Saturday, 26 May 2018

Cover FX: Natural Finish Foundation

30ml | £36 from here 

When you think of natural beauty, mainstream brands don't often come to mind. However, Cover FX is free from mineral oil, fragrance, gluten, parabens, and talc making it great for those seeking cosmetics which don't just look good but are good for the skin.

The Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation is as the name states, oil free. This water-based liquid foundation has buildable coverage and leaves a soft, luminous finish which I adore. I'm all about that dew so I love a bit of shine which is why I also skip setting my foundation with powder. However, I have noticed that powder products like bronzer and blush don't cling or skip when applied on top of this foundation - they glide on beautifully.

This foundation is recommended for those with normal, dry and/or sensitive skin so if you have oily skin, stay away as I don't think that you will like this very much. Even though it's oil-free, it adds moisture and nourishment to the skin which may make you look a little on the greasy side. Plus, the radiant finish will have you running for the hills. I know you girls like it super matte.


How I apply the foundation
In terms of application, I give the tube a good shake and dot the product all over my face directly from the tube. I first blend out the product with my fingers and then use a damp beauty sponge (normally the Flawless Blender from My Kit Co). Thin layers are always better than piling a load on as it makes it easier to blend. Also, I find that thin layers give the foundation time to warm up and melt into the skin. This makes it easier to apply another layer and achieve a seamless, even finish. One time I accidentally squeezed out too much and I could see the foundation sitting on top of my face. Plus, it felt really tacky to touch which left fingerprint marks. Not pretty. 


Throwing shade
There are currently 40 shades available for the Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation. The shades not only consider the range of skin colour (light, medium, medium deep and deep) but also the undertone (pink, neutral, golden and golden plus). Pink (P) is suited for those with a rosy, cool hue to the skin. Neutral (N) is for those who have equal parts of pink and gold to their skin. Golden (G) is for those with a warm, yellow hue to their skin. Finally, Golden Plus (G+) are for those who are even warmer and more olive than the standard G range.

It is suggested for those who don't know what their undertone is to try out the N range first. If you find that it is too yellow, then you should try the P range however if the shade is too pink on your skin, you should try the G range.

My current shade is G50+ which is perfect for my medium to tan skin as it has a golden undertone which doesn't make me look ashy or muddy. I was using G50 previously and didn't mind it however, in the side-by-side swatch comparison above you can see that G50 leans towards the peachy side whereas G50+ is more yellow which is what I prefer.

As of late...
Recently, I have been mixing a small amount with some moisturizer to create a tinted moisturiser because I've become extremely lazy when getting ready for work in the mornings. I find that although it loses some of its coverage, it feels really light weight on and gives a natural skin-like finish. It's also a lot quicker to blend out and if you're using your hands, you don't have to be very precise.


The good
  • Excellent colour selection
  • Practical packaging 
  • Makes skin appear healthy, fresh and dewy 
  • Buildable coverage - from sheer to full
  • Doesn't emphasise dryness, enlarged pores or fine lines

The bad
  • Can feel a little heavy on the skin due to the thick consistency unless blended out well with a damp sponge
  • Not suitable for those with oily/combination skin
  • Begins to fade after 6-7 hours unless set with powder

Ingredients: Aqua, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Caprylic/Capric, Triglyceride, Isohexadecane, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Erythritol, Dimethicone, Squalane, Tribehenin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Triacontanyl PVP, Ethyl Linoleate, Ethyl Linolenate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethyl Oleate, Magnesium Sulfate, Tocopherol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Stearoyl Stearate, Bisabolol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Lauroyl Lysine, Sorbitol/Sebacic Acid Copolymer Behenate, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Homarine HCl, Tetrapeptide-21, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288)

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Jouer: Powder Highlighter in Skinny Dip

 4.5g | £19 from here

I'm shook. This highlighter is both talc and paraben free. Look at how pretty it is. Just loooooooook.



It's a beautiful rose gold colour which looks pale gold when applied to skin however, has a peachy sheen to it when under light. For the most part, the highlighter gives that "wet" look however, there is some glitter in the product, albeit fine and not chunky at all.

The powder is smooth and finely-milled which means that glides onto the skin like silk. I like to use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to apply the product because I enjoy a blinding highlight when using powders. Subtle is what cream highlighters are for.  

I have a love/hate relationship with the compact. It's sleek and chic to look at however, because the outside is mirrored, it gets grubby really fast. On the inside, there's a large, good quality mirror. PSA: I've heard that because the highlighter is so buttery soft, it easily breaks so please be careful because broken makeup = broken hearts.

I definitely want to try more powder highlighters from Jouer. Citrine and Topaz are calling my name. Practically screaming.

