Sunday, 25 July 2010

Skin Care Products I'm Liking Right Now (Salicylic Acid Based)

Don't know about you, but I find it so hard to find a combination of skin care products that work on a long-term basis.

Cleansers and toners that work well for a couple of weeks will suddenly lose their effectiveness thereafter.

Finding the right ones is made doubly hard by my skin type. I have oily skin that also happens to be quite sensitive, which puts me in a bit of a skin care dilemma: the products that are effective at treating oily skin are usually those that are a little bit too harsh for sensitive skins, dammit.

BUT, the current combo that seems to be treating the oilyness without irritation are...

Clean & Clear Advantage Quick Clear Daily Treatment Wash (£3.99 from Superdrug)

Garnier Pure Active Pimple Reducing Toner (around £4 from Boots and Superdrug)

Now, I am a sucker for anything that promises quick results and these two do just that. The cleanser claims to contain 'fast acting technology' and the toner claims 'instant' results. In this day and age of instant-gratification, that's just what I want to hear.

Hello, I'll have 5 of each to go please.

The Cleanser

I really love this. It leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed, not too tight and there's no weird residue. The active ingredient in it is salicylic acid which is effective for clearing blackheads and congested skin. And guess what - I do find that spots are reduced in size and redness the following morning. I've been using it for a while now and there hasn't been any adverse reaction. Touch wood it continues...

The Toner

The toner seems to be one of the few on the market that contains the highest legal off-the-shelf content of salicylic acid (2%) and claims to reduce spots and fade marks on the skin.

It also contains 'Herba Soothe'... whatever the hell that is.

Well, the Herba Soothe seems to be working, as other 2% SA toners that I've tried left my skin sensitised and drier than the Sahara, but that hasn't happened with this one. This does however leave a moist (slightly clammy) residue on the skin, but I think it's a small price to pay. In fact, this must be what is countering the overly-drying effect of the SA.

There is definitely satisfaction to be had in looking at the cotton wool after using the toner and seeing all the gunk it has removed :S

The best thing about this combination? It costs under £10. How good is that?!


Monday, 19 July 2010

10 Questions

Work. It gets in the way of the fun stuff.

I recall a music teacher once telling me (many moons ago when I was an A level student with my head buried in text books and thus neglecting my extra curricular activities) that 'it's good to nourish the mind, but you have to nourish the soul too'.

All this working has meant that my blogging has taken a hit. And that, people, is where my soul lies. In make up. *Gasp* - how terribly shallow!

Only joking. My soul lies in spiritual and philosophical stuff. Ahem.

Anway - I plan to nourish my soul by completing the tag that seems to be going round the blogger community. Here goes...


1.Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice make-up or Nice hair and no make-up?

Nice hair is all very well and good but without make up I look like Gail from Coronation Street. Those who are unfamiliar with Gail from Coronation Street should Google Image her and you you will understand the gravity of this statement.

I can definitely work the messy hair thing - and if messy means dirty in this instance, then I could always hide it under a cap or something. Assuming we are allowed props in this exercise.

With the nice hair/no make up combo, I have visions of walking down the street, swishing my nice hair and attracting the attention of some fit guy who - having only seen my swishy hair from behind- thinks he's onto a good thing. That is, until I turn around and he realises that he's pulled Gail from Coronation Street.

If Gail from Coronation Street happens to be reading this (I'm sure she has better things to do), I can only apologise.

2.Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?

Eyelashes can go. I would just wear some false ones until my ones grew back. In fact, I just bought some Girls With Attitude lashes from Boots- the super fluttery ones called 'Madame Butterfly'. They have this lovely criss-cross effect with longer lashes on the outer corner. Can't wait to wear these on Saturday!

3.Would you rather be forced to shop at only MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?

On the proviso that this is a level playing field and Sephora actually reopens in London, then I would definitely go for Sephora. It has everything from perfume to skin and hair care... plus a range of make up brands such as NARS and (if we're going by what the US has) MUFE. Sephora all the way. I need a range of brands. I love you MAC, but I'm just not ready for the commitment. I can't be tied down right now. I'm just not in a good place. It's not you, it's me.

4.Would you rather wear lipgloss/lipliner look or 80's perm?

There are some days where I catch sight of my hair in a shop window and it reminds me of an 80s perm. But I like it. I have positive connotations of the 80s perm - early Madonna, my mum back in the day... ahhh memories.

Lipliner and lipgloss on the other hand, is just bad to the core. I just could not pull that off without looking like an escapee from a 1990s RnB video. There just hasn't been enough clear blue water between that trend and now for it to become cool again.

5.Would you rather leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?

Overdone blush. You can pretend it was meant to be that way! Some looks call for it.

6.Would you rather wear MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public?

Ooo, a tough one. Biker shorts as in lycra cycling shorts? Would the biker shorts be so tight as to give me camel toe? If so, I'd go for the MC Hammer pants. You could pass these off as harem pants I guess.

7.Would you rather have a bad orange-y spray tan or really weird tan lines that can't be covered?

As soon as the sun came out in the City, London women exhibited some amazing summer outfits. Sitting in Exchange Square was the best people watching experience ever, as I really saw London ladies prove why LDN is hailed as a style capital of the world. However, there were also a few orange tans on exhibit. There were some corkers. Orange legs like you wouldn't believe. Oompa Loompas on parade.

I would go for the tan lines. Surely this is more acceptable and far less embarassing than orange skin?

8.Would you rather have a bad haircut or bad hair color?

Bad hair colour. This could be rectified with another trip to the hairdressers. With a bad haircut, you have no option other than to sit... and wait.... and look like a fool in the process. A bad hair cut changes your face shape and can highlight features you don't like. I think hair colour just alters the way your complexion appears, e.g. making you look more radiant or sallow, lighter or darker.

