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! * LolaStar Hearts | UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog * !

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Faves: Mattifiers

favourites murad monu good things paul & joe prreti best mattifiers mattifying lotion creams gels SPF

This week’s Friday Faves post is all about my favourite mattifying products. My skin isn’t oily – my skin is an oil slick! Some days it’s so bad that you can see little beads of sebum on my nose and the shine - oh, the shine! Unfortunately I still haven’t managed to find a holy grail product that keeps the oil and shine at bay, but this lovely lot make sure it’s not so bad.

  LOTIONS & POTIONS                                                                                                             

favourites murad monu good things paul & joe prreti best mattifiers mattifying lotion creams gels SPF
  MURAD T-ZONE PORE REFINING GEL*                                                                                                              
I’ve been meaning to review this for quite some time, but I absolutely love this stuff. I apply it underneath my moisturiser and it helps hold the shine off for a few hours. Unfortunately I’ve found that the longer I’ve used it the less effective it has become. However it makes an excellent base for my moisturiser and also my makeup. A tad on the pricey side at £45 though.

favourites murad monu good things paul & joe prreti best mattifiers mattifying lotion creams gels SPF
  MONU PURE CONTROL MATTIFYING LOTION                                                                                                 
Great lotion, great size. I don’t have anything bad to say about this product. It feels slightly powdery when you apply it and makes my skin feel a little tacky so it’s the perfect base for applying makeup. Again, it doesn’t stop the oil slick but prolongs a matte finish. At £14 it’s very affordable and will last absolutely ages.

favourites murad monu good things paul & joe prreti best mattifiers mattifying lotion creams gels SPF
  MURAD OIL-CONTROL MATTIFIER SPF15*                                                                                                        
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t usually tend to use SPF daily, I know, I know, no lectures please. I do however use it when I’ve had an abrasive treatment the day/night before to protect my skin from the sun. The awful thing about SPF lotions is that they can be quite heavy, so it’s difficult to find moisturisers containing SPF that don’t make my face look like a deep-fat fryer. It’s not what I’d reach for daily, but perfect for me after microdermabrasion or a glycolic peel. Quite pricey at around the £33 mark but great if you use SPF.

favourites murad monu good things paul & joe prreti best mattifiers mattifying lotion creams gels SPF
  GOOD THINGS MIRACLE MATTIFIER MOISTURISER                                                                                    
This smells gorgeous! Subtle blackcurrant without being overpowering or sickly. It’s not the best mattifyer, but it’s a lovely light moisturiser so doesn’t send my skin into oil production overdrive. It’s the cheapest lotion of all of them though, coming in at an insanely affordable £8 for a massive 100ml tube.

  BLOTTING PAPERS                                                                                                                 

favourites murad monu good things paul & joe prreti best mattifiers mattifying lotion creams gels SPF

When my mattifiers can’t hold off the shine I use blotting papers to dab away the excess shine.

  PAUL & JOE BLOTTING PAPER                                                                                                                              
These papers aren’t the best blotting papers, I tend to use them every couple of hours but not if my face is really shiny. They don’t really pick up much oil so they’re better for minor touch ups. The papers are very papery (go figure, haha) – by this I mean not entirely absorbent. I’d say they’re slightly overpriced at £10.50, but the compact packaging is just too cute.

favourites murad monu good things paul & joe prreti best mattifiers mattifying lotion creams gels SPF
  PRRETI OIL CONTROL FILM*                                                                                                                                
These babies are the daddy of blotting papers. I reviewed them here and they’re still my favourites. They’re not papers, they’re more like plastic sheets that absorb all of the excess oil on my face. The packaging has nothing on the Paul & Joe compact, but the sheets are fantastic. And at $5.99 they're as cheap as chips.

So those are my Friday Faves – have you tried any of these products? 
What do you use to keep the shine and excess oil away?

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Glossybox - July

Ever since I got my years’ sub to Glossybox (a steal at just £50!) my boxes have been awful (perhaps not a steal?!). You may have noticed a distinct lack in monthly beauty box posts (aside from the LIB themed boxes), and that’s because they’ve been rubbish. In fact, the contents of the last few boxes have all been given to friends/family.

