Thursday

Beauty Empties | July 2013: Skincare Special



I'm a huge skincare addict and very fickle in that I rarely ever repurchase products, so those that do make the cut really have to be something special. There's only one thing I used up last month that I'll definitely be repurchasing - can you guess what it is?!

Clinique Pore Minimizer Thermal-Active Skin Refiner - no repurchase

This stuff was beyond useless. I can't find anywhere selling it online so it's possible been discontinued and rightly so.  It lives up to its lousy 2.5/5 score on Makeup Alley.  A really unpleasant scent and awful consistency.  Scrubs which heat on contact with water are a bit faddy as they never stay warm long enough to actually open pores.  Olay do a much nicer version which smells better too.  I'm so glad to see the back of this Clinique one. 

No7 Gentle Foaming Cleanser - no repurchase

This soapy cleanser was totally blah.  Just some watered down produced which foamed when dispensed through the nozzle.  I wouldn't recommend it but if you're looking for a gentle cleanser go for something like Elemis Fresh Skin Face Wash.

Lacura (Aldi) Foundation - no repurchase 

This £2-something foundation was a budget favourite for a long time, see my full review here.  While it does give good coverage, I've moved on from it and would rather spend a few quid more for Bourjois or Max Factor. 

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water - maybe repurchase

I only bought this to use up one of those £5 off vouchers and hoped it would be a more accessible version of Bioderma.  It's not. Definitely not worth the non-discounted price as it struggles with eye make up, particularly mascara and doesn't feel as gentle on your skin.  I don't want to put elbow grease into my cleansing routine as that surely can't be good for your skin!  However, it was handy to have sitting around for a quick cleanse or to use first thing in the morning after washing my face, so never say never!

Kheil's Creamy Eye Treatment - maybe repurchase 

I actually have since repurchased a jumbo tub of this eye cream in Duty Free, but I am mildly regretting my purchase.  It's very moisturising for such a dry area, but it doesn't do anything for tackling fine lines.  It's kind of a cult favourite, but I feel we've had our time together and I've grown out of it. 

No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make Up Remover - definite repurchase 

LOVE. THIS. STUFF.  This is easily my 25th bottle.  If you haven't been convinced by two phases eye make up removers in the past, I urge you to try this one before giving up.  I've tried many - Bourjois, Organics, etc but none match up to No7.  It's basically Lancome's Bi Facil for a lot cheaper (if you use the £5 off No7 vouchers).  Check out my full review here

Tell me what your favourite face scrub in the comments! 


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Wednesday

Let's Stay In Touch... (Farewell Google Reader - and how you can still retrieve your subscriptions until 15 July!)

Bye bye Google Reader

When I get back on a more regular posting schedule you may miss out on my posts and forget me altogether! (Heaven forefend!) So...for those of you who receive posts through Google Reader I'm sad to say that Google in it's wisdom decided to 'sunset it' on 1 July in a bid to push us all towards naff old Google+.  There is no escape. 

If ya liked my blog subscription you should have put a...a...cat decent reader on it!


All is not lost - retreive your Google Reader subscriptions until JULY 15 with Google Takeaway

If you were late to the Google Reader Exodus Party like me and worry that you've lost all your beautiful subscriptions accumulated over the years, worry not, because Google Takeaway is a handy little system they have created which allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.  

And import your subscription list XML file somewhere safe, like BLOGLOVIN'!

You can follow me on BLOGLOVIN' if you fancy.  It's a fantastic, easy to use, clean looking reader. 

The lowdown from Google: 

  1. What will happen to my Google Reader data?

    All Google Reader subscription data (eg. lists of people that you follow, items you have starred, notes you have created, etc.) will be systematically deleted from Google servers. You can download a copy of your Google Reader data via Google Takeout until 12PM PST July 15, 2013.
    Google Takeaway allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.
  2. Will there be any way to retrieve my subscription data from Google in the future?

    No -- all subscription data will be permanently, and irrevocably deleted. Google will not be able to recover any Google Reader subscription data for any user after July 15, 2013.

How to import your Google Reader File to Bloglovin'

Once you have your Google Reader subscriptions file safely retrieved from Google Takeaway (you'll need to log into your Google account) you can easily import it in a few clicks of a mouse to Bloglovin' (you'll need to set up an account or just link to your Facebook which will verify you as an actual person!).  

Image below to demonstrate, but all you need to do is click on the blue square with the white heart and select from the drop down list 'Import from Google Reader' and it should just go and grab it.  I did mine ages ago so can't check if it's working following GR's shut down on 1 July, but if not, you can click on the grey button entitled OPML/XML and just upload from your computer the Google Reader file you download from Google Takeaway, which should be in XML format. 

Simples, no?  

If you have any trouble with it or questions, give me a shout on Twitter and I'll try my best to help you!



You will also find me lurking around these haunts:

Follow me on FACEBOOK
Follow me on TWITTER
Follow me on PINTEREST 
Follow me on INSTAGRAM
Follow me on BLOGLOVIN'
Follow me on GOOGLE+
Follow via a Reader/RSS 

I haven't even figured out my Google+ page yet for my blog, so it looks a hot mess right now, but I'll jazz it up soon enough. 

Back with more posts for you very soon! In the meantime why not check out my other blog: www.portobellopearls.com

Beauty Empties | May 2013 (belated!)


I forgot to post this monthly review for May, probably because the products are pretty uninspiring, but it's a series I'm determined to see through to the end of the year, so here they are!