9.Would you rather have youtube or twitter taken away forever?
Stephen Fry once said; "too many tweets make a twat". While I'm not knocking the whole Twitter thing, I would find it easier to do without it as I never bought into it in the first place. Sorry Twitter, but you gotsta go.

10. Would you rather give up using makeup brushes or mascara?
William Wallace once said; "you may take my make up brushes, but you may never take my mascara". Ok he didn't really say that, but I thought adapting this seminal quote from history would convey my feelings about this one. You will NEVER take my mascara!

Make up brushes are great but I sometimes think that fingers serve the same purpose. I'm pretty good at doing eye make up without brushes. Lips can be done without brushes, as can foundation and blusher. I prefer brushes, but the routine won't fall apart if they were to be, er, confiscated.


Sunday, 4 July 2010

Jelly Pong Pong Haul

Went to the Clothes Show in London last weekend and picked up a bag of 5 Jelly Pong Pong products for £8 - bargainous considering that individually, some of the items retail for more than £10 each.

I've never really tried Jelly Pong Pong before - it doesn't seem to be a brand that's in wide distribution in high street shops, but is sold via its own website, and the Jelly Pong Pong store in London's West End.

Anyway, it seemed like a good opportunity to experiment with their well known products without having to part with too much £££.

Here's the haul:

L-R: red make up box, Gourmet Lip Therapy in Sugar, Supermodel Stain in No Breakfast, Jelly Flush Cheek Stain in Grape Colada, Love Rouge in Taylor and Burton)

What's my overall verdict? Disappointing, disappointing, disa-pong-pong.

So let's appraise the items individually.

Jelly Flush Cheek Stain in 'Grape Colada':
Jelly Flush? Sounds like something you might hang off the rim of your toilet. And to be honest, you'd probably get a better colour pay off if you did actually rub a toilet gel over your face.

This just felt like a watery, patchy mess when I swatched it, and was no better on my face. And what's with the overpowering synthetic grape scent? If anyone remembers a childhood game called Grape Escape (factory thing where you could make your own vile grape scented drink), this smells exactly like that.

Grape Escape: The main ingredient of Jelly Pong Pong's cheek stain?

Gross. I won't be repurchasing, or indeed using at all.

Gourmet Lip Therapy in 'Sugar':
It was hardly worth the effort it took my mate and I to figure out how to get the product flowing to the applicator brush. As with the Jelly Flush, this had a sickly scent. So far this seems to be a common affliction amongst JPP products.

I put this on over lipstick and when I opened my mouth, saw stringy bits of gloopy product between my lips... rather like when you cut a slice of pizza and get the stretchy cheese bits.

Fine on a pizza, not fine on my lips.


Supermodel Stain in 'No Breakfast':
Hmm... I actually quite like this. This is a well pigmented cream that gives a nice nude effect on the lips. I would wear this. It swatches true to colour:

You can also use this on your cheeks but I won't be doing that as 1) it's a bit to greasy for oily skins to wear on the face; and 2) the colour would be all wrong for me as a blush.

I can see myself using this, so at least it's not another dud. Phew!

Love Rouge for Cheeks and Lips in 'Taylor and Burton':
One half of the pan is a lip and cheek gel and the other half is a cream-to-powder blush:

So, on a day that I wasn't at work, I decided to try out the cheek gel as a blusher. I like the colour - it gives a wash of coral/orange colour with a nice sheen, but it didn't stay put during the day and by lunchtime required touching up. I have to caveat this with the fact that I have oily skin, so on drier skins this may well have more staying power.

I also like the cream to powder blush. It looks a bit grey in the pic above, but is actually a nice mauvey-pink - see the swatch below:

L-R: Cream-to-power blush, cheek and lip gel

I would wear this as a blush on 'nude' days. As in, days where I'm wearing nude coloured make up, as opposed to going naked.

So far... 2 out of 4 products are good. Not amazing, and not worth the full price, but... good.

Now. Let's take a look at the final product in closer detail:

Yes, that's right it's a make up box that appears to be made out of Elmo from Sesame Street.

And as if a red furry make up box wasn't tacky enough, they put on a pink tassel. Which has now mostly fallen off. Nice.

Tacky does not even begin to describe it. And that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

All in all - Jelly Pong Pong = extremely hit and miss.

The highs (Supermodel stain and Love Rouge - and I'm not sure they are 'highs' as such) are not really worth the lows, so if you were considering trying the products, I would visit the JPP store in the West End rather than buying off websites. At least then you can be sure of the textures, pigmentations etc.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! With all this typing I've worked up an appetite so I'm off to eat dinner.


Elle August 2010 Issue - Free Paul & Joe Sister Top

Yesterday I had to make a trip to the local petrol station to stock up on sanitary supplies.

Feeling embarassed to approach the little man behind the till with just a packet of Always Ultra (I clearly haven't matured past the 'embarassed to buy sanitary products' stage... tragic, I know), I also grabbed the August issue of Elle Magazine (£3.70), hoping it would somehow render my other purchase invisible.

It didn't. But it did come with a free gift - a Paul and Joe Sister top with frilly sleeves. And it's kinda cute!:

Not bad for £3.70.

It comes in three colours (khaki, black and I think a white/cream colour). As you can see, I went for the khaki... partly because I didn't have the choice. Why is it that shops never seem to stock the full range of free magazine gifts?! Tres annoying. Same thing happened with the Benefit giveaway that Glamour ran the other month.

To me, khaki calls out for gold jewellery so that's what I shall be accessorising with.