Sunday, 30 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Bit of a random Halloween blog today! Had lots of fun last night on Twitter looking at everyone's Halloween costumes and wanted to share with you a Halloween picture.
A few years ago when Mags and I started our blog we wanted to have some professional photos taken that we could use on the blog to indicate different times of the year. One of my personal faves was the Halloween photo, where I was a cat, (making some random 'paws' with my hands!!) and Mags was a cute pumpkin.
The photoshoot was so much fun to do, at some points we were laughing so much we couldn't have pictures taken. The pictures were taken by our good friend @s1on and his brilliant photography blog can be viewed here

Have a happy and safe Halloween, whether you're trick or treating in your witches outfit, or handing out sweets to the neighbourhoods children.

Stay Beautiful!

Stace x

30th October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

VIVO Cosmetics - the final face!

All week we have been sharing our thoughts on VIVO Cosmetics products, as well as showing you how we have used them on Stace's face, and today is the final day as we finish the look!

The final two products are the Bronzer Gold Dust which retails for approx £4 for 22g, and the Baked Bronzer in shade 2 which retails for approx £5 for 12g.

First impressions, the gold dust is huge! And we could tell from the glitter it will be an instant favourite this year at Christmas parties around the country.

You can see from the swatch how dazzling the gold is. The only disappointing thing is the glitter gold is only on the top surface of the letters and doesn't run all the way through. However it goes quite a long way and will probably last quite a while. We loved the grandness of this big palette, although it probably wouldn't make it into going out bags due to the size.

We had similar love for the baked bronzer as we did for the baked blush earlier in the week. Great consistency, lovely shimmer running through. Only concern from the swatch was would this be too dark for Stace's complexion?

As it turned out, you can be fairly liberal with the baked bronzer, as it is no where near as dark on the face as expected. We loaded the brush and gently swept the colour in circular motions around the face. We did this several times to build up the colour, as it is easier to add to the colour than take away. We used it all over the face, and it added a lovely gentle glow of someone who has just returned form holiday. The gold was not yellowing at all which is really important to ensure the natural look.

And here is the final 'flawless' finished face!

The gold dust we added right at the end of the makeover, imagining the taxi waiting to take you to the Christmas party and you literally sweep this over your face and any bare skin on the way out! Not too much was needed on the brush, and we worked it in a little bit to the skin to ensure a more natural look that would stay put all night. It's not too overpowering, but adds a great finish for events like Christmas parties - we can't wait to get it out in December!

Final thoughts on VIVO?

Mags - "A great range for the price tag. My favourite products were the baked blush and baked bronzer, not too strong and were able to build up the product gradually over the face. I also liked the primer and thought this had a great consistency, and will be using it again! My least favourite product was probably the highlighter, I just didn't think it looked natural"

Stacey - "VIVO is just what the high street has needed, a quality brand at an affordable price. I love the eyeshadow pallete, so easy to use and a long lasting impressive finish, I can't wait to try out some different colours. I also am very excited about the gold dust to finish my Christmas party look. I agree with Mags on the highlighter, not my favourite, but then am not used to wearing highlighter normally. I am looking forward to trying the rest of the eye range and the lip range."

We hope you enjoyed our VIVO week, we had great fun trying out the products and writing these blogs!

Have a lovely weekend and stay beautiful!

Stace & Mags x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

VIVO Cosmetics week - part 4!

Tonight is is the turn of the eyes! And you know how much we love eye make-up at Beautiful You!

The eye palette from VIVO cosmetics, available at selected Tesco stores retails for approx £2.50 for three shades. Yes just £2.50, this is one of the biggest bargains of the range as you are getting three colours.

The one we have tried is Innocence - a palette of classic shades that ooze sophistication for soft and natural eyes.

The compact the eye shadows come from is a really good size, small enough to take on nights out. Included on the back is a great tutorial on how to make up the eyes as well. The shadows are moist, and very compact, not loose powder, indicating they will stick well to the eye lid.

