Tuesday, 30 October 2012
As I mentioned before, I've been invited to be part of the Monu Blogger preview panel which means I get to try out some of their products and review them. One of the things I've been trying out for around a month now is the Monu Little Beauty Bag for Dry Skin (£29.95)*. I really enjoy it as a way to try out some of the core products from the brand without shelling out for the full sizes - that way you can make decisions about what works for you and doesn't. I've also found it super handy now that I'm often carting things between my house and my boyfriend's - everything fits in the zip up bag with room for cotton pads.
I got the dry skin bag, but you also get versions for normal skin, oily skin and ageing skin. You also get one full of body products.
So, what do you get for your money? Six sample sized products: the Gentle Cleanser (50ml), Gentle Toner (50ml), Moisture Rich Collagen Cream (30ml), Extra Rich Night Cream (30ml), Micro Exfoliant (30ml) and Hydrating Mask (30ml). You also get a full size Collagen Eye Cream (15ml).
All Monu's products are not tested on animals.
I have tried out all these products and there are some I love and some I am less keen on, so here's my list.
The Gentle Cleanser has lots of natural ingredients like aloe vera and wheat germ oil inside of it. I am always a little wary of 'natural' products because they often contain essential oils that really irritate my skin or flare up redness. This did neither. I followed the directions and used my fingers to apply and a cotton pad to remove. Whilst my skin did feel clean an refreshed after this, I found it difficult to remove with the cotton pad as it had already sunk in a little - perhaps water would be better in this case.
The Gentle Toner is made of essential oils so I was very concerned- but it didn't feel too astringent on me. Some toners really feel like they have stripped my skin - this was less the case here. I looked at the cotton pad after use and was surprised by how much extra dirt it had removed from my face. Toner had not been an essential in my book (if only because I fear scented products like this) but it works!
The Moisture Rich Collagen Cream is what I have been using as my day moisturiser and I like it with one caveat - I really wish people would tone down the rose oils in products for sensitive skin! I'm not a massive fan of rose scents anyway, but heavy rose base products tend to irritate my skin. Whilst this did not irritate my skin, it did not feel as moisturising and hydrating as the night cream or the brightening boost which I reviewed earlier in the week. If you like rose though, this might be for you!
The Extra Rich Night Cream was perhaps my favourite from the bunch - a very hydrating moisturiser of which a little goes a long way. It contains things like Royal Jelly and Vitamin E which I have heard are great for the skin - although it makes it a no-go if you are vegan. I wasn't surprised to see it was scented with jasmine, one of my favourite scents. No wonder I like it. I apply this before bed (with my hair tied back, it's a thick cream!) an massage it into my face and neck. It stays tacky for a while by my dry skin sucks it in and in the morning my skin feels soft and hydrated.
The Micro Exfoliant is designed for occasional use - once or twice a week. I only used it once a week because my skin is sensitive, but I found it great! It had tiny, non-scratchy beads inside that washed off well without leaving an oily layer on my face. After use I felt my skin looked brighter and less dull. This, in combination with other products has really led to a reduction in my forehead dry patch, and my dull, tight skin in general.
The Hydrating Mask is something I cannot find full-size on the Monu website, which is ok by me. It's designed to be left on for 15 minutes then wiped off with a damp cotton pad. I felt the texture of this mask was stiff and difficult to work with, and then I was unsure whether I had removed it all. I did not feel any significant changes to my skin after use - I did not feel particularly hydrated. Any recommendations for hydrating face masks?
The Collagen Eye Cream was another of my favourites - I know 15ml might not seem like much but believe me a little goes a long way. I only use a half-pump of this on both eyes and it is a light, fluid texture that has plumped up my under eye skin and evened it out prior to concealer application. I really like this!
So, overall I've seen an improvement in my skin! My dry skin patches and dullness have really decreased. I like how portable this set is, and the fact that it allows you to try everything out before committing to any one large purchase. Items I'd recommend are the Gentle Cleanser, Gentle Toner, Extra Rich Night Cream, Micro Exfoliant and Collagen Eye Cream. I personally would not repurchase the Moisture Rich Collagen Cream or the Hydrating Mask.
So, have you tried any Monu skincare? Does this kind of kit appeal to you?
Monday, 29 October 2012
I hope you've all had a good week and you're getting excited for Halloween, if you celebrate it. I know I am! Enjoy this week's round-up. And we are pleased this week to introduce Michelle of Affairs Magazine, who will be joining the round-up. Michelle is from Chicago. So excited to have her on board - and if you're interested in joining don't forget to send one of us an email.
Weekly question: Are you being festive this Halloween in your beauty and fashion choices?
Seonaid's answer: Aside from my costume (which I am looking forward to showing you if it works out), I might do a little bit of Halloween style on the day. I will probably do something with my nails for work, like a spiderweb or a skull pattern, and I'm always drawn to wearing black on Halloween anyway. I have a couple of outfits that look a little witchy so I'm sure I'll be dragging them out of my wardrobe.
