Garnier Pure Active Matte Control Anti- Blemish Face Moisturiser

After spending most of the festive period eating copious amounts of chocolate, biscuits and unhealthy food my skin understandably decided to break out badly. I’ve always had very oily spot prone skin, and have struggled to find one product that actually improves my skin and doesn’t break the bank…until now! I’ve been a fan of the Garnier Pure Active Micellar Water for some time now, as it’s the only micellar water that I’ve found which suits my skin, as it is aimed at people with combination and oily skin. However, I had not heard about any other products in the pure active range until I came across the Garnier Pure Active Matte Control Anti- Blemish Face Moisturiser on offer in Asda for £4. At that price I couldn’t resist and brought a tube of it, eager to get home and try it out.

The product contains ‘airlicium’, which is derived from a natural mineral silica which has absorbing properties which is how it can keep your skin matte for longer. It also contains salicylic acid which is good if you have acne prone skin as it will help reduce the amount of spots you get. My first impression was that this moisturiser didn’t look (or smell) like your standard moisturiser but looked more like a primer. It smelt very fresh and was clear in colour with a blue tint; I was expecting this to be a white cream like standard moisturisers. I first applied it before doing my makeup and found it left my skin feeling really soft and matte, better than most primers I’ve used in the past! I was really impressed with how long my make up stayed on using it, compared to when I apply my makeup with normal moisturiser or primer. I usually get shiny skin within 2-3 hours of applying make up but I was shine free for 6+ hours with the moisturiser. Along with its brilliant shine control capabilities I found that using this moisturiser daily reduced the amount of spots I got, and helped reduce the redness of my skin that was caused by my current break out.

I’ve now ditched my current primer for the Garnier Pure Active Matte Control Anti- Blemish Face Moisturiser because even though it is a moisturiser (and not a primer) I found that it actually works better than my current primer AND moisturises at the same time! If you have oily skin and your looking to try out something new I’d definitely recommend this product, to use as a primer under your foundation to reduce shine, or as a standard moisturiser.

Have you found any products for oily skin types that actually work?

Laura 

The Amazon Beauty Sample Box Review

After recently joining Amazon Prime I came across this amazing beauty sample box which was exclusively available to Prime members. Priced at £14.99 with free shipping I couldn’t say no and purchased this box ,which contained 9 beauty products. Additionally there was a deal available for prime members which meant if they purchased this box they were given £14.99 in credit making it practically free!

Unlike standard beauty box subscriptions, you were told what you were receiving within this one off box, which included:

  • Rimmel London Insta Fix and Go Setting Spray 100ml (Full Size)
  • WUNDER2 Dual Precision Brush (Full Size)
  • Bourjois Rouge Laque Liquid Lipstick (Full Size)
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (Full Size)
  • L’Oréal Paris 3 Pure Clays Multi-Masking Face Mark Play Kit (Full Size)
  • NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads (Sample Size)
  • Yardley London Floral Fragrance Collection (Sample Size)
  • Bio-Oil Specialist Skin Care Oil (Sample Size)
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (Sample Size)

Rimmel London Insta Fix and Go Setting Spray 100ml

This was probably my favourite product out of the box as I hadn’t used a setting spray before. The Insta Fix and Go Setting Spray can be used as both a primer and a setting spray so it saves you money as you don’t have to buy two products. It also has a beautiful cucumber/watermelon scent that I absolutely adore! I’ve always had issues with my makeup going patchy a few hours after application or my skin becoming ‘shiny’ which is because of my oily skin type. However I found this product definitely helped to keep my makeup intact and controlled the oil so I stayed shine free for longer. I will definitely be re-buying this product when it runs out.

WUNDER2 Dual Precision Brush (Full Size)

I was pretty thankful for this product being in the box, as I had just lost my favourite Zoeva brush which I used to apply my brow pomade! Overall it’s a great quality angled brush, it’s just the right firmness to give you a smooth and precise application of brow product, although it could do with being a little thinner. The spooly on the other end is an added bonus and allows you to brush your brows into shape before application.

Bourjois Rouge Laque Liquid Lipstick

I’m a massive fan of high end liquid lipsticks, and hadn’t used a drug store brand liquid lipstick before so was excited to see the results. It came in shade 08 Bloody Berry which is a beautiful deep red colour that I loved. The formulation had a satin finish, and was very pigmented but didn’t seem to dry as well as other liquid lipsticks I have used before. I was willing to look past this fault until I tried to remove the lipstick and found it nearly impossible to do so! It stained my lips pretty badly, so I sadly won’t be reaching for this product again.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

In the past I haven’t been too impressed with Sally Hansen nail varnishes so didn’t have high expectations for this product. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it has great pigmentation unlike the product I tried before (Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer). I’m a massive fan of nude nail varnish so I fell in love with this shade 230 Nude Now and found that it chipped less than my trusted OPI nail varnishes, so I was extremely pleased overall with this product!