As you can see from the above swatches, the colours are nice and natural, a good shimmer to them, but not so much that it is overpowering. These are the types of colours we would pick for a classic daytime look when at the office.

So now for application to Stace's eye!

Firstly we used the lightest colour and applied this to the whole lid, including right up the to the eyebrow to give a good base. This colour provided a solid base, and we would have felt comfortable wearing this colour alone for a day look.

The middle colour was then applied to the lower half of the eye lid. This colour was just dark enough to highlight the eye area, without making the face look drawn.

Finally we added the darkest colour in the palette, just to highlight the top of the eye nearest to the lashes. This is not as dark as it appears in the compact which is good as it is not too heavy for a day look.

Overall we were really impressed with the colours of this palette, the finished look was great and looked really natural. The colours blended really well.

A few negative things, the application was quite hard as you did need quite a lot of the product to build up the colour, however once you had done this it really did stay in place. We did get a bit of eyeshadow falling off during application but I think this was due to overloading the brush.

The brush that comes with the compact is not that robust, and we used our own brushes, but then we find that with the free brushes in high end eyeshadows as well. This also got us to thinking, do VIVO do brushes, so please let us know if they do!

Overall really like this product, and will be visiting our local Tesco to check out some of the more adventirous colours for Christmas parties, at that price it seems only right to try out a few more of the colours!

Next time we will be completing the look with baked bronzer and gold dust.

Stay Beautiful!

Stace & Mags x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

VIVO cosmetics week - part 3!

Hi guys! Hope you're enjoying our VIVO week as much as we are. Today we will be looking at the VIVO baked blush in Rouge Shimmer, shade 4. This retails for approx £4 for 8g in selected Tesco stores.

The first thing you notice about this baked blush is it really is baked! It looks very similar to some high end products we have used before like Laura Geller. There is a lovely shine to the colour which hints at the highlighter being mixed into the product. Like similar products, you cannot really tell how much product is in there until you start using it, so not sure how long this would last.

The product has a good consistency, indicating it will stay on the face well once applied. We really liked this colour, and although it looks quite dark in the compact, you can see from the swatch that the colour is much lighter and more 'english rose'.

Stace's face with baked blush Rouge Shimmer applied

We applied the blush to the apples of the cheeks in light sweeping motions with a big blusher brush. This brought colour to the part of the face where the sun would hit, giving a lovely natural glow, perfect for this time of year.

This product is so lovely to use, and the final effect of the blush is one we were really happy with. Often blushes can produce a clown like affect that does not look natural and you would not feel comfortable wearing in public. This had a brilliant finish and we are looking forward to adding it to our daily make up routine.

With this product, the VIVO brand is really punching above its weight...and its price tag.

Join us next time as we look at adding colour to the eyes!

Stay Beautiful!

Stace & Mags x

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

VIVO cosmetics week part 2!

So yesterday we talked about primer and highlighter, today we are looking at the mattifying loose powder and the blush and highlighter duos from the VIVO cosmetics range.
For the next part of our make over on Stace, we used the mattifying loose powder. This retails for approx £3 for 9g.

The powder had a good consistency, but still loose enough to be picked up by the brush. It was a lot looser than some high street brands I have used before where you have to literally scrape the product out of the pot. It had a yellow colour to it which will be good for taking down the redness on the skin.

Hopefully you can see from the above picture the looseness of the powder and the colour. We applied the loose powder to Stace's face next after applying primer and highlighter. This was to reduce pore size, give a nice finish to the base, and leave us with the foundations to start building the colour on the skin. We applied this by pouring some into the lid and swirling it onto the brush. The product applied well and gave good coverage.

Face with mattifying loose powder

The finish was definitely matte, felt comfortable and took away any of the shine from the highlighter. We liked this product, but less is more and you don't want to use too much of it.

Next was the blush and highlighter duos. These are an amazing price at approx £2.40 for 7.2g, and you get two products in one!

