Sunday, 30 September 2012

Organic Cosmetics With a Special Ingredient - Goat's Milk

    Two Saturdays ago I went to the Cooper-Young Festival in mid-town Memphis. There were over 400 vendors that afternoon, selling everything from paintings to jewellry. But of course, all I wanted to see were the cosmetics stands. When my friend Amanda told me that there was a stall selling cosmetics made from goat's milk and other 'good for you' ingredients, I knew I had to investigate. 
     At the Heavenly Essence Skin Care stand, I met Rich Lee, who was manning the stall for his wife Nancy who owns the business.  He showed me some of the products on offer which included soaps, body butters, shower gels, face masks and more. 
     After I'd man-handled just about everything he was selling, I settled on buying 3 soaps, one body butter and one face mask. Yes, that's all.
    I've tried and tested 3 out of the 5 products that I bought, so here's what I think of them;
Olive oil bar on the right, scrub bar to the left

 Olive Oil Facial Soap Bar

I was excited about using this soap, as Rich told me that it was specifically formulated for people that have combination skin, that is prone to spots, like mine. He told me it was dermatologist tested and that he recommends it to his patients. I haven't been using it long enough to tell if it's actually done my skin any favours, but it smells gorgeous and my skin feels so soft afterwards. I've started using this to take my make up off at night instead of using face wipes as my skin feels a lot cleaner and revitalised.

Sparkling Grapefruit and Pomegranate Vegan Sugar Scrub Bar

I was slightly more disappointed with this one. Like the olive oil bar it smells lovely, but I was expecting more of an exfoliant, with it being named a 'sugar scrub bar'. However, I found it to be more like a soap, which is fine but I would have preferred the texture to be a bit rougher in order to rejuvinate my skin.

'Ultimate Facial' Clay Mask

Last but not least, the face mask. At the beginning, I was disappointed with this too. However, after a few tries, I've managed to get the consistency perfect. As it is powdered clay, it's not a pre-made mask that you can just slap on to your face. I had to have a few go's to get the powder to water ratio just right in order to form a paste. Once the paste is on the skin, it immediately feels cooler and tighter, and having left it on for 10-15 minutes, I felt like I'd had botox! When I washed it off I was left with cool, smooth and clean skin. This is definitely my favourite out of the products I've tried so far!

'Ultimate Facial' Clay Mask

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Johnson's Put a Twist on an Old Classic

Don't be put off by the word 'baby' in this product's name, Johnson's baby oil is used by women and their babies alike. In fact, it has forever been a staple product for almost every female I know. If you haven't discovered it yet, buy it now.

I came across this shea and cocoa butter version whilst browsing in Kroger, (American supermarket) of all places. As I've already detailed in previous posts, I've come to the States to study for a semester, thus meaning I had one suitcase, a hell of a lot of clothes and not much room for my beloved cosmetics. When shopping in the few stores that I've been to,  I've been thrilled when I've came across a product, such as Johnson's baby oil,  that I always thought was inherently British. 

After using the sunbeds frequently in England, then being greeted by the stupidly hot temperatures in Memphis, I realised the heat was finally taking its toll on my skin. I noticed it was drier than usual, itchy and just not very healthy at all.

Cue the purchase of this little gem. It's just like the original baby oil, except this version is enriched with shea and cocoa butter, helping to make your skin even smoother. It smells gorgeous, but the smell isn't too overpowering like Palmers Cocoa Butter in my opinion, tends to be. I usually apply the oil directly after a shower before I go to bed, and my skin is still smooth and feels hydrated when I wake up. As you can see from the picture, I've used rather a lot already and I've only had it a few weeks. With this product, a little goes a long way so it's very good value for money.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Wet n Wild - Cheap But Not Trashy

    Despite bringing ten different lipsticks and five different nail polishes (yes I counted) with me in my jam packed case to Memphis, I simply can't resist a good old beauty bargain.

    So, imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the American brand Wet n Wild in Walgreens.
    With prices ranging from a mere $0.99 to a still extremely cheap $6.99, they have a pretty extensive range; eyeshadows, liners, mascaras, lipsticks, glosses, foundations, primers, you name it, they sell it!