This week's links:
Affairs Magazine - Michelle is feeling festive with her LUSH Bath!
Beauty & Baggage - falls in love with five eyeliners she scooped up for a bargain!
Fashionable Heart - got one of her dream bags this week!
Massachusetts Mask - has never found a blush she didn't like, but this new one from e.l.f. may have to be the first!
Norwegian Elephant - has finally found the perfect red lipstick!
So, what about you guys? Are you being festive this year for Halloween?
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Another pretty busy week, getting ready for Halloween (if I do anything for it), and compiling my Christmas spreadsheet. Yes, I am that anal retentive. I have a colour scheme each year for wrapping paper as well. Down to the tissue paper filling and added sparkle. Anyway, here's what else I've been enjoying on the net this week:
I loved, loved, loved Ace of Cakes when it was still on. Why in the name of all that is good in the world did that show end? Anyway, that's all to say that anything Duff Goldman does is alright by me, and this news article on the new DIY cake decoration store he's opened up makes me want to hop on a transatlantic flight pretty badly.
If you are still stuck for Halloween ideas, check out Refinery 29's tongue in cheek guide to costumes for those who leave it last minute.
And a funny, nostalgic look at embarrassing costumes of Halloweens past, courtesy of New York Magazine.
|Image from: Nailside|
Have a great week!
Saturday, 27 October 2012
Remember agggges ago when I won that awesome giveaway for a Biba makeup bag, MAC lipstick and this very mascara, Benefit Bad Gal Lash (£16.50)*? Well, that was way back in May, and I still hadn't touched this mascara because I had so many others to review and didn't want to waste it. I finally got around to trying it out this week.
I kind of feel like I don't need to review the packaging - this is a mascara almost everyone recognises - it was one of the products every girl in my highschool had in her handbag. It's nice enough, chunky and easily findable in the mess that is my bag at the moment. The brush is incredibly fat and bristly - this makes it quite difficult to use in my opinion, especially to reach the smaller, fluttery lashes in the inner and outer corners.
Friday, 26 October 2012
A massive, photo-heavy post today - I was in TK Maxx the other day and found this travel set of five Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils; the set is called Electric and it cost £12.99 rather than the RRP of £26. If you have a TK Maxx in your area maybe you should check and see if any are still around!
Eeeep. I kind of love the packaging!
|L-R: Junkie; Ransom; Radium; Woodstock; Perversion|
I also swatched Junkie and Radium next to two of my other blue/green eyeliners to see if I had anything similar and I don't think I do!
|NARS Larger than Life Abbey Road; Urban Decay Radium; Urban Decay Junkie; Sephora Flashy Green|
|Top lashline Radium, bottom lashline Junkie.|
|Top lashline Woodstock, bottom lashline Ransom|
|Both lashlines Perversion smudged out|
Woodstock and Ransom are slightly less opaque than the others. Perversion is so inky and pigmented that it can be easy to go overboard panda-eyes, which is why in the eye swatch above it mussed it up so that it looked more deconstructed. You can get a very black, precise line with it though. Once past their smudgeable stage, these liners will. not. budge. Perversion especially - but they can be tough to remove, so you have fair warning. This does mean they will last all day/night, and they come in such fantastic colours!
The formula of all five is creamy, smooth and easy to apply without any tugging at the lid. They all wore on my waterline without irritation (and I wear contacts).
I'd love to have the full set of colours as I can see me using the ones I have often for the forseeable future. I think I may have found my HG black liner.
What do you think? Have you tried these liners? Which shade is your favourite?
Thursday, 25 October 2012
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm part of Monu's blogger preview panel, which means I get to try some products out ahead of time in order to review them. As with every other starred (*) product, I will always be 100% honest, test everything out, and will never lie on my blog. Now, on to the review!
The Monu Brightening Boost (£19.95)* comes in pretty sleek, clean packaging which is something I really enjoy in my skincare. It contains Vitamin C, Wild Yam Root, Niacin amide, Anemarrhena extract and Hyaluronic filling spheres. It claims to lighten and brighten the complexion, enhance radiance, reduce hyperpigmentation and even skintone. It is especially suited to those who smoke, live in the city or expose themselves to the sun.
Sorry for the blurry photo. This is one pump, I tend to use two, either below my current moisturiser or as a primer under makeup.
I can, however, sing the praises of this product for a couple of reasons: one is it's super smooth, silky serum texture which is very easy to apply. Secondly, after application, my skin feels hydrated and plumped up. Thirdly, after some period of use, my dry flaky bits seem to have reduced, although this might be in addition to the other Monu products I'm testing.
Finally, and most importantly, it has brightened my dull, dry skin. My skin feels more flexible, looks bright and almost highlighted and it makes a difference even under makeup. It may not be so obvious to the outside observer, but to me with my ever self-critical eye, the before and after pictures above show a noticeable difference.
I really honestly love this product and would recommend it to those with dull, dry skin. It may not work for oilier skins as it is quite hydrating.
Have you ever tried anything from Monu? Does this product appeal to you?