Sweet Peach shade 3 and Sugar Candy shade 2

The Sweet Peach colour is good for the winter as it is quite subtle. The product really feels like it will stick to your skin. The consistency is where the product shows it is a cheaper brand, but then for this price that is what you would expect!

Sugar Candy is more of a Summer colour, and we loved the brightness of this shade. You don't want to use too much of this colour though, and less will probably be more. It would also look fab with a tinted gloss in the Summer.

Face with Sweet Peach

This was probably our least favourite out of the two, on Stace's face it just looked a bit bright and not very natural but this is probably down to skin tone, and the Sugar Candy colour was better suited to Stace's skin tone.

Face with Sugar Candy
Sugar Candy was our favourite colour. It was lovely and bright, but we would still use it in Winter to lift our spirits on dark and gloomy days. The product was really easy to apply, and with the added highlighter in the compact, these blushes are great for taking on nights out.

Final face with both blushes

These two products really worked well at building the colour onto the face, and we were impressed with the natural look that we were creating.

Visit tomorrow to find out the next stage in our VIVO face!

Stay Beautiful!

Stace & Mags x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Vivo Cosmetics week!

This week we thought we would do something different, and taking a break from our fave high end make-up brands, we are trying the new supermarket brand which has been taking the blogging world by storm 'VIVO' available from Tesco. Stace was lucky enough to win a twitter competition VIVO ran and won the make-up needed to create a flawless face. So what did we think??
We will bring you the different stages to create the perfect flawless face over the next week or so, and end with our conclusions on the brand.
First impressions of the brand when looking at the packaging were very promising, it didn't look cheap, and wouldn't look out of place next to some of the more expensive brands on our make-up table.

The first products we tried were the primer (Approx £6 for 25ml) and the highlighter (approx £3.60 for 50ml).


So first off the primer. This is one of the most expensive VIVO products. The product had a good consistency, very thick, and when we first tested it on the back of our hands, the results were no different to high end brands we have used- silky smooth hands!

The next product we tested was the highlighter. This felt slightly runny, and the hole the product comes out of is quite large, resulting in far more product than needed coming out, it also had a funny sheen to it.

Then we began to make-up Stace's face with the products. Before hand she had just cleansed and toned. The primer swept over the face easily, and only a little of the product was required. The product did not stick on the skin surface, instead soaking in leaving a lovely silky base perfect for the next layer of make-up. This felt like a very substantial base that would hold make-up in place.

Stace with primer on her skin

Next we applied the highlighter. As mentioned before it does come flying out and you really don't need a lot of this product. I love the idea of highlighters, especially as my skin gets older, but it does always feel like another extra step to the morning routine. The product applied easily to the face, and did not feel uncomfortable at all on the skin. It highlighted the skin well, and definitely made the skin look more radiant. There was a bit of a pink tinge to the product once it had settled on the face, and this may have been a result of using too much product. The photo shows excellently how it radiated the skin.

Stace with the highlighter on her skin

So far, so impressed with the brand VIVO! Stay tuned over the next few days to watch us build up the face with the rest of the products, and find out which products we loved the most!

Stay Beautiful!

Stace & Mags x

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Eye-line it with Bobbi Brown

Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (RRP £16.50)
I was looking for a more heavy-duty eyeliner that delivers great results and lasts at least 8hrs. I decided to try the Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner from Bobbi Brown (RRP £16.50) as I heard some great things about this product. And it hasn’t disappointed me! I absolutely LOVE the product. 

Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (RRP £16.50) and Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush (RRP £21) both by Bobbi Brown.

This eyeliner delivers all I asked for. Its long lasting, water-resistant formula glides on the eye lid with ease making the eyeliner application process even easier. The product doesn’t dry until it’s applied, and once dried it doesn’t smear or crease as any previous products I used.

The Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush in focus
Application technique: For best results use the Gel eyeliner with Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush (RRP £21) covering it on both sides. Remove the excess of the product by taping the brush lightly into a tissue. Apply it very closely to the eyelashes about 3/4 of the way on the top lid and 1/2 way under the eye starting from middle and working your way out (see the photos below). Once applied, the product dries on and stays for hours. 

The ultimate test

I decided to put this product to a test to see how long it will actually last. Take a look at the results below:

Freshly applied eyeliner:

... and after 10hrs of application:

The photos below are taken at 7pm after a long day at work – can you see a difference, as I really can’t!:

Have you found your perfect eyeliner yet? Let us know on twitter @beautyu.

Stay beautiful!

Mags x

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Guest Blogger! Dove Hair Care

In the interests of delivering fab blogs to you our readers, we thought we would get in guest bloggers from time to time to review products for us. This month, meet Stace's sister Sam, who will be reviewing the newest addition to the Dove Hair Care range.
First, let's find out a little more about Sam!

What is your desert island product you can’t live without?
Blisteze – very simple but the most amazing product for keeping my lips soft, stops them from cracking and protects them from the elements in both summer and winter.

What do you enjoy about beauty products/make-up?
I like the uniqueness of make up to the individual – everyone has their own way of applying make up and likes/dislikes with regards colour and style, which means we may not all agree but it allows you to be creative and experimental.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I would say my inspiration comes from everywhere – more often than not I’ll see someone in person or a magazine whose make up looks good and I think I’ll try that next. I definitely rely on recommendations when it comes to beauty products - particularly from my sister!

What’s your beauty cheat?
Face wipes – great for those days when you really can’t be bothered to remove make up, cleanse and tone (come on we all have those days)!

Do you have a beauty secret tip you would share with us?
Not sure if this is much of a secret these days but cottons ear buds are amazing for tidying up your nails when you paint them and removing any mistakes from round the ages – because we can’t all keep in the lines!

Thanks Sam! Let's find out what you thought of the products...

Dazzling, trouble free hair.... not just on the adverts

Now we have all heard this before ... promises of lustrous, shiny, tangle free hair, but somehow in reality you never quite match up to the supermodel in the advert!

These are the exact thoughts I had running through my head when a box of samples turned up from Dove (via BzzAgent – a word-of-mouth media and marketing company). I have received lots of different samples/campaigns since I joined Bzz Agents from shavers to sweeteners to test the products and tell everyone what I think of them, good or bad.

Turning up in the post in a fancy box designed like a gift I was greeted with 3 full size bottles from the Dove Therapy Intensive Repair range – one shampoo and two conditioners plus 10 smaller samples of the express treatment conditioner.

Straight away I gave one to my mum and gran who both face two quite different challenges with their hair; one has very fine hair and the other quite thick and curly. One thing we did all agree on was we don’t have the time or inclination to use leave in conditioning treatments; so a daily conditioner that claims it can give all the benefits of a treatment after just one use but for much less time and hassle –fantastic!

Now I have to say, putting my cynicism aside, I have been really impressed with this product and so have the friends I’ve given samples to. My hair is really soft without being fluffy (which some rich conditioners can do to my hair). Plus I invariably wash my hair in the evening giving me ten minutes extra in bed in the morning and I’ve found since using this I haven’t woken up with that ‘bed hair’ that is lifeless and messy – so another bonus for my lifestyle. My Mum, with the curly thick hair, even found it softened hers up.
The science behind the product is a patented Fibre ActivesTM technology that repairs your hair from the inside out and I have to agree I actually did have noticeably softer, smoother hair after the first use – check out my pictures and see what you think!

Before using the shampoo

After using the shampoo
Most people who know me will back me up on this but I am not one to use fancy, expensive, timely products and my skin/hair care regime is fairly simple (and probably a bit lapse at times!) I wash condition and go - so this product suits me. What will be interesting is to see if it’s sustainable as I change my shampoo and conditioner every so often because I find my hair gets too used to the same product. So watch this space....