L'Oreal Elvive Damage Care Deep Repairing Masque* - maybe repurchase 

This masque has the same gorgeous scent as the Elvive Renutrition range.  I used this on days I was out of my Kerastase Masquintense or just wanted to save it.  Really moisturising, and the longer you leave it in, the glossier your hair turns out and like with any masque, it's better to keep it away from your roots and only smooth from the mid lengths to roots.  Can't fault it for the budget price.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Luscious Long Deep Treatment - no repurchase 

I've been through many 3 Minute Miracle bottles but this will be my final.  The scent is just too sickly sweet (even for me!) and I don't find it all that conditioning compared to new L'Oreal Elvive 60 Second treatments.   Although this will be really controversial as it has a massive following, I'm over it.

Tresemme Heat Defense Styling Spray - no repurchase 

After the GHD stuff, and now this, I'm going to accept the fact that heat protectants aren't for me.  I just get away with a serum or hair oil and I find adding another product to the mix weights my hair down too much.  Short term pleasure, long terms suffering I know, but there you go.  I won't be repurchasing as I didn't find it added anything to my routine.

GHD Rejuvenation Cream - no repurchase 

This stuff was just weird.  Kind of globby and not a very pleasant scent.  In the end I found the only use for it was as an overnight leave-in treatment.  While it definitely had to be washed off in the morning, it wasn't even that nourishing for all the effort.  Pointless.

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturiser (Oil Free) - no repurchase 

A decent basic budget moisturiser aimed at oily teenage skin.  I've more than outgrown it as I'm looking for SPF and  anti aging properties.

Clinique All About Eyes - definitely repurchase 

This is a gorgeous eye cream and I can't wait to finish up my other pots to add this to my skincare collection again.  It's very moisturising and a good option for mornings as it sinks in quickly.  However I prefer to use something a bit more potent at night, like YSL Lisse Expert. I think this is a great option for sensitive eyes because I never had a problem with it.

Maybelline Dream Creamy Foundation - no repurchase 

This was one of those solid 'cake' foundations that you apply with the accompanying sponge, although a brush works better if you have one around.  I didn't enjoy using it, found the coverage quite greasy and it ran out very fast.  I think it's okay to have in your bag for touch ups on the go, but Max Factor offers a far better version.

MAC Prep + Prime Face Protection SPF 50 - no repurchase 

I ran out to buy this in my early days of watching YouTube beauty videos believing it would be a holy grail.  I tried to hard to like it but it just stunk like really cheap sunscreen and was very dense and greasy, but perhaps that's the price you pay for SPF50.  For the MAC price, you only get a tiny 30mls.  There must be something better out there!

What's your favourite facial SPF, particularly for every day use under make up? 


Monday

Beauty Empties | June 2013



June's empties review is a lot more positive than in previous months. I was worried this series was getting a reputation for being snarky! Anyway, you know me, if something doesn't live up to the hype, I'm squealing. 

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter - definitely repurchase


Despite being super heavily scented this body butter surprised me by how moisturising it really is. I received it as a Christmas present and it was such a treat to use. The best bit is the scent is a total rip for for Miss Dior Cherie, so you don't even need to use a perfume if you've got this on. I love a multi-tasking product. Now all I can do is wait for another Boots 3 for 2 offer!

L'Oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss Crystal Sparkling Conditioner* - no repurchase

I tried this along with the shampoo and 60 second treatment from the range.  Nothing groundbreaking and I think it's just the budget friendly version of the Kerastase Cristalliste range.  My hair is pretty fine and already pretty silky and glossy (go me! Also, read: more oil prone than I'd like!) so I find it just made it too lank.  If you have coarse, dry hair, however it may help you tame it.  Worth a try if you're curious. 

Redken All Soft Shampoo* - no repurchase 

I received this at L'Oreal event (Redken is one of their brands) and literally ran home to wash my hair with it after hearing all the hype.  I think the hype comes from people with very dry, rough and hard to manage hair, because again, my hair is just too fine and silky for it.  It didn't really cleanse the roots as well as I'd like, and I just felt that my hair was flat and dull after using it.  A huge disappointment, so I won't be reacquainting myself with it. 

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic* - maybe repurchase 

Toner has become a really important step in my skincare regime and this one is gentle enough to get on with most skin types.  It contains Aloe Vera, Rose-Geranium, Cucumber, Vitamin E and Calendula. I also have the spray bottle version of this too but if you can get it go for the twist up cap which is much easier to use as a toner - the spritz is a little messy. 
I've reviewed it in a bit more depth here.

Frederic Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Shampoo - no repurchase 

I bought this after a recommendation from Lollipop26's channel (now Laura from buynowbloglater.com) a couple of years ago.  It smells divine and is a very nice shampoo, but it ain't cheap.  I picked up the masque treatment and leave in conditioner which both let me down, so the shampoo was the best of the set.  It didn't do wonders for my hair and so I won't be going back to it. 

Superdrug Vitamin E Skin Care Hot Cloth Cleanser - definitely repurchase 

This skincare gem is under £5 and one of the nicest hot cloth cleansers I've tried.  It has the perfect consistency somewhere in between the infamous Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (a little too dense) and No7's offering (a little too sloppy).  I'm not a fan of the muslin cloth that comes with it, so just pick some up from Mothercare or Liz Earle.  It handles complete make up removal, including mascara. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation - definitely repurchase 

This is my nth bottle of this great budget foundation and while I'm a little tired of it now, I'll be coming back to it in the Autumn when my skin gets a little drier.  It's very moisturising so not great if you have oily skin or during the summer, but if you have dry skin, you'll love it.  The lightest shade 51, is a perfect match for me (I'm about NC15 at Mac).

What's your favourite hot cloth cleanser? Tell me yours in the comments!


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