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Halloween is right around the corner and I have neither the skill (see last year's pretty dismal looks), or the funds to put together Halloween tutorials for you all, as much as I'd love to. Maybe next year? Instead, I thought I'd gather together some of the coolest Halloween tutorials I could find on Youtube - as well as some of the coolest Youtubers who often have several tutorials on their channels for this Halloween - an group them here for you to browse if you are still stuck for ideas. I hope this helps!
Please note I've used images from the creator's blogs and Youtubes to show you the looks, so please click through to see the original content - and I don't own any of these images!
|Image from: Vintage or Tacky|
|Image from: NikkieTutorials on Youtube|
|Image from: iwanted2c1video Youtube|
|Image from: LetzMakeup|
|Image from: Emma Pickle's Beautylish|
5. Emma Pickle's Pop Art/Comic Book Makeup Tutorial - is the best one I've seen. I haven't seen this channel before either but it looks relatively new, and there are a bunch of super cool looks to recreate on it already, including Mystique, my favourite X-Men character. The Pop Art look is my favourite though, and it seems fairly easy to recreate at home.
|Image from: Goldiestarling Youtube|
|Image from: dope2111 Youtube|
Hope you liked this or found it helpful! Are there any other tutorials online you like? Link them below, I'd love to see!
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (where I am increasingly more active - you can find me @seonaidbee on either) you'll know that I bought a few bits of new storage. Once I moved back into my mum's house, cleared out all my old things and condensed my 'stuff' into a manageable size, I realised I had nowhere to put anything. So bear in mind this is temporary living - and hopefully I'll be showing you my more permanent makeup storage when I move back in with the boy next year - but this is how it all looks at the moment.
The drawer unit is the VIKA ALEX from Ikea - it costs £55. I needed a unit with small and deep drawers in it and this seemed good enough. I know a lot of people go for the Helmer but this seemed more sturdy to me.
My lipstick holder is from John Lewis (£12) and the drawers are from Muji - the 2-drawer wide acrylic storage for £10.95 each. The bottle is Jean Paul Gaultier for Diet Coke, which I got at the Cosmo Blog Awards.here), MAC and a few oddballs from Chanel, Illamasqua, Dior, YSL, MUA, 17, Rimmel, NYX, Accessorize and No7.
My drawers from top to bottom hold: eyeliners and mascaras; single eyeshadows, small eyeshadow palettes and brow kits; drugstore blushers and finally high-end blushers.
In the first drawer of my unit are my MUJI set of 5 acrylic stacking pots, £2.50 and a gift from my wonderful friend Sam, as well as two of their acrylic drawers holding my (badly organised) jewellery and then my lipglosses and balms and liners. You can see again it's mostly Revlon, with some Sleek, Pixi, ELF, No7, Rimmel, NYX, MAC and NARS thrown in. I need better jewellery storage but this will have to do for now.
Then comes my nail drawer. I need better dividers for this too as it's a little haphazard right now. You can see my nail polish remover, sticky nail tabs, buffer, file and cuticle remover as well as my favourite, Lush Lemony Flutter cuticle butter. Then come nail art pens from WAHxModels Own and Topshop. I have a lot of Models Own polishes, a couple of lovely Illamasaqua ones, Avon, Rimmel, Revlon, Barry M, ELF, Essie, Topshop, No7, OPI, a lovely Max Factor and the brilliant Seche Vite topcoat. The Chanel is Nouvelle Vague, a limited shade my boyfriend got for me a couple of years ago and that I have treasured ever since.
The first of the deeper drawers in the unit has my skincare in it. I house these in some GODMORGON set of 5 acrylic boxes with lids, £9 from Ikea. You can see my Bioderma in back, along with some products waiting to be reviewed. In one small tub I keep cotton pads, in the next eye cream, mineral water face spray and other small items, in the next my hand cream and moisturiser. In the long tub is my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and toner and in the large box is body stuff - Soap & Glory Sugar Scrub and Butter Up; St Tropez Gradual Tan, NUXE oil, La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP and some body oil I'm yet to try out.£14 from Ikea. In the flip top compartments I keep all my BB creams and some false lashes. Underneath this flip top are some of my larger palettes (MAC, Inglot) and in the smaller are my smaller palettes from Illamasqua, MUA an Sleek. Then in the smaller slots are my primer and foundation, samples and my Travalo.
The final drawer contains hair products, which also need a better divider system. My brushes, hairdryer and GHDs, my hairbands, grips and 'bobby pins' or kirby grips as we call them. Also some hair products like my Phytoneutre Clarifying Shampoo, James Brown Intensive Conditioner, cheap hairspray, Macadamia Hair oil, Percy & Reed Volumising Mousse and V05 Backcomb Spray. I'll be reviewing a lot of these soon.
In fact, I plan on setting myself a 14-day hair challenge in January to get myself out of the hair rut. What do you think?
Anyway, I hope that wasn't too long-winded or boring! I hope to have an even better organisational system when I move back in with the boyfriend, but this is much better than before. I like having a place for everything.
How do you store your makeup?