Sophie's Choice

Category: Wear

Product Review: Lancôme’s Bi-Facil takes the day away. 

I recently started to realise that make up wipes no matter how good they were, were bringing tears to my eyes when removing make up. I wear water proof intense black mascara and I would always wake up with classic case of “Panda eye”, I would then use another make up wipe to get rid of this. I always thought eye make up remover was a bit of a mumsy thing to do, and that I wasn’t at the age where I had to worry about how to look after my skin “properly”. However I am 26 this year and I am actually at that stage now (shit). 

I recently came across a tiny little sample of Lancôme Bi-Facil and gave it a go. The product specification on their website reads… 

Bi-Facil make up remover removes traces of the day, simply and beautifully. With a formula that’s suitable for even sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, Bi-Facil gently removes make up including waterproof mascara. 

Now when I decided to do this I did it properly – no rubbing and a cotton pad for each eye. Now I have to agree with the product specification it absolutely does gently take the make up off, it’s got an almost dry feel to the liquid and isn’t greasy at all. It absorbs into the skin quickly and doesn’t leave the face feeling dry. 

This product has been around since 2000, and is still a popular purchase today. So it has definitely stood the test of time. It’s two tone blue colour layers give the impression it’s going to be heavy duty, but it feels almost like water on the eyes. It doesn’t sting if you get it into your eyes. Bi-Facil took away all my eye make up with two cotton pads, and I woke up with no panda eye HURRAY! 

My only issues with this product are firstly it’s not fragrance free (it doesn’t smell but on the ingredients it contains it) and finally is the price; for a 125ml it was 21.50. I can’t say if it’s worth the price yet but I’ve had it for a month and there’s still half left. There are definitely better all in one products out there, but if you’re feeling rich and sassy it’s a good purchase. 

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I feel like we are all on a constant search for a gloss or lipstick that actually stays put, so that we don’t have to live in fear of the dreaded smudge (or lipstick turning into liner after an hour, does anyone else get this!?) whenever we tuck into a romantic meal or have a […]

My Bleach London hair story

Anyone who knows me, will know that I have always been very experimental with my hair. I have had many hair high and lows. Recently I have been going through some sort of mid-life hair crisis of not knowing how I wanted my hair to be.

I’ve had red hair, pink hair, yellow (not on purpose), black, ginger, blonde (you get it right?).

For about 2 years I have had the same hair colour and cut, so I thought it was time to do something a bit different. Over the past month I have discovered the brand ‘Bleach London’, generally their products are decent and reasonably priced. Whenever I am looking through their products, I always coo over their non-permanent hair dyes (they range from orange to blue), questioning whether I am quirky enough to pull it off. About a week ago I decided to have a quiet word with myself and give it ago. So I purchased;

Bleach London – Total Bleach
Bleach London – White Toner
Bleach London – Violet Skies

and this was the result

Not bad ey? If you are thinking of using any of their non-permanent hair dye, I would really recommend bleaching and toning your hair first, especially if it’s quite dark else the colour just won’t attach to your hair. What I liked about Violet Skies is first that the dye itself if a creamy thick liquid which makes the dye pretty easy to apply and means it doesn’t run. Also, it’s a 150ml bottle priced at £5 and can be used multiple times so touch ups isn’t expensive. It says on the bottle to apply onto wet hair for 15 minutes, as I never listen to any instructions especially those written on a bottle of hair dye, I applied onto dry hair for half an hour. (everything turned out alright in the end)

I have mid length hair and I didn’t use the whole bottle, coverage wasn’t the best, it didn’t like to attach too strongly to my roots, but enough to not look like a botched job. I was pretty happy.

The dye is advertised as a cream that fades with 2-10 washes, which is a bonus for me, as I can change my hair colour again soon. And the fade leads to quite a nice ashy-silvery colour 

 

A skin boost – Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser (The Body Shop)

When it comes to my skin care I have always been simple, no seriously I have always used ‘Simple’ products. I have a strict skin care regime like most girls and the only time I stepped away from it, my face turned into that of a girl approaching puberty.

I can’t really complain about my skin complexion, it isn’t oily or scaly and I have never been spot prone. However I do suffer from very dull pale skin with very prominent heavy duty bags under my eyes that just don’t budge no matter how much sleep I have. Being told on a daily basis “Awwwwh you look tired Hun” was really starting, to well, tire me, so I went off on my mission to seek skin reincarnation.

