Best eye make up remover (according to Stylist) and its much cheaper alternative that’s just as good…

I’d firstly just like to point out that I LOVE Stylist magazine. I must confess that I get very excited leaving work on Tuesday evenings when I can pick it up at Holborn station… So last week I was even more excited because they’d included their “Best Beauty” awards booklet and I just couldn’t wait to get my mitts on the coveted products that the mag I trust claims are the best! Check out the front runners here

Then I saw this:

I was very pleased to see that Clarins picked up the prize for the best eye make up remover – I have known that for years! The oil and water combo is a must for most mascara removal sans panda effect and it smells really nice too. But what I only recently discovered, thanks to my mother no less, is that Nivea’s Daily Essentials Double Effect eye make up remover is just as good AND a fraction of the price at around £3.75 (and often cheaper on sale!)

You’re welcome 😘

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Dry lips?

My lips are so often dry these days! I’m still searching for something to keep my lips hydrated all day long AND add some colour at the same time so I will keep you posted on that journey…  Until then, here’s what I’ve learned about dealing with dry lips:

1. Vaseline only provides short-lived relief and seems to leave my lips even drier! 

2. There’s a good reason that many state Elizabeth Arden Eight-hour Skin Protectant (the one in the tube at about £27, not in the lippy format) as their main go-to product. Yes, it smells a bit odd (herbally but not in the best way) but it really does hydrate the lips – I use it at night and can sometimes still feel it when I wake up in the morning. I find it a bit fiddly for daytime as you have to squeeze it out on to your finger first, but my friend Dina uses it in the day and it makes her lips look nice and shiny, so this gets a massive thumbs up from me. Also great for dry elbows/knees!

3. I stumbled across Dr PawPaw Multipurpose soothing balm in a wonderful beauty box that my friend Kaysheen got me from Look Fantastic to help me start blogging (thanks Kaysh!) and this really does moisturise lips, but does need regular re-application and is also a little fiddly (as above). The good thing is that it comes in various shades – mine is the Tinted Ultimate Red – but don’t be fooled, it’s not bright red at all, just the smallest hint of colour. Around £7 online and looks like Superdrug may be stockists.

4. I’m not usually a fan of No7 products, but their BB Lips is a really lovely lip product which works for moisturising and adding colour. It feels like you’re wearing a lip balm but it looks a little glossy, and the colours are great! I definitely recommend this, £9 from Boots.

I’ll let you know when I find the ultimate lip product that gives a great dose of moisture in the perfect shade with a little gloss-effect, lasts all day and doesn’t transfer onto my wine glass…!

Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lippy

I just bought this lippy in So Marylin, which is a gorgeous deep red and matches well with my olive-y skin tone. Perfect with minimal eye makeup, it actually does what it says on the tin: glides on and makes your lips feel super hydrated and look plumped up with great colour. It leaves a stain on your lips so the staying-power is brilliant – I hate to admit it, but it appears to be better than my all time fave MAC lipsticks… I may have to try some more shades out! Watch this space…

Nars ‘not so’ Audacious Mascara?

I just had to Google Audacious to make sure my understanding was correct… Bold, Daring, Fearless you say? I would say this mascara is none of those things, sadly.

I like to have thick luscious lashes and this absolutely did not deliver. Firstly, it smells a bit like glue, not in a strong way, but not so great either. It’s a bit runny in texture which is never going to help me achieve my thick lash effect and the worst thing about it, in my opinion, is the wand. The bristles are quite long, which makes getting to the root of your lash without stabbing yourself in the eye impossible. Cue tears and panda eyes to sort out before continuing application. It’s difficult to get to your bottom lashes with this wand too, so I ended up using a completely different mascara (le volume de Chanel aka Ye old faithful) to complete my look. Longer lashes? Tick. But they are not thick and plumped out and it took about 100 strokes to get anywhere near acceptable eyelashes. Unless you’re looking for a subtle lift and elongate on your lashes, I’d suggest saving yourself £21 and trying something else.

Charlotte’s Magic Cream

On a very hungover Tuesday (yes, Tuesday… don’t judge me, I didn’t have a good start to the week!) I went on a mini online Charlotte Tilbury splurge, buying myself 4 treats. One of which was the Magic Cream which at £70 is slightly on the pricey side, but is almost worth it for the packaging alone! Almost… The adorable box has 2 sides which pull apart to reveal a folded together box-like structure with facial massage advice & tips on it. Great gift material!

The daily moisturiser itself though claims to ‘transform dull skin’, lift complexion and intensely moisturise your skin, whilst making you look like you’ve had 8 hours sleep even if you haven’t! Is it actually magic?! I must say,  on my first application, it has plumped out some unsightly wrinkles, made my skin feel really soft and has given me a glow minus any greasy residue. My skin actually feels super hydrated, even in the heat and I love how well it has sunk into my skin so I don’t have the shiny T-zone going on. The cream itself feels lightweight and has a very light scent and it contains SPF 15 too. Highly recommended from me! Check it out… http://www.charlottetilbury.com/uk/charlottes-magic-cream.html

Shu Uemura cleansing oil

I attended a talk by Caroline Hirons (http://www.carolinehirons.com) about a year ago at a Stylist event, where it became apparent that (shock horror!) I haven’t been cleansing my face properly!! Apparently, one is supposed to apply a cleansing balm or oil and then wash it off using a hot flannel…. Now, I don’t know about you but I hadn’t seen a flannel since childhood! Anyway, I thought I’d give it a go and I am now hooked on this routine. Try it!

This pic makes it look crap but Shu Uemura’s oil coats your face as you apply it and does lift off make up and dirt, with the help of the flannel. The plush smell reminds me of having a spa treatment, and because you only need a little oil each day, it lasts for ages. It doesn’t remove much of my eye make up though, so I’d recommend this purely for face cleaning and use a separate eye make up remover. I tend to favour the oil-based ones – I’ll update you on those soon as I have probably tried them all!

Lip oil anyone?

On a recent issue of Stylist, there was a double page advert for Clarins Instant Light Oil which I had totally forgotten about… I bought this over 6 months ago as I have quite dry lips and assumed ‘lip oil’ would be lovely and moisturising, but not quite so! It doesn’t last very long, is quite liquid-y but a bit sticky at the same time, and although I chose one of the brightest colours (Raspberry) it barely shows up on my lips! So I must say, I doubt I’ll bother using it again. They seem to get good reviews elsewhere, so maybe it’s just me, but I’m going to be trying YSL’s Volupte Tint in Oil next! I’ll keep you posted…