L’Oréal Paris 3 Pure Clays Multi-Masking Face Mark Play Kit

People could barely get enough of L’Oréal’s clay masks when they first came out, and I didn’t actually purchase any myself due to them always being sold out when I looked. The hype has dyed down a bit now but it’s still a popular product and I soon found out why! This set is perfect if you want to try out the masks but don’t want to buy the full jars. It also allows you to see which mask suits you best, and I really like the concept of it. You get around 2-3 applications out of each tub because a little goes a long way. Overall the masks left my skin feeling soft and looking clearer. I also noticed the amount of spots I got seemed to decrease which is always a plus!

NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Cleansing Pads

I was excited to try these pads as I’ve heard great things about NIP+FAB skincare products. The first thing I noticed was the sickly orange scent they had, which I wasn’t a massive fan of, however I didn’t let that put me off. In the sample you receive 5 pads, which I used each night for 5 nights consecutively. I found my face felt sticky after each use which I wasn’t a fan off, but I have to admit my skin was looking smoother and brighter by the end of the 5 uses, so these pads do actually work.

Yardley London Floral Fragrance Collection

This collection contained four 1.5ml samples of different eau de toilette fragrances; English lavender, English rose, lily of the valley, and English Bluebell. I’m not a massive fan of lavender or rose, but I was surprised to find these two were my favourite out of the collection! The lily of the valley fragrance was my least favourite and had a very weak smell, and I found the English Bluebell smelt almost like men’s cologne.

Bio-Oil Specialist Skin Care Oil

Bio-Oil is something I’ve used before and I’m sure everyone has heard of. I have to say I’m a massive fan of Bio-Oil because I’ve had great results using it on stretch marks which were caused by a weight gain. In the box your given a small sample bottle which has enough for 2-3 uses on small areas.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

I’ve heard of this brand before but didn’t know a lot about their products. They’re products are aimed at people with dry and sensitive skin, especially people who have eczema, acne, rosacea and psoriasis. Having sensitive, spot prone skin I was interesting about trying this and the results I would get. In the box there was a 29ml sample bottle which was enough for 4-6 uses depending on how much you use. I found that it left my skin feeling soft and clean, and was also good at removing makeup. It hasn’t caused a massive improvement with my skin, but it’s a nice gentle cleanser which I would recommend to people with sensitive skin who are struggling to find a facial wash that is gentle enough.

Overall, I thought this box was an amazing deal! The cost of the full sized product alone was RRP £37. I’m a massive fan of beauty boxes and had never heard of amazon sample boxes until this month, but it is definitely one of the best boxes I have bought. I find a lot of times with beauty boxes that it can be hit and miss with the items you receive, but the amazon beauty sample box was bang on with its range of products and really proved to be worth the price!

Have you heard of #AmazonBeauty before?

Laura 

MUA Silent Disco Eyeshadow Palette 


I love eyeshadow as much as the next girl, but when you look at my current collection there are two main trends; high end eyeshadow palettes, and palettes with nude/copper tones. So I decided to go out of my comfort zone and try some drugstore brand eyeshadow, consisting of colours that I had NEVER experimented with before, and this is when I came across the MUA Silent Disco Palette. Priced at £4 for 12 shades, I wasn’t expecting much for pigmentation and quality, but oh was I wrong.


The shades have a mix of finishes, with some being satin, some matte and some shimmery and for £4 the pigmentation was great! I have paid a lot more for eyeshadow palettes that were less pigmentated that the Silent Disco Palette. With the array of colours in this palette you can create many looks, with my faveouite eyeshadow look being ‘the sunset look’.


For this look I used my trusted Zoeva rose gold brush set, and applied techno (yellow), which I found to be the least pigmented out of all the shadows, followed by go ape and just dance (both orange), and lastly freak out (red). The eyeshadow were surprisingly easy to blend and created a subtle look which I loved.

Since buying the Silent Disco Palette, I have put down my trusted Urban Decay Naked palettes and have been experimenting more with vibrant colours, and I have to say I’m loving it! I never thought that such a cheap eyeshadow palette could be so good, or so easy to use. It has made be an MUA convert and I’m enjoying experimenting with other products in their range. At £4 for 12 shades, you can’t go wrong with this palette, and it’s cruelty free. So if you’re ever wanting to expand your eyeshadow colour range, then I highly reccomend taking a look at the Silent Disco palette, it’s definitely a great place to start!

Do you have any MUA products that you love?

Laura 

Jeju Volcanic Lava 3-Step Blackhead Remover Nose Strips


So whilst I was browsing my local TK Maxx store the other week I noticed something in the reduced section that caught my eye, ‘The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava 3-Step Blackhead Remover Nose Strips’. I’ve tried many different pore strips in the past, but these strips really stood out to me as it was 3 step process which is not something I’ve come across before. I’ve always suffered from blackheads, meaning I’ve pretty much tried every product on the market! But priced at only £2 (reduced from £5), I couldn’t resist and purchased them. The Face Shop is a Korean brand, and in the past I’ve had many good experiences trying Korean makeup and beauty products, with many products on the Korean market being superior to those available on the western market, so I had high expectations for the Jeju Volcanic Lava 3-Step Blackhead Remover Nose Strips.