I have never been one to shop in The Body Shop, but I decided to be all open minded and have a snoop. I was instantly attracted to their Vitamin C range which included the Glow Boosting Moisturiser, and after the sales assistant schmoozed around me and told me it was full of loads of lovely nice antioxidants I handed over £16 (stay with me)

TBS product description;

Say goodbye to grumpy, dull, fatigued looking skin with our Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser. This gel cream moisturiser helps:

  • Boost glow: Skin is clarified, revealing your natural healthy-looking glow

  • Energise: Fresh, lightweight formula fights signs of fatigue, with an invigorating fragrance

  • Hydrate: Infuses skin with juicy moisture

HALLELUJAH, LORD HAVE MERCY, MY SKIN IS ALIVE.

So this moisturiser is the actual shit, like the best I’ve ever had, and here is why

  1. Texture: it’s a lightweight gel that feels so cool and soothing when applied, and it absorbs fairly quickly
  2. Smell: It has this gorgeous citrus and orange smell, but the smell doesn’t linger once applied so it doesn’t feel like too much facial fragrance (cause that can dry the skin)
  3. Non irritating: Caused no breakouts, hurrah!
  4. Long lasting: I haven’t even had to consider buying a new pot yet
  5. Packaging: It’s pretty to look at
  6. Vitamin C: the key ingredient! It’s great at improving skin texture and tone and increases collagen productions.

After using this moisturiser for several months I have definitely noticed a difference, and not in the way that if I stare at my face long enough I just convince myself it’s worked. My skin feels brighter and it has really helped lift those ugly bags from under my eyes. I would absolutely recommend this product to anyone who needs some more sparkle in their skin.

Perfect Preparations – M.A.C PREP + PRIME FIX +

Prepping and priming has become one of the most important parts of the make up world now. It’s all well and good having a decent make up face, but as we’re working longer hours and in more demanding jobs, it’s pretty vital that this makeup actually stays on our face for at least 12 hours. Yes there are all these foundations and lipsticks that claim that last 6000 days, but realistically (and in my experience) it never usually stays lasts longer than 7 hours without looking in the mirror and thinking “I swear I put make up on this morning, wtf has it gone??”.

I’ve always used a primer, but never really considered a finishing spray before. After my very good friend mentioned how good this M.A.C product was I thought OK, lets try it.

M.A.C. describes this product as “a lightweight, mineral rich finishing mist that refreshes the skin and finished make up. Helps create an even surface for a smooth application surface”. Basically it’s advertised as an alcohol free spray that contains nice healthy stuff that can be used pre/post (or both) make up application. I use this product as a finishing spray as I already use a pretty decent illuminating primer. Also what makes this product even more amazing is that it can be used as a “touch up”, so relieves the hassle of touch ups and reapplication.

So the product is;

  • Alcohol free (wahoo)
  • suitable for any skin type
  • contains no irritating ingredients
  • contains antioxidants (ooo)

So does it work?

Oh yeah babeh. It gives a lovely dewy finish to make up, it really helps to keep your shit together (not life unfortunately, just the make up), and it prolongs the make up daily life span. It hasn’t caused me any break-outs and I think that is due to it containing a lot of fancy nice stuff (green and chamomile tea) and it’s packaged nicely (like pretty much all  M.A.C products). I would absolutely recommend this product for anyone, it lasts a decent amount of time as only a few sprays are needed for a glowing dewy finish.

I’m just living for some new foundations – Lancome Teint Idole ULTRA 24 hour foundation

Trying to find a long lasting foundation that doesn’t feel like heavy duty is something of a holy grail in the foundation world. I work in a job that isn’t office based and I spend a lot of the time outside, interacting with the public facing all the wonders of the British weather so a durable foundation has been a mission for me to find. I had recently been using Lancome Teint Miracle, which was a beautiful foundation that really matched my skin complexion but I was still searching for something that just stayed put a bit longer than an unwanted one night stand.

So, I decided to broaden my Lancome horizon and try Lancome Teint Idole ULTRA 24 hour foundation. It advertises to be

  • Full coverage
  • comfortable
  • blendable texture
  • velvet matte
  • lasts 24 hour

My verdict – in short, does what it says on the tin but not fitting for what I want in an everyday foundation

Pricing/packaging/availability

This foundation is reasonably priced at £29.50 for a high end foundation. It’s available at pretty much every single high street store that sells cosmetics, so it is easily available. It comes in nice packaging, contained in a nice, classy frosted glass pump, the project is aesthetically pleasing.