Ingredients: Mica, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Silica, Dimethicone, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Tin Oxide. May Contain / Peut Contenir [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxide (CI 77499)]

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Whamisa: Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich


120ml | £33.90 from here

Whamisa is a Korean skincare brand which excels in using fermented ingredients. When I think of fermented ingredients, I think of foods (because I have a problem, clearly) i.e., kimchi, kefir and kombucha. However, fermentation isn't just exclusive to food as its also a great componant to have in skincare. But what is fermentation? It is the process by which sugars are converted into acids, gases or alcohols by using yeast and/or bacteria. This process helps to break down larger molecules into smaller ones, making them easier to be absorbed by the skin.

It's important to note that fermentation usually creates an acidic environment so when using skincare with fermented ingredients, it is important to wear sunscreen as your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun's effects. But I don't have to tell you that because you're wearing sunscreen every single day regardless, right? Okay, enough of me being a condescending little shit.

Superstar ingredients
  • Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate: helps to reduce pore size, acne and increase skin brightness1
  • Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract: a restorative ingredient which promotes youthfulness by improving skin elasticity and firmness
  • Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate: a natural skin-whitening agent to help reduce dark spots, hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone2
  • Lactobacillus/ Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate: has antibacterial, antifungal, and significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
  • Lactobacillus/Taraxacum Officinale Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate: has anti-ageing properties as it protects the skin from photoaging i.e., UVA and UVB rays3


I am whatever I say I am
Even though this product is marketed as a toner, I treat it more like a serum/essence. The cloudy coloured liquid is a lot more viscous than normal toner, which is usually quite thin and watery. The texture is also light and bouncy which I feel would be wasted applied to a cotton pad to remove traces of makeup. I'll explain how I use this product later on.

The Organic Flowers Toner has, surprise surprise, a floral scent which dissipates quickly after application. The aroma is subtle and naturally sourced so if you're allergic or sensitive to synthetic fragrances, you may not have an issue with this product.

It comes packaged within a frosted glass bottle printed with beautiful pink flowers. There's a small hole at the top of the bottle to dispense the liquid in droplets. I like how this gives you maximum control and also, no product with go to waste as you can use up every last drop.

There are currently 3 types of toners available from Whamisa:

  • Original: suitable for all skin types. 97.95% organic ingredients
  • Refresh: recommended for oily/combination skin. Contains alcohol. 97.96% organic ingredients
  • Deep Rich: recommended for normal/dry skin. 97.4% organic ingredients


7 skin method
Skin loosely translates to toner in Korean. The 7 skin method is a Korean beauty secret which promises hydrated, healthy skin. It's simple. All you have to do is apply your toner or essence in thin layers on your face, 7 times. Simply pat the product into your skin with your hands, pushing and pressing rather than spreading it about.

There are only two requirements for this method. First, select an alcohol and artificial fragrance free toner or else you can end up irritating your skin. Second, ensure that you allow the previous layer to fully absorb into the skin before applying the next layer. That way you don't end up with a ton of product sitting on top of the skin. The Whamisia Flowers Toner in Deep Rich quickly sinks into the skin so it doesn't take much time at all. Remember to lock in all that extra moisture with a good moisturizer or else all your hard work would be for nothing.

This method is great for those with dry and/or dehydrated skin however, everything in moderation. Now that my skin is feeling plump and hydrated throughout the day, I only do the 7 skin methods once a week. Every other day, I apply 1-2 layers of the toner for added goodness.

Ingredients: *Aloe Maculata Leaf Extract, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, *Glycerin, *Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, *Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, *Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, *Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, ***Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, ***Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, ***Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Lithospermum Erythrorhizon Root Extract, *Helichrysum Arenarium Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, *Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract,*Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/ Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, **Fragrance, d-Limonene, Linalol. *Certified Organically Grown **Natural Origin ***Natural Preservative/Bergamot Oil Bergapten Free

References
1http://www.e-ajbc.org/journal/view.php?number=697
2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26786567
3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630464/

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Glossier: Milky Jelly Cleanser

177ml | £15 from here

A good cleanser should melt away daily grime and impurities without leaving your skin stripped of its natural oils. It shouldn't be strongly scented or irritate the eye area. Trust me, it's not worth tearing up every single night for squeaky clean skin. Note, stay away from the January Labs Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel unless you're a bit of a masochist. One word - ouch!

What that bottle do?
Glossier claim that their Jelly Cleanser is the ultimate face wash. Apparently it:

  • is pH-balanced 
  • Dissolves makeup on wet and dry skin
  • Leaves skin feeling healthy and soft
  • Is safe to use around the eye area
  • Is free from parabens, sulfates and animal testing
  • Is vegan, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic 

The packaging immediately gets two thumbs up from me solely because it has a pump. There's nothing worse than fumbling around with bottle caps and squeeze tubes when you have wet hands. The pump dispenses a sufficient amount of product and stops everything from getting messy.

