Review - Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap & Cleansing Lotion

This is the first time I've tried anything from the Mario Badescu skin care range and I would have never known about them if I hadn't recieved these samples along with a large purchase from Beauty Bay. I've been trying it for two weeks now and I think it's time to share a review on the Cleansing Soap and the Cleansing Lotion.

I have a very simple skin care regime- I like to use a gentle daily exfoliater followed by a moisturiser. Its always worked for my skin and I rarely get attacked by blemishes. However, my skin is combination/ dry - something which only gets solved when I have my moisturiser on, so I'm always on the lookout for a treatment for the tightness and occasional dry patches. I use moisturising face masks, exfoliaters, cleansers and toners on a weekly basis, in a hope for the correct treatment but I've never found something that really works for me. I was away for a week in wet, windy Devon so it was perfect for me to take these travel sized bottles and give them a test run! 

Seaweed Cleansing Soap (£11.95 236ml) 
This mild anti-inflammatory cleanser gently exfoliates, removes makeup, dirt without interfering with your skin's natural moisture balance. It soothes the skin with seaweed extract nutritions and minerals while gently buffing the skin with seaweed flakes. It might not be for everyone but I quite enjoy the refreshing seaweed smell. It contains no soap but however, it contains bladderwrack extract which is most know for its medical use for inflamed joints. It claims to be suitable for all skin types but targeted more for dry skin.

So I've been using this creamy cleanser twice a day, massaging it in circular motions on wet skin then washing away with lukewarm water. It removes makeup but I still felt the need for a makeup wipe before cleansing. On the third day, I got one small spot on my cheek but other that than, I didn't experience any negative reactions, nor any extreme positive changes. However, after two weeks of daily use, my skin feels less dry than usual and I can sense minimal tightness before I moisturise. 

Seaweed Cleansing Lotion (£12.95 236ml)
This mild, non-alcoholic cleansing lotion is a non drying toner that cleans, soothes and disinfects dry and sensitive skin with seaweed and aloe vera gel while the Witch Hazel extract removes dirt that clogs up pores. Once again, the seaweed smell is present in this watery liquid.

Ive been applying this toner, after cleansing, using a cotton pad in outward circular motion on my cheeks, forehead and chin. My pores were instantly minimised which could be due to the clear out of dirt and sebum. My skin also felt refreshed but I think that's phychological as I see the 'dirt' on the cotton pad! However, my skin wasnt inflamed which is a huge plus for me and I was very glad to find out that it's suitable for combination and sensitive skin. 


Review - Lush Benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer

Benefit - They're Real! Tinted Lash Primer (Mink Brown) £18.50
Benefit have cheekily let all readers of December's ELLE UK try their latest product They're Real! Tinted Lash Primer (mink brown) nine whole weeks before the rest of the world! The mascara from the They're Real! family is already a bestseller so expectations are high.This decent sized sample comes in a 3g tube. Although the tube design is not a miniature replica of the real product, the brush and the bristles are of the exact match. There is nothing more annoying than trying on mascaras without the brush its designed to be used with!I was a little hesitant about trying this product as I already have a mascara that works for my lashes and I don't need anything more to enhance them BUT as I am a beauty junkie, I had to see what the hype was about! Do we need another primer? Do our eyelashes really need a primer? Isn't my mascara enough?So, scroll down to see photos of the application process and I'll also let you know my final verdict at the end.Here are my eyelashes- sparse, thin and short. At the moment I use Bourjois Volume Clubbing Ultra Black Which gives me the much needed volume and I only ever use this mascara as its the only one that really holds the curl. I'm hoping the tinted lash primer will give me more volume and help make the mascara application smoother.As always, I curled my top lashes to start off with. Nothing too dramatic, just clamped at the bottom and the middle of the lash to create a curl.So I applied the They're Real! Tinted Lash Primer to my top lashes to begin with. The brush is flexible and the bristles really help separate the lashes which is great and the Pro Vitamin B5 enriched primer sets a great base for the mascara. As you can see, the mink brown tint can be worn alone as it does give the lashes some definition for a natural look (plus its water resistant!) but for me, the formula is too thin to be worn alone and it doesn't seem buildable on its own. On top of the tinted lash primer, I've applied one coat of my chosen mascara, which is the Bourjois Volume Clubbing Ultra Black and to be really honest with you, I do see a subtle difference. My lashes look very similar to when I've applied no lash primer but two coats of mascara. I can see that the primer has provided a slight oomph of volume but nothing more.So I applied the tinted lash primer to my bottom lashes too and straight away I notice that it's quite difficult to use the brush on the lower lashes. The tip of the brush if slightly larger so that doesn't help get into the corners. However, the primer really separated my lashes and added a slight noticeable amount of volume.Lastly, I applied a coat of mascara to the bottom lashes and once again, there isn't any dramatic changes. It looks like I've applied two coats of mascaras, which is great I suppose, as I am using less mascara. However, once my eyelashes were dry, I applied more primer to the tips of my top lashes to see if I could build up the volume and it worked a little. I applied more mascara to the tips only , where I added more primer, and I could see added length and slight volume build up.
Although I wasn't too impressed (as I hoped I would be), one of my work colleague did pay me a compliment on my eyelashes. She said they were more noticeable than most other days! That made me very happy as I love a good lash day! As you can see in the photo, my eyelashes are curled up high and believe me when I say that they stayed up ALL day long!
Overall, I am not too excited about this tinted primer after testing it -purely because I feel as though I can achieve the same results with just my mascara. It's a little commodity which I personally don't feel the need to use. However, after a few uses, like any other primers, I can imagine wanting to invest in another tube for the occasional special days. I was convinced I didn't need a primer before but now I use it every morning before my foundation.. so you never know!