Step 1 

This step involves a soft wet nose patch, which softens the sebum on your nose and allows you to remove it. The patch had a pleasant mint smell, and felt quite tingly and cold after application. Once the patch had been applied for 20 minutes I removed it to find that all the sebum had been lifted up and it was quite gross to see the amount that had actually been lifted from your pores! I washed off the exposed sebum and proceeded to the next step, excited to see the end results, due to how successful the first step was. 

Step 2

This step is the same as your standard blackhead removal strips, where you wet your nose and apply the patch, which after 15 minutes becomes hard and you peel it off. The strip for this step was no different to others I have purchased in the past, however after waiting 15 minutes for the strip to harden and carefully removing it, I was disappointed that it didn’t really pull out any blackheads.

Step 3

Hoping that after the disappointment with step 2, that in this next step, step 3, the product would be able to redeem itself. Step 3 was a similar patch to step 1, however this step is for tightening your pores. The patch itself had a nice floral smell and felt very moisturising, soothing any redness that occurred from step 2. Once I waited 15 minutes and removed this patch my nose felt incredibly soft, but my pores did not look any smaller.

Was it worth it?

I was very disappointed that after spending 50 minutes carrying out this 3 step process that my pores looked no different afterwards. I took a before and after picture to compare the results, but my pores looked exactly the same. This product boasted to remove blackheads and tighten pores, and it did neither. I’m glad that I brought this product at the reduced price of £2 instead of paying £5. Although the first step did seem to lift the sebum, the overall results were disappointing and the whole process was time consuming. There are definitely many more products on the market that are a lot cheaper and considerably less time consuming which I’ve had better results with.

What’s your favourite product for blackhead removal?

Laura 

Staying Safe in Summer 

If your anywhere near as pale as me then you’ve probably had your fair share of sunburn. As I’ve grown older I’ve realised how important it is to look after you skin, and that ‘bright red lobster’ look is definitely not ok. Whether your a beach bum, or just enjoy soaking up the lovely British sun (on the rare days we get it), follow my tips to stay protected and keep your skin on top form!

 

Check Your Rays

Most people buy suncream only in regards to the level of SPF it contains, however it is important to also check if it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Not all suncreams protect against UVB rays, which can also cause skin cancer. So to make sure your protected get a suncream that covers both.

 

Don’t Get Star Struck

Only recently I discovered that two suncreams with the same SPF may not have the same protection level. All suncreams should have a UVA star rating on the back, however two suncreams of the same SPF level may have very different UVA star ratings. Some well known brands have been shown to have a lower UVA star rating than supermarket own brands so it’s important to check the back of the bottle before you buy!

 

Scorching Scalp

One problem I have always faced on holiday due to my fair skin is getting a sunburnt scalp. This issue is easily avoided by wearing a hat, but if you’re like me and prefer to show off your beachy waves then you may end up with a seriously sore head. I’ve always suffered with this issue on holiday, until recently when I discovered Malibu Clear Hair and Scalp Protector SPF30. At only £3.49 it’s an absolute steal, and I will no longer have to suffer from my sore scalp on holiday! A few sprays on your hair parting and your all set to go and enjoy the sun safely.

 

Acne Aggro

Most conventional sun creams don’t suit acne prone skin, and can cause breakouts which is the last thing you want when you’re on holiday! However suncreams are evolving from their thick, white, pore clogging past and there are now many ranges that offer lightweight non-comedogenic suncreams which will leave your skin feeling fab. One of my favourites is La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60, which contains perlite silica to absorb oil throughout the day, keeping your skin fresh and matte; it also works brilliantly under foundation. In addition it is also important to use a good cleanser to remove all sunscreen residue every night regardless of whether they’re are non-comedogenic or not.

 

Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise. 

You can’t undo damage, but you can assist your skins repairing process by stepping up your after sun care. Being in the sun can dehydrate you, but products that contain Aloe Vera are perfect to help rehydrate your skin after sun exposure, and soothe any sun burn that may have occurred. It’s important to reapply products up to three times a day because not only does this help your skin retain its integrity and moisture, but also helps prevent the dreaded skin peeling. After-sun should be an essential part essential part of your sun care routine as it delivers antioxidants which help combat free radicals that are caused from UV exposure, and will also help your tan to last longer. Malibu ultra hydration lotion is a moisturiser as well as an after-sun lotion so it’s well worth purchasing to keep your skin looking as good as ever after you’ve been in the sun!

Just because you want to be a bronzed goddess does not mean you should permanent damage your skin in the process. Sun exposure causes premature aging and many well known celebrities, such as Madonna, will not leave the house without slapping on the SPF. The best way to stop photoaging is prevention, and the best anti-aging cream is SPF moisturiser! So if you want to remain youthful, then be proactive with your sun care routine and reach for bottle of Fake Bake instead.

What’s your favourite tips to stay safe in the sun?

Laura