Archive for the ‘In Praise Of…’ Category
By now you will have got sucked into the hype of Bourjois’s four new cream blushers – a first for the Parisian beauty brand. Is it worth the fuss? Hell, yes!
The pretty little round pot powder blusher epitomises everything that is Bourjois, and these cream blushers are rightfully something to get excited about. It’s amazing to believe Bourjois is celebrating it’s 150th anniversary this year.
Creamy in texture, they set to a soft, velvet finish and are packaged in Bourjois’s unique rounded pots. I also love the fact they are lightweight, sleek and easy to slip into a little make-up bag for on the go, which is why I took one for my travels.
My favourite is the darkest shade of the range, 04 – Sweet Cherry as it suits my skin tone beautifully. Number 3 Healthy Glow is another gorgeous one. I don’t pack on too much, just enough to give a soft and subtle flush to the cheeks as you can see.
The cream blushers cost slightly more than their powder version at £7.49 but the quality and results speak for themselves. I know Superdrug has a 3 for 2 offer on at the moment so this is a golden chance to reap the benefits of these blushers.
By the way, here’s a snap of Leanne of Do Not Refreeze and myself sunning ourselves on the French Riviera in celebration of Bourjois’s new launch. (This may or may not be a photo backdrop behind us as we shiver the cold, English weather.)
I’m all packed, checked in and ready for Marrakech and while I intend to indulge in a much needed hammam over there, I do want to make sure I’m moderately prepped for maximum sun exposure for a healthy looking tan.
Timing couldn’t have been more perfect when I was sent SAI-SEI’s Mineral Invigorate Body Scrub to buff away dead skin ahead of my holiday. I’m only picky about one thing when it comes to scrubs and that is anything that leaves an oily or sticky residue after is not one I would return to using. Thankfully this isn’t the case with this offering from SAI-SEI. It’s not perfumed but it’s packed with water bamboo and sasa veitchii extracts for a gentle yet effective scrub, and it really is a lovely one to use.
A little on the indulgence side with its price tag so approach if you’re a serious spa queen. Exclusive to Space NK, SAI-SEI’s Mineral Invigorate Body Scrub costs £28 for 200ml.
La Collection De Grasse is the name of L’Occitane’s luxurious set of new fragrances. It’s the fruits of their new in-house perfumer, Karine Dubreuil who is no strange to L’Occitane having worked on fragrances for them previously.
Dubreuil has a portfolio to be proud of with the likes of Thierry Mugler’s Womanity, L’Artisan’s Mûre et Musc Extreme and L’Eau D’Ambre, Gucci’s Envy Me and for Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria range, Pivione Magnifica and Grosellina under her belt.
And Grasse? Well it’s the town where Dubreuil grew up in, and it is also considered the world’s capital of perfume.
There are four choice scents housed in elegant bottles and distinguishable by the spring colours yellow, orange, purple and green. Let’s take a closer look at them, shall we?
Jasmin & Bergamote has top notes of mandarin orange and bergamot; a heart of jasmine and lemon leaves; and base notes of sandalwood and cedar. It is a very fresh and citrusy scent, and would be perfect to spritz on during the daytime.
Magnolia & Mûre features notes of bergamot, blackberry, magnolia, rose, patchouli and moss. Quite a sensual and sophisticated scent, I would say.
Vanille & Narcisse features notes of blackcurrant and bergamot in the top; heart of narcissus and gardenia; the base includes vanilla and tonka bean.
Finally Thé Vert & Bigarade is a unisex fragrance, containing notes of orange, bitter orange, green tea, yerba mate, cedar, thyme and musk. It’s the lightest fragrance out of the four.
I couldn’t tear myself away from Jasmin & Bergamote and Magnolia & Mûre because I adore jasmine and roses, but after much deliberation, I settled for the latter as I have a strong fondness for rose scents like Ghost, Stella and Christian Dior’s Oud Ispahan. Also it struck me as a fragrance I could actually get away with wearing all year round.
These fragrances are available as 75ml Eau de Toilette, 175ml Body Milk, 175ml Shower Gel, 125g Perfumed Soap and as gift sets too. I was given the collection in miniature sized bottles, which is a great way to try them all for £28 and handy for travelling too. Find them at L’Occitane concession counters, L’Occitane’s shops or online.
There’s a new cosmetics name on the scene and it’s for brown-faced girls like me. EX1 Cosmetics is the first ever mass market make-up brand in the UK specifically formulated for Asian and exotic skin tones.
The brain behind it is British Asian Farah Naz who came up with the concept to create a line of cosmetics suited for skin tones like hers after becoming fed up of the limited choice on the high street.
I know exactly how that feels. When I first started exploring make-up in my late teens, my first stop was my local Boots store where I was met with a very restricted selection. Clueless and pocketless too, I settled for an apparent match which I later discovered had pink tones and was completely wrong for my yellow/golden undertone. Well, how was I to know?!
To get the right match, I had to move up to the high-end spectrum and pay about 4 times the price. Ah, I remember the day clearly…it was the MAC counter in Selfridges… Ever since I’ve always purchased high-end foundations because as the girl at MAC pointed out, there are only about 5 shades on a high street brand and about 30 with the likes of MAC.
With a background as a biochemist, Farah’s philosophy was simple: to design the highest quality collection of products for exotic-skinned women, using only the best in cosmetic technology and to keep it affordable.
Two years in the making, the results are five foundations, five mineral powder foundations, three powders, three concealers and four blushers formulated to mimic the natural yellow/golden pigments found in Asian skins. By ‘Asian’, I mean Pakistani, Indian, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern skin tones.
I was sent EX1’s ‘Invisiwear’ Liquid Foundations in two shades: F200 and F300. The latter is slap bang in the middle and in fact a pretty accurate match for me, whereas F200 is too light.
The style of packaging is generically identical to some other foundations I’ve used (plastic bottle with a pump). It doesn’t look or feel expensive but for what it costs, I think it serves its purpose more than adequately.
It is priced at the very favourable £10.50 and is a lightweight and luminous liquid base with light diffusers to cover imperfections and provide a natural, soft finish. It’s been clinically and dermatologically tested, and is 100% oil and fragrance-free and non-pore clogging.
The formula is quite thick but very easy to work with. I have been wearing it every day to work and the coverage is remarkable; I’d say it’s medium but easy to build up to full. I have to say one thing though – when I used it over Illamasqua’s Hydra Veil, I noticed a profound difference in the foundation’s appearance. The use of Hydra Veil really enhanced it, giving a far superior finish. Compared to its competitors, EX1 Cosmetics is in a league of its own because I’ve not found any other high-street brand that has made a foundation with these results:
And that was taken with a flash… OK so I’ve got a full face of make-up but without a decent base, your face will look a mess – no matter what fancy products you’ve used.
My one concern is the limited number of shades. With only five currently available, I do wonder those who fall in-between or outside this spectrum will feel left out. By no means is it an easy task to do what Farah has accomplished, and it is positive to see things are moving in the right direction with (here’s hoping) the scope to expand for a skin group that is no longer considered a minority.
For more information, visit their official website EX1 Cosmetics.