All my samples were snapped up very quickly helping you all stay beautiful!

Dove intensive repair range can be bought from most supermarkets and chemists, retailing at around £2.50 for 200ml.

Sam x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Foundations put to the ultimate test - part four

Hi guys, and welcome to the final part of my foundation mini series. I love doing mini reviews like this as it means I get to try a little bit of a product I would not normally try, and I always think holiday is a great place to put these products through their paces.

So today I will be looking at Max Factor Second Skin foundation. This retails in most high street chemists for about £12.99 for 30ml, so compared to my other reviews, this one is probably the most middle of the road affordable foundation. I have to confess to not ever trying the Max Factor brand before, so was excited about trying this.

The original marketing campaign for this product was big. This sample originally came in the post after signing up on their website, and everything was explained inside the cardboard cut out. Not very helpfully they sent me Golden, which is far to dark for my pale skin, and I think this didn't help with my thoughts on the product overall...

The claims of this product are large, not only does it profess to give you a perfect, undetectable finish, but many buzz phrases like 'skin-inspired', 'foundation breakthrough' and 'synchronizes with the skin'. Mmm not sure about any of those...

So the initial product was a lot more solid than some of the other ones I tested, which for me was a good thing as it didn't have a watery texture. Thumbs up so far.

This Golden was only the colour darker than natural, however even on my sun kissed skin, it really was quite orangey and far to dark. Leaving the colour out of it for a moment, it had a very wet, sticky feel to it, something I hate with foundations, it has to feel comfortable for the whole day.

The foundation sunk quickly into my skin, but I found this not a good thing as it seemed to sit in my lines and imperfections, almost highlighting them rather than hiding them.

I have to be honest, I found the foundation very uncomfortable, and the added orange line around my face forced me to take this foundation off before venturing out of our apartment.

The final face was ok in the photo, but I could not have had it on my face for too long.

I know there are a lot of Max Factor fans out there, so I would be interested to hear if I just had a bad experience, and what you think of their products?

Out of all the foundations, as you know I went on to buy Estee Lauder as this most impressed me, but I would also consider buying Maybelline for it's incredible value for money. Clinique and Max Factor will not be adorning my make up collection.

Hope you have enjoyed this Foundation Mini Series, and we have lots more exciting things coming soon on our blog so watch this space!

Stay Beautiful!

Stace x

Monday, 17 October 2011

Foundations put to the ultimate test - part 3

Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying our 'mini series' on foundations!
Today I am going to talk about Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid. This can be bought in high street chemists like Boots and Superdrug for £8.20, so a lot cheaper than Clinique and Estee Lauder. But do you get what you pay for??

This foundation has some very high claims to live up to 'Flawless' 'seamless' 'luminous' and 'smooth' were just some of the buzz words on the packaging. I am always a believer that less is more, and they should probably try and do one thing well, but nevertheless on with the review!

The foundation was a good consistency feeling quite thick.

It slid on to my face with incredible ease that surprised me. As this was a cheaper brand than I usually use I had ideas of clumpy, hard to blend foundation. It was quick and easy to apply, and needed minimal blending into the rest of my skin, a bonus for someone who always struggles with time like me!!

It did look smooth, so one tick to one of the product claims, but some of my darker blemishes really showed through even after an extra bit of application, so flawless would get a big cross next to it from me!

Looking at my final face, this finish would be fine for a day at the office, as it lifted my skin (not quite luminous, but better than going naked!). I wouldn't be happy with this finish for a big night out or special occasion.

I think for the price, this one does its best, and could be an office staple, but it wasn't for me. After an evening out to a restaurant where we sat outside in mild humidity, it felt very sticky to touch, and this made me wonder whether had I used it for more than the one night it may have reacted with my skin and caused an outbreak.

So far this was my least favourite.

The final review in my foundation mini series will be Max Factors second skin foundation.

What foundation are you using at the moment? Let us know on twitter @beautyu

Stay Beautiful!

Stace x