It's definitely something I'd recommend a friend to try because this lash primer subtely enhances, volumises, lengthens. Seems to be buildable too so if you are interested in experimenting, grab your little sample before everyone else or wait patiently till the release on the 26th December 2015. 


Review - Giorgio Armani ARMANI EAU DE CÈDRE

I will be working at Harrods this month for the launch of a new men's fragrance Eau de Cèdre and I am excited about telling you all about this exclusive new fragrance. It is the newest edition to the Armani La Collection Pour Homme- "A wardrobe of couture fragrances inspired by Giorgio Armani's wardrobe of couture jackets." and believe me, this fragrance will transport you to the mountains of Italy!

Eau pour Homme - the first fragrance launched by Mr Armani in 1984 was inspired by the symbol of Italian elegance. After 19 years Mr Armani released his second fragrance Eau de Nuit in 2013 inspired by the scent of a man in a black tuxedo, followed by Eau d'Arômes in the next year representing the de-constructed tweed jacket. This year is the launch of a spicy woody fragrance, a luxurious addition to the family of 'A wardrobe of couture fragrances", represented by the glamorous elegance of a Giorgio Armani velvet green jacket. 

Eau de Cèdre represents the intrigue of the green, forest fresh, aromatic scent of the Italian mountains.

Fragrance of Cedarwood

Well presented in a sublime green bottle, Eau de Cèdre is inspired by the green, pine, earthiness of a Calabrian Forest. Personally, I adore the warm spicy but refreshing aroma of this fragrance and it develops luxuriously on skin throughout the day. Initially the top notes of rich Calabrian Bergamot and the fresh Citrus represents the crisp Italian mornings, while the intensely green aroma of Violet Leaves represents freshly cut grass. The heart notes include a warm cocktail of spices; the pungent scent of Cumin, herbal Sage and rich, spicy Black Cardamom. The base note is a combination of the aromatic, full bodied and refreshing Black Tea, a masculine Suede accord and finally Cedar; a mysterious and powerful essential oil... Ever green native to the mountains of the Mediterranean region.

The perfect new perfume for men who challenge convention appreciating the very best in life

Although it's a men's fragrance, I would happily douse myself with this! Unlike many men fragrances that are pungently masculine, the earthy notes in Eau de Cèdre makes it suitable for a woman too. Maybe not all women- but it's a definite yes from me! From experience, this fragrance lingers on the skin for up to 6 hours.

Celebrating 40 years of Giorgio Armani, Eau de Cedre ( 50ml and 100ml ) will be launched exclusively at Harrods on the 17th August 2015.


2015 Test 1 : Kendel @ Hive Management

Since graduating last summer, I've been busy trying to build a career in the world of fashion PR but since things didn't go as planned, I've returned back to doing things that I love doing- MAKE UP!

So this is my first ever test this year (normally I would be on test number 6842 by this time of the year) and who better to shoot with than the people who I worked with through out my years in university- Scarlett Giannotti on styling / creative directing and Sophie Lobban on camera! We set base at Scarlett's work place ASOS HQ and we all had the pleasure of meeting a gorgeous Kiwi model Kendel from The Hive Management. Under Scarlett's instruction, we had metallic golds and metallic greens to play with around the face and Sophie made sure the colours were captured the right way (as always!) on her digi and film cameras. We also had some extra help from my bessie Jack who took all the photos below :)

It's good to be back shooting again!


Review - Lush Popcorn lip scrub

I've been using the popcorn flavoured lip scrub from Lush for over a month now and I thought it might be a good idea to write a little review. 

Its simply a gentle exfoliator for your lips but as its a LUSH lip scrub, you get more than just a pot of sugar. You can choose from a small range of flavours but this flavour in particular could be a hit and miss for some. Nonthless, the packaging is minimal, as always with all Lush products and the glass pot is compact enough to fit snug in your makeup bag- which is great for us all as you can scrub away whilst you're on the move.

I've  previously used the bubblegum flavoured lip scrub from their range- which seems to be a favourite amongst most but the same cannot be said about this flavour. The buttery caramel flavouring tastes of a strong salt / sweet popcorn which seems to confuse most people. I personally love the smell and the taste (its always tempting to lick the remains on the lips!) but it might be worth testing it out at the store before purchasing.

"Hand made with fresh ingredients" this lip scrub is basically sugar and sea salt- with added extra virgin coconut oils and organic jojoba oils that helps moisturise, buff and prime the lips. All ingredients are natural except for the "safe synthetic" flavouring.

When my lips are dehydrated, I use it after my face wash, just before moisturising. I dampen the area with warm water, apply a pinch of lip scrub to gently exfoliate my skin and then i wash away the excess. Then, I always apply a coat of lip balm to keep the lips hydrated. 

If your lips are chapped, I would advise using a clean toothbrush to gently brush away chapped skin (dampen lips before) before applying the lip scrub. 

Some may get really addicted to this lip scrub due to the taste and its tempting to scrub away all day long but I would personally refrain from using it constantly. Its also a good idea to gently exfoliate the delicate lip area.

Overall, its a great little pot of sweetness heaven that you can pop in your bag so you never have to walk around with the horrible feeling of dry lips! Great as a little present for teenagers, or even mums! 

You get 25g for the price of £5.50 and I promise you, as long as you dont eat it, it'll last you a good few months.