    Having to restrain myself from putting one of everything into my basket, I restricted myself to choosing an electric blue varnish and and corally-red lipstick. Even though I have a multitude of coral lipsticks, that is the colour I'm forever drawn to as I know it suits me and is very versatile. I think it can be worn on pale skins and on more olive and dark skin tones.

Swatch of 'Purty Persimmon'

This lipstick is fantastic, it glides on really easily, isn't too matte nor too moisturising which is a God send when it comes to finding a perfect lipstick, as most of the time I find that the cheap drugstore ones either completely dry my lips out, or it slides off them within 2 minutes. This Wet n Wild lipstick is the perfect combination. The colour is gorgeous and summery and one application lasted for a good few hours, including after eating and drinking.
'Saved by the blue'

     I chose to buy a nail polish as I absolutely love finding and trying out the new colour trends for nails.

     Electric blue has been 'in this season' but I actually hadn't got round to purchasing one in England. 

    The thing I love about coloured polishes is that anybody any shape, size, skin colour can wear any colour on their nails, which is why I love chopping and changing my nail colours constantly to co-ordinate with my clothes and make-up, even to tailor to my mood that day. 

    Despite loving the lipstick, I wasn't so impressed with the nail polish.The colour is beautiful, very bright and eye-catching but it chipped within an hour of application. Not what you want from a nail polish at all! Granted I only applied one coat, but it was very flakey and I could tell that it wasn't the most expensive product I'd ever bought. 

     Altogether, I'd highly reccommend the lipstick, it has the perfect consistency and long-lasting colour. The nail polish range is great for bright, bold colours if you want an 'on-trend' look, but not so good for durability.  

    The brand has many different colours to chose from and I think everything is such good value for money, making shopping trips all that more exciting when you're a little bit poor like me!

Me sporting Wet n Wild 'Purty Persimmon' lipstick

Monday, 10 September 2012

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion

As I prepared to pack my whole life into one average sized suitcase for my big move across the pond to study in Memphis, Tennessee, I encountered some problems any self-confessed beauty product junkie would despise. These being, WHICH cosmetics, makeup, hair & body products do I take with me? Will I be able to purchase my favourite items over there? Yes, I should have been more worried about starting my classes, getting along with my professors and making new friends, yet there I was a few hours before my flight was due to leave attempting to squeeze one more eyeshadow palette into the side of my case. As anticipated, I arrived at the check in with 'overweight baggage' and had to go through the horrible process of removing items from my suitcase for my parents to take back home. "You won't need all of this fake tan Zoe", my Dad said, "You're going to be in the 30 degree sunshine!" So, I let him take my THREE bottles of self tan home, albeit reluctantly (I am a bit of a 'tanorexic'), and set off to the States fake tan free. What I did not know was, Memphis is hot. Too hot. No sunbathing can be done here as the air is so thick and humid that it's suffocating. So, my third week here and off I go to Walgreens pharmacy in the search for my beloved fake tan. After prowling the aisles, incredously I find there is only one tanner in the whole store. This is the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze lotion. I couldn't belive the price; only $9.95. In the past I have paid upto £30 for tanners. I've seen the advertisement for this and so I thought, maybe this will make me look like Eva Longoria . Wishful thinking? This one is 150ml and is actually really great. It's subtle enough to wear on the face, and it can be built up to give a lovely bronze glow. I've compiled a list of pro's and con's about this product, so here they are;
  • Looks natural, no streaky orange bits.
  • VERY cheap.
  • Good size.
  • Has an instant bronze tint so you can see where to apply.
  • Dries very quickly.
  • Has a slight shimmer which when in certain lights can make you look like a glitter ball. (Not a good look).
  •  Can become quite patchy on the skin if it isn't being applied daily. 
  • Comes out of the tube in little bits which can make the process more time consuming.

All in all, I would give this product an 8/10. It's cheap and cheerful, has a nice natural tint and isn't too over the top. I haven't came across any self tanners that work this well for being so well-priced...not yet anyway!