The cleanser itself has a gel-like consistency and is pale pink in colour. It has a delicate floral aroma thanks to the second ingredient being rose water. It smells like actual flowers, not perfume-y or sickly, artificiality scented. Rose water contains an abundance of antioxidants which helps to protect the skin from premature anti ageing1



Application and results
Glossier say that you can use the cleanser dry and wet. I prefer the latter as I find it difficult to spread the product across my dry face without tugging and dragging my skin. So what I do is use the Jelly Cleanser as a second cleanse. I first remove my makeup and sunscreen with some sweet almond oil. I leave it on for about 5 minutes so that it breaks apart all of the product and then rinse off with a pump of cleanser. I then go in with another pump to ensure my face is thoroughly clean. If I've been wearing a heavy face of makeup that day I'll go in with an additional pump or two to ensure that my face is thoroughly cleansed.

The gentle formula means that you can use it around your eyes however, I find that it struggles to remove all eye makeup, especially mascara - waterproof or not. I don't mind it too much since I like to use a cotton bud dipped in some castor to remove leftover mascara and eyeliner. I hear that castor oil is great for growing hair - who doesn't want thick, luscious lashes and brows? Fingers crossed.

Would I re-purchase?
Yup. It satisfies my skin's needs. It cleans sufficiently without leaving my skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. Practical packaging, smells good and doesn't sting my eyes. It's a decent all round cleanser for those who wear light to medium makeup on an everyday basis (or nothing at all)! For those who prefer the daily glam, I would opt for something a little more heavy duty.  

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Propanediol, Isohexadecane, Poloxamer 184, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Xylitylglucoside, Betaine, Allantoin, Glycerin, Panthenol, Symphytum Officinale Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Anhydroxylitol, Polysorbate 80, Xylitol, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Isopropyl Myristate, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide

References
1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586833/

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Dr. Dennis Gross: Dark Spot Sun Defense

 50ml | £38 from here

Guys, sunscreen is soo important. Do not neglect this step in your skincare routine. Since the start of the year, I have been trying to diligently apply sunscreen every morning with hopes to reduce the appearance of sun spots and hyperpigmentation on my face and to prevent further formation. I really do wish that I had started sooner but as they say, better late than never.

I have been reaching for the Dark Spot Sun Defense by Dr Dennis Gross, a mineral-based sunscreen which provides broad-spectrum protection with SPF 50. There are two types of UV lights that are harmful for your skin - UVA (can prematurely age the skin) and UVB (can burn the skin). Too much exposure to either types of rays can lead to skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both.

This particular sunscreen also aims to prevent hyperpigmentation with its combination of vitamin C, unique melatonin complex, vitamin E and nourishing ceramides.  


Key Ingredients
Ascorbyl Glucoside: a water-soluble derivative of vitamin C. It's not as potent as other forms of vitamin C however, still has great antioxidant properties which help to brighten the skin and reduce the signs of ageing.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP): one of the most stable forms of vitamin C. Not only does it provide brightening benefits by suppressing melanin production, but it also has a hydrating effect on the skin making it great for those who have dry/dehydrated skin1.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THD): an oil-soluble form of vitamin C. It was found that THD has a higher rate of penetration compared to other forms of vitamin C, even when the concentration levels of other derivatives were 25 times higher2.

Melatonin: did you know that the skin contains melatonin receptors? That's right, this hormone doesn't just play a role in getting a good night's sleep. Melatonin has been found to be a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin against UV radiation and other environmental damages3.

Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA): a potent antioxidant which has been reported to demonstrate anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory effects4. As it prevents the oxidation of oil, it may be beneficial to those with oily skin.

Phospholipids: are comprised of of fatty acids which make them powerful humectants. This means that they are able to protect the dermal layer of the skin from external stressors including wind, sun and harsh chemicals by locking in moisture.

Sphingolipids: has the ability to suppress the development of bacteria and fungi which can be beneficial for those experiencing skin conditions such as acne or eczema.

Tripeptide-38: penetrates deep in to the dermis to help boost the production of collagen. It also supports the body's regeneration process, leaving skin firmer, more supple and radiant.

Summary

Pros
  • Broad spectrum, high SPF
  • Clever formulation - anti-ageing, antioxidants, brightening, moisturising 
  • Lightweight texture - similar consistency to lotion
  • Easy to apply and blend out
  • Doesn't leave a film or a visible white/grey cast
  • Doesn't pill under makeup
Cons
  • Takes several minutes to absorb fully
  • Contains BHT which is a controversial ingredient
  • May not be suitable for those easily irritated by citrus oils

Sunscreen is the last step of your skincare routine and the first step of your makeup routine
 
Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%) Zinc Oxide (4.42%), Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Coconut Alkanes, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Melatonin, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phospholipids, Sphingolipids, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Glycolic Acid, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Oleanolic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Bis-Ethylhexyl Hydroxydimethoxy Benzylmalonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, BHT, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sodium Hydroxide, Isohexadecane, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Propanediol, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Tromethamine, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil

References
1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4587894/#B37
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583885/
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3596923/