope you enjoyed these fashion and makeup photos for a change heh heh~ I really need to find a good set up to take full outfit photos >_< But I will try to take more! See you soon!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Review: ModelCo Lip Enhancer Illusion Nude Lip Liner

Hi everyone! Sorry I disappeared for a short while again but I'm back with some new reviews! I've been feeling a tiny bit overwhelmed at the moment...not massively, just enough to stop me blogging because I feel I have more important things I need to sort out. I got overwhelmed and a bit mixed up with what reviews I have lined up but I think I've sorted myself out again and am starting new reviews so it's all good. I also stopped taking makeup photos/selfies and such so I am going to try and make that a bigger part of my blog rather than just reviews. Up for review today is ModelCo Lip Enhancer Illusion Nude Lip Liner! I always wonder if lip liner should be one word or not, like lipgloss...personally I think it should!

productinfo 
Brand: ModelCo
Name: Lip Enhancer Illusion Nude Lip Liner
Shade: Nude but there is no other option
Price: £16 but it was free with an issue of Glamour magazine a while back
Where to buy: ModelCo website

I got this free a few years back in Glamour magazine. I thought this brand was so 'high end' so I really coveted the freebies from the magazine, including two lipglosses too. I have my doubts about their exposure as a brand, however, as nowhere seems to stock them except their own website and they have their full sized products as free gifts in magazines, sooooo...
packaging
stock
Woah, over-exposure much!!! If you aren't snow blind, the packaging of the box and product is white and pink. The box's text is slightly raised and looks good quality. There is a big pink kiss mark on the box. The product is just plain white with 'ModelCo' on it. The end of the pencil (the flat end) is pink but there is no product name or shade available on the product so unless you keep the packaging, you might have a hard time trying to repurchase this item once you've used it up (and of course, if you want to). The lip liner cap/lid has a built in pencil sharpener which is very handy. However, the creamy lip liner shavings (not the wooden pencil part) tends to get stuck in the blades and you have to clean it after each use.

application
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The lip liner is quite creamy in feel, as far as lip liners go. However, it feels like a regular, slightly drying lip liner on the lips.

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Swatches on the back of my hand

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The lip liner applied to the right half of my lips.

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The lip liner fully applied. As you can see, even though the colour is 'nude' and is supposedly a universal shade, it is quite different to my own lip colour, it's too browny. Because of this, it changes the colour of my lipsticks if I wear it, which defeats the purpose of it being a 'nude' lip liner.

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This is quite a candy pink lipstick applied with the lip liner underneath. As you can see, it modifies the colour to a nudish brown-pink. I guess this is good if you want to change up your lipsticks or mix your own shades but I only really want a lip liner to increase the longevity of my lipsticks and be generally the same colour. 
mythoughts
There's absolutely nothing I can do about the lip liner not matching my own 'nude' lip colour. Really they should offer multiple different 'nude' shades since everyone's lip colour is different. If I liked the colour or wore nudish brown lipsticks, I could make this a lipstick on its own simply by adding clear gloss over the top but unfortunately I have no use for this lip liner and since I got it free in a magazine, I don't really feel I can sell or swap it so I tossed it shortly after taking these photos for review. 2 stars out of 5 for me.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Review: Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of the skincare cult classic, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant. It's Elizabeth Arden's best known product, and with many companies, they have now realised that if they stick '8 Hour' in front of their other products, it'll sell. They have an 8 Hour Moisturising Face Cream, 8 Hour Lip Protectant, 8 Hour Night Cream and 8 Hour Hand Cream, among other products. It's like Estee Lauder and their 'Double Wear' products. Anyway, let's get to the review!
productinfo 
Brand: Elizabeth Arden
Name: 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant
Price: £26
Where to buy: BootsElizabeth ArdenAmazon (only £12), DebenhamsFeel Unique (£22.10)

This cream is a skincare classic and apparently no one should leave home without it or go without it. It promises to soothe roughness, redness and calms minor skin irritations. It can be used as a moisturiser, a body moisturiser for knees, elbows, rough patches etc, can be used for lips, cuticles and to keep eyebrows in place. It doesn't claim to have any miraculous benefits like age-prevention or evening of skin tone, it just promises to moisturise and soothe.
packaging
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I got a small promotional size from a friend, I'm not sure if it's a deluxe sample or perhaps part of a free gift. However, this is the packaging and is pretty consistent with the full sized packaging too. It's white with a very light grey pattern of '8's and the red Elizabeth Arden logo and screw-top lid. It doesn't scream cute, or even classy. It kind of has an old fashioned grandmother feel to it, but I think that's Elizabeth Arden's target market and/or brand feel.
application
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The cream is a light orange colour and is very thick. Like, I've heard people say some face creams are thick and I've thought 'What are you on about, it feels like normal face cream?' But this is by far the thickest face cream I've felt before. It's more like a balm or ointment, and has the consistency of thick lipgloss to me. No joke. It also feels like lipgloss when I spread it on my face...it is very thick and kind of sticky, but it does a great job of sealing in moisture. I apply it at night and the stickiness doesn't bother me too much. I'd say the sticky feeling goes after an hour or so but if I go to bed straight after applying it, I don't notice the stickiness disappear until I wake up the next morning.
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Some people may not like the very thick and sticky feel, especially combination or oilier skin types, but it really does a great job of locking in moisture. It's almost like a sleeping mask, I couldn't actually imagine applying it in the morning and trying to put make-up on over the top, even if I left it  a while. I don't notice any brightening, wrinkle prevention or any other benefits but I didn't expect to. It's a very basic moisturising cream.
scent
The scent of this cream...oh God, the scent...it's horrific. Really. I had no idea of the smell of the cream until I tried it, and the packaging says 'Fragrance free' so it's just the natural smell of the cream but it frigging stinks. I heard Elizabeth Arden made this cream for her horses' hooves, to prevent them cracking, then she noticed her stableboy had really soft hands, because he was using the cream, so she marketed it for people too...when I heard it was horse cream originally, then smelled the cream, I fucking believe it, without a doubt. Horses don't give a crap about the smell of the product! I can't even really describe the smell...it's kind of sweet but very sickly, and there's something a bit off about it. I actually have to hold my breath as I apply this. I've never had a problem with the smell of skincare products before, I'm not one of these people with a sensitive nose or dislike of fragrances. However, when I check reviews of this product, no one says they dislike the smell, and one woman said she liked the 'slightly sweet, almost herbal smell' so I don't know if it's just me?! But seriously...to me, this product reeks. I don't actually know if I would actually buy this product, just because of the awful smell.
mythoughts
This cream is a cult classic and very well-known. It's a no-frills, basic moisturising cream for face and body. It does the job well enough but for me, it's too greasy to be used in the morning. It's a great night cream that I use after all my other products, so that it locks all the products and moisture in. However, the smell is really something I dislike about this product. It makes me feel sick and I have to hold my breath as I apply the cream. I'm finishing the small tube I was given but I wouldn't repurchase a full sized product, mostly because of the smell. I give it 4 out of 5 stars, with one star taken off for the smell, though I could seriously deduct more haha.