So yesterday when the Hermes guy delivered my box, I wasn’t feeling that excited. Okay, I was a little. But only because it feels like ages since I got the last one.

So. In the box:
HD Brows Eye & Brow Palette – full size worth £19.95
Clynol Colour Enrich Shampoo – 50ml worth £1.55
MONU Golden Glow – 30ml worth £3.45
Jelly Pong Pong Irish Cream Pavlova Lip Frosting – full size worth £10
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion – 5ml worth £3.20
*BONUS Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference sample set*

HD Brows Eye & Brow Palette
This item probably made this box the ‘best box’. Although now I’ve tried it I really don’t see the hype. I know if I didn’t get it I would have moaned, but now I do have it it’s just a bit meh.

Clynol Colour Enrich Shampoo
My hair isn’t dyed so this didn’t excite me. I tend to use a lot of shampoo so this would only have lasted one wash anyway.

MONU Golden Glow
<rant> Eugh. Don’t. Just don’t. I can’t wait to get my tan on with this … NOT. I stated in my beauty profile that I’m black – if they didn’t know then I wouldn’t be mad. But they do know. Don’t ask if you’re not going to use them! </rant>

T: Heavily swatched. B: Blended.
Jelly Pong Pong Irish Cream Pavlova Lip Frosting
I’ve actually been wanting to try these for a while as I’ve seen a few people on BBS with it. But it smells sickly, like kids’ sweets – i.e. sugar and E-numbers. Not only that but mineral oil? Why would I ever use this on my face when it contains mineral oil? Especially as it’s the first ingredient. And parabens too? No ta.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion
The sample is a bit on the small side so I’m not sure whether I’ll really be able to test this thoroughly. Will be good to try though.

The bonus samples were a nice touch, but one-use samples are of no use to me (I know that sounds so diva-ish, but you never truly know what a product is like after one use).

Worth over £38, this box was pretty decent. But I’m so over the GB hype. I won’t cancel my sub, it was such a deal and honestly speaking I’d feel a bit out of the loop if I wasn’t subbed.

Did you get a box this month?

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Friday, April 27, 2012

April GLOSSYBOX: Natural Earth Day Theme

It feels like an absolute age since the last Glossybox, so I was excited when they finally sent the despatch emails a couple of days ago. 

However, when it comes to Glossybox I’m always pretty harsh on them. They’re a big company, with good links in the beauty industry and lots of subscribers so I expect decent boxes. Unfortunately, Glossybox always seem to disappoint and when I heard that this month’s box was an Earth Day themed box, my expectations weren’t very high at all.

However, Glossybox have surprised me and the box that came today was actually pretty good. I was a bit shocked when it arrived, simply because they ditched the usual purple/pink polka dot mailing box for a normal brown one. I didn’t even realise it was my GB so I went back to bed!

The actual box is biodegradable, and an earthy tan colour along with the tissue, stuffing and sticker, and the ribbon is made out of a beige canvas material. I liked the extra touches.

So, without further ado, in my box was:

Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum 10ml – worth £9.66
Inika Organic Eyeliner in Sapphire full size – worth £11.75
Monu Enriched Body Cream 30ml – worth £3.45
Figs & Rouge Peppermint & Tea Tree Balm full size – worth £3.29
Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Balm 15ml – worth £2.55
Total = £30.70

Caudalie Serum – Full size £29/30ml
I think this was the staple product that came in every box – the size was apparently specially made for GB. I’ve always heard good reviews on Caudalie products but never actually tried any. Looking forward to trying this!
It doesn’t feel full though, which is very disappointing!

Inika Eyeliner – Full size £11.75
It’s blue. And it rubbed off of my hand straight away when I swatched it. Not overly impressed, but I should try it properly before I make up my mind. I like that they’ve put some makeup in the box though!

Monu Body Cream – Full size £23/200ml
I’m a big Monu fan now, after trying their enzyme peel – blogged here – so I’m looking forward to trying this. Smells citrusy with a hint of nutmeg. Mmm!

