Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bright Eyes

I've been religiously applying Fade Out's Anti-Shadow Brightening Eye Cream for the past four weeks and can honestly say my eye bags and wrinkles are no longer threatening to take over my face!

It's one of those products that you actually look forward to applying and goes on well under make-up. It's light (even though it contains shea butter), cooling and refreshing (probably the high aloe vera content), and somehow makes you feel less tired just by smoothing it on. With regular twice-daily use, skin feels springier, firmer and hydrated, and fine lines and wrinkles much less noticeable.

A couple of sun-pigmented areas around my eyes have also faded, so I'll definitely be keeping this one up during the summer months.

It's slightly tinted although not enough to conceal anything major (I'd say more light reflecting) helping to achieve the luminosity and bright-eyed look usually associated with good night's sleep, eight glasses of water a day and a daily yoga session.

Available from Boots, or online at, £8.99

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A facial while you Facebook!

This morning I have mostly been smearing my chops with chocolate ... and why not, it is Sunday! 

I'd never be one to turn down a professional salon facial but when the pennies are tight and there's Sunday morning Facebook-ing and Twitter-ing to be done, a DIY face mask is the next best thing. Plus I've never really got the hang of the salon facial 'I'll leave you for fifteen minutes to relax' nonsense, I'd much rather be multi-tasking!

Superdrug's Nourishing Mud Mask in Chocolate is the beauty equivalent of melting down a Galaxy bar in a bain marie, and glooping the deliciously decadent mixture all over your face ... of course, resisting the urge to lick. It's thick, rich and packed with cocoa and shea butters too so it's not only hoovering out those pores, it's drenching them with moisture too.

I scooped up three of these bargain beauties on a three-for-two offer at Superdrug yesterday, usual price 99p each.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Stick Ons ... Nailed!

Okay, I'll admit, I'm a bit of a nail snob. Maybe it's because I've trained as a nail tech and love a healthy natural nail (or a beautiful set of acrylics), so when a pack of Stick On French false nails landed on my desk I thought I'd give the 'gypsy bride' look a miss and pass them on to someone for their end-of-year school prom!

I'm pleased to say curiosity finally got the better of me and, before long I was snipping the top of my Gulliver-sized glue tube and popping my stick on cherry! 

I really loved these natural-looking fabulous French falsies from Eye Candy.

They're a really wearable length (I couldn't really tell I had them on) and the colours are so natural they looked to me, even at close inspection, like a set of high gloss pink and white acylics. Of course they don't offer the durability of acrylics (or indeed claim to) but they're certainly a much quicker and cheaper alternative if you're stuck for time and need no-fuss flawless nails. They're much speedier to do than applying polish too, no smudges, nicks or chips, simply stick 'em on and you're good to go.

When applying, the trick lies in selecting the right fit of false nail for the natural nail. Too small and it will pinch when glued or ping off. To big and it swamps the cuticle, a dead give away! But with 24 nails in 10 graduated sizes, there's usually one to fit, or you can tailor them further by filing the sidewalls slightly.

I liked the steep smile line as it gave the illusion of extra length whilst keeping the nails a comfortable, practical length and was amazed at how long they stayed on (a good three to four days despite washing up, cleaning, even bathing the dog!!). Removal is a bit of a chore for those that didn't come off on their own (you soak your nails in a bowl of acetone-based nail varnish remover until they turn to a jelly-like mush and can be gently scraped away) but nothing too arduous, especially if there's something good on TV! A gentle buff to remove any remaining glue and a slick of nail oil and my nails were back to their usual state, eager for their next stick on fix!

Eye Candy False Nails are available in French, Decorated French, a classy pillar box red (see below), and Natural. Prices range from £4.49 for Natural to £5.99 for Decorated French. 

Available from Gordons Chemists nationwide, and Amazon from Feb.