Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

Saturday, 15 February 2014

hourglass ambient lighting blush
hourglass ambient lighting blush diffused heat
hourglass ambient lighting blush diffused heat
hourglass ambient lighting blush diffused heat swatch

Now, I'm not usually one to give in to blogger hype but when news of this product spread through Twitter like wildfire, I was first in line to snap one up. I've heard rave reviews of Hourglass's ambient lighting powders, but I haven't gotten round to trying them yet. Their new release is the Ambient Lighting Blush which contains a marbled effect blush combining their signature powder alongside some gorgeous blush shades. Promising a glow-y flush of colour with added dimension and a soft-focus finish, I was sold.

I opted for Diffused Heat, which is a coral toned pink and a pretty safe choice for me. The packaging is luxurious and the gold casing looks a treat in my make-up bag. I was actually a little scared to use this product for the first time as the marbled effect is so pretty and I didn't want to ruin it. So reluctantly, I swirled my brush around the pan and applied it liberally to my face. Well, that was a mistake. It's a lot more pigmented than I expected, so you really do need a light hand with this one. The colour transfers beautifully and gives a lovely wash of colour, whilst the pale powder gives the most amazing brightening effect. I've heard from a few others that the marbling really does make a big difference and of course each pan is completely different because of this. I like that I can build up the colour by swirling over the blush parts, and soften it a little by using the pale powder sections at the top left of my pan.

I've fallen a little bit head over heels for this one, and I'm already eyeing up my next shade choice - Ethereal Glow. I've been popping this on at 6am before work and come 6pm when I'm heading home, my cheeks are still bearing the same glow-y flush that they were in the morning - impressive. 

Come on then - who else succumbed to this blogger hype and are you as impressed as I am?

Face Favourites

Friday, 7 February 2014

Recently I've been shying away from slathering on a full face of heavy makeup in the morning and instead favouring a more lightweight application that still manages to hold its own throughout the day. I almost feel a little guilty for mentioning 2 of these products, as I managed to snap them up at bargain prices and there aren't many shades left now! I'm sure we've all heard of Fragrance Direct by now - I usually dismiss bargain websites, but every now and then they stock some absolute treats that I just can't resist.

I've never tried any Korres makeup, but at £3.99 for Korres Ginger & Vitamins Foundation, it would have been rude not to invest. Luckily, they had shade LF1 which I assume is the lightest shade, so I popped it in my virtual basket and awaited delivery. I wasn't expecting much from this, truthfully. I don't usually rate foundations that are marketed as lightweight as I find they often don't wear well on my skin due to its oiliness. But this stuff is so good. The formula is quite a thin consistency and feels really fresh and light to apply. It's ever so slightly too orange for me, but it melts into the skin seamlessly so the colour difference really isn't an issue. It evens out my skin tone and any redness without actually looking like I'm wearing foundation - incredible.

The second bargain treat I got my hands on is the Becca Compact Concealer and I think the shade I have is bisque, but it's since rubbed off the container. I've been after a new concealer since my beloved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ran out, and this was too good of a deal to pass up. It's a duo-shade compact which is really handy. The formula is quite stiff and difficult to work with, but warmed up between your fingers it seems to just glide over the skin, pretty much erasing any blemishes or red marks and working wonders on my dark circles. I do carry this around with me and top up throughout the day, and it never goes cakey no matter how much I apply. I think we could be on to a winner here...

Finally, I've invested in a new blush and my first foray into the world of MAC powder blushes. I opted for a matte formula and went for the shade Desert Rose which is quite a dark muted pink-y mauve-y colour (I'm great at describing colours). This is so pigmented that the first time I applied it I ended up looking like a clown and had to start over. I'm used to having to swirl my brush liberally in the pan to get a good pay-off of colour, but with this one all it takes is literally one dab of the brush in the pan and I've got enough colour for both cheeks. PS: It's much less pink than it looks in the picture! 

So that's my round-up of my current staple face products! Have you spotted any bargain beauty purchases recently?

Cystic Acne Heroes

Sunday, 2 February 2014

I've been battling with cystic acne for as long as I can remember, namely around my chin and jaw area. These type of spots tend to make their appearance in large, angry-looking, raised bumps which are painful to touch, and never come to a head. They linger forever and once they finally subside, they often leave dark marks just to make them that little bit more deserving of my hatred. I've been trying to work out a magic formula to banish these blemishes for years, but no matter what I try they always reappear. Although I haven't managed to completely eradicate their presence, I have discovered a little trio of products which help to clear the blemishes, soothe any irritation and finally fade the red marks.

First up is the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. This stuff is pure genius, and I cannot praise it enough. I've tried my fair share of spot treatments, but my little cystic friends seemed completely immune to every offering, even the infamous Origins Super Spot Remover. This is a really runny, liquid lotion which you have to shake up first as the sediment tends to settle at the bottle of the bottle. It's a little tricky to use as it's so fluid, but I find that pouring a little on a cotton pad and then dabbing on to the affected areas is the easiest way to use it. This works wonders on under the skin spots. I don't know how it does it, but somehow it can turn the angriest, most painful lump into a little pimple half its size after a couple of uses. I swear by this lotion when I have a cystic breakout, and I haven't found anything that even begins to compare with this. Pricey for such a small bottle, but a little goes a long way. The only downside is its seriously strong smell of sulphur, but that's something I'm more than willing to put up with when it works this good.

Once I've dosed the breakout with some buffering lotion, I follow up with a soothing lotion which helps with the redness and irritation. My favourite is HealGel Face* which I've mentioned before. This is a lovely product for those of us with sensitive skin and really helps to infuse some moisture back into the skin whilst leaving it glowing and smooth. I use one pump for my whole face, and it leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished. I find this step crucial when dealing with cystic breakouts, as often spot lotions and treatments can dry out the area and leave the affected spots flaky and dry, often drawing more attention to them. Following up any spot treatment with a light, hydrating lotion really helps my skin, especially with the healing process.

Finally, a radiance serum. My current favourite is Elemental Herbology Cell Food. I got this after Christmas as part of a set in the sales, so it was a proper bargain. I use a pump of this after HealGel, and again it leaves my skin feeling so nourished and revitalized. A good radiance serum is essential to me for helping with the marks left after a breakout, and this one really helps to speed up that process and fades marks really nicely. It doesn't completely erase them of course, but it certainly gives them a little hand along the way. This also smells really herbal and it's completely non-greasy, so I can use it in the morning as well as in the evening, and it sits really well under my makeup.

Using these products seems to help clear up any active breakouts I have, until the next bout of little buggers come along a few weeks later. So until I find a permanent solution to a suspected hormone imbalance, I'll continue dousing my face with these lotions and potions.

If any of you suffer from under the skin spots or cystic breakouts, I'd love to hear what your hero products are for battling them!


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