Finish & Coverage

A good factor of this foundation is only one pump is required for full face coverage and it does spread evenly. However the foundation is completely matte, there is no dewiness to this foundation and it does feel like you’re wearing a “face full of make up”. I wouldn’t recommend this foundation if you have dry skin, as it could dull your skin down even more. However this foundation is good if you have a lot of blemishes and an uneven complexion due to it’s thick consistency, it has a strong coverage. For me personally, I prefer my daily foundation to have a skin like finish. This foundation is more suited for parties and special occasions when you can’t be bothered having to touch up and you’re 8 glasses of wine down and you can actually look back and photos and go “Oh wow, my face actually looks alright”. Cause it literally doesn’t budge.

Wear time

This foundation has an excellent wear time, I wouldn’t go as far as it’s 24 hours because, well, who wears foundation for 24 hours (if you do please go wash your face). But it does last a good 12 hours in my job, granted it doesn’t look as good as the first application but it’s still there on your face.

Shade

There are 28 shades for this foundation, which is pretty overwhelming, so it was a challenge finding the best shade to suit my skin complexion, and to be honest the colour I was recommended was still was too dark (my face is so white). I have to admit, the variation of shades wasn’t to complementing of the paler shades, and they all seemed too dark for me.

Overall

My overall thoughts on this foundation is that it is too heavy and thick for an everyday foundation, however it isn’t a bad product as it does exactly what is advertised. It’s long lasting, full coverage and does give you an even skin complexion. It is definitely suited for normal to oily skin, but I wouldn’t use it for dry skin due to it being matte. The only thing that really annoyed me was that it states it isn’t transferable, but it is (you should see the inside of my work hat =/). I’ve had to start mixing my moisturiser into the foundation just to ease the thickness of it. I think i’ll be going back to my Lancome Teint Miracle and continue my search for the durable long lasting foundation.

I’m a ‘Smoooooth Operator’ – Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub by Soap and Glory

When it comes to showering, I’m very simple with the products I use. My shower cabinet only goes as far as shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and face wash. I have fairly sensitive skin which is easily irritated by new and foreign products, so I rarely ever try anything new.

Recently I’ve been having the problem on my legs of small in-growing hairs, especially on the knees and upper thigh. As this is a common frustration for many women, I thought the Net would be able to provide me with some homemade remedies and solutions. Methods ranged from applying egg membrane to the affected area to putting soggy hot milky bread on your legs. Feeling more dirty than actually cleansed I decided to “man up” and head to a popular high street beauty store.

My house mate from Uni always filled our bathroom with fancy lotions and potions and one of those particular brands was Soap and Glory so I felt I had some knowledge on where to look. I found them fairly easily as the dominated the ‘Bath & Shower’ isle confidently with their pink and white 1980’s style labelling. After scanning their endless beauty products my eyes met with ‘Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub’. What majorly attracted me to it was the use of breakfast ingredients such as honey, sugar and oats and of course the delicious smell when I opened the lid (which to be perfectly honest I could of eaten right there and then). However I didn’t let me senses get the better of me and hunted for some reviews of this so called ‘award winning’ product. All the reviews gave the product no less than 4 stars and said how smooth and bump/pimple free their skin was after using the product. I took a chance and spent the high end price of £8, hoping the product would free my life of in-growing hair.

I have to say whilst using the product I was quite impressed! I felt like I was scrubbing my skin with natural ingredients and I could feel the exfoliation already working its magic on my skin. I decided to skip my usual task of in shower moisturising and kept the shaving to underarms only. I also decided to leave out (with difficulty) smothering my body with coco butter after drying off.

The end results left my legs and arms feeling velvety , nearly in-grown hair free (it was said on the internet you have to use  it a couple of times first to see a result of complete exfoliation) and smelling like scrumptious oats and honey (but not sticky like porridge). I would recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a deep exfoliation product with long lasting smooth(ie) skin.  The only down side is the 300ml container is misleading – it looks like a large amount that would last a long time, however the amount of product needed for effective us is a generous hand scoop for one leg.

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