Figs & Rouge Balm – Full size £3.29/8ml
I already have two of these balms in Sweet Geranium, and I love the fact that they’re multi-use so can be used all over the face and body. Yet another lip product to add to my overflowing collection!

Philip B Straightening balm – Full size £17/178ml
This is probably the product I’m most disappointed with. It has ‘Not for sale’ on the back which makes it look like they give it out as a freebie and not an actual paid sample. I will try it nonetheless and see what it’s like. The full size is only 178ml and retails for £17, so it can’t be awful, right?

So that’s what I got this month. Some people on BBS saw a spoiler of this early this morning and deemed it the ‘worst’ box, but to be honest I’m really happy with it. It’s honestly one of the first boxes that will actually get used in its entirety.
I was lucky enough to be in the ‘first wave’ of boxes, but in my experience the second wave is always best. Looking out for what people receive over the next couple of days!

Did you get a Glossybox this month? What are your thoughts?

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beauty Review: Renu Radiant Skin Peel by Monu Skincare

Project: FACE

This rather attractive picture of me was taken about 4 or 5 years ago and the only makeup I was wearing was lip balm. I had a very basic skincare routine – I didn’t do anything special, I just didn’t use soap on my face – yet my skin looked amazing.

Fast forward to now and my skin is a mess. I’ll admit that this isn’t the worst it has been, but it’s not the best either. Acne scars, blemishes, dark circles and the occasional group of whiteheads have sent my skin into a scary demise so I’m trying my hardest to find products and procedures (non-invasive) that’ll help restore my former skin glory.

SO …

A couple of weeks ago I was intrigued by Latest in Beauty’s Little Beauty Box. For those that don’t know what it is, it’s a mini beauty box where you can pick three different samples every month for just £1.50 P&P.

Upset by the demise of my favourite beauty box, Carmine (RIP, you’ll never be forgotten!) I decided to try some samples.

In my Little Beauty Box was:

Floris Sirena EDP – 2ml vial

Lavera My Age Concentrated Lifting Serum – 4 x 0.5ml sachets

Renu Radiant Skin Peel – 5ml tube

Perfume = Amazing! But the full size is £99 for 100ml, so the sample is the closest I’ll be getting to that! Haha

I’ll probably give the Lavera to my mum, as I’m not that into using anti-ageing products.

But I have used the Renu Radiant Skin Peel, so here’s my review …

What they say:

Powerful fruit enzymes reveal instantly radiant skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores. Papaya Enzymes gently polish away dulling dead skin.

Skin feels rejuvenated and renewed, this product also enables deeper penetration of the ingredients from other products as dead skin cells are removed from the skin's surface.

What I say:

I was really excited to try this product. I love products that are slightly abrasive and strip your dead skin. I heard that this product felt slightly tingly, due to the fruit enzymes breaking down the dead layer.

It smells lovely, quite citrusy and it has a very creamy texture. It felt more like a thick moisturiser than a peel.

After 10 minutes. Lost it's opacity a bit. Didn't have full coverage to start with, but it wasn't so patchy.

The directions are to massage into clean skin and leave for 5-10minutes, then remove with lukewarm water and cotton wool. My skin is far from sensitive so I left it on for about 15minutes before removing it.

When I first removed it there was a bit of an anti-climax. Yeah so my skin was a bit smoother, but nothing to write home about. I skipped my toner, moisturised and went to bed.

But when I woke up my skin looked a bit different. Alas, my old face wasn’t looking back at me but there was no dry, dead skin. I have this pesky, dry patch on my chin that’s always giving me trouble and for the first time in ages it was gone.

Now I’m not hailing this product as a miracle product and I’m sure there are more out there that would yield better results, but this honestly did impress me. Not sure what it'd do for the 'mature skin' it's marketed at, but hey ...

At £32.50 for 100ml it’s not the cheapest product, but I’m sure it’d last quite a while as you’re only supposed to use once or twice a week and my 5ml sample was more than enough for one application.

However, Brand Alley is currently selling this product for £14 (less than half price!) so grab it while you can!

Have you tried any facial peels?

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