Temporary:Secretary | UK Fashion & Beauty Blogger

Monday, January 26, 2015

Korean Beauty Products {Beauty Review}

asian beauty products, korean beauty products

My last Asian beauty product blogpost went down so well, I'm back with another thanks to Bonjour Hong Kong. This time, it's a whole box of Korean beauty products. Here's an overview of what treats I'll be reviewing in this blogpost:

asian beauty products, korean beauty products

Unless you've been to Hong Kong, you probably won't be familiar with Bonjour but it's the equivalent to Boots or Superdrug stores here in the UK. 

whitening bb cream, etude house bb cream review
Precious Mineral BB Cream Blooming Fit by Etude House

Although Etude House isn't a brand that's available in the UK, some of the products are known within the beauty blogging world. I've learnt a little bit about them through bloggers and whenever I go to Hong Kong on my holiday, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for Etude House! I love a good BB cream so I was happy to see this in the box. I like the packaging, I think it's cute. The BB cream, costing approximately £10 with the current exchange rate, comes in a tube with a pump dispenser, which I quite like!

When you first put this on, it looks very dewy on skin so it's probably best suited for those with dry skin. I thought it felt a bit too shiny for me to begin with, I would liken it to Garnier's Original BB Cream but unlike Garnier's product, the sheen from Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream does fade throughout the day. Regardless, I need to use a finishing powder on this though. It is a nice, thick BB Cream which provides medium coverage to hide blemishes and dark spots, brightens, balances out your skin tone and gives your skin a radiant glow thanks to the mother of pearl lustre effect. It also contains SPF 30 which is a huge bonus.

etude face conditioning cream review
Face Conditioning Cream by Etude House

At first, I thought this was a moisturiser for your face but it didn't take me long to figure out that it is a cosmetic product and not skincare. Etude House Face Conditioning Cream is a primer that does indeed prep your face for make up. Primers are not something I use on a daily basis, but I definitely like to have it handy for it long days and nights out. It keeps your make-up in place and make it last a lot longer throughout the day, you'll find you won't need to touch up that often too.

It comes out of the tube looking a lot like white paint, but it isn't as heavy as it initially looks! It feel quite sticky to begin with which is not uncommon with primers as that's what helps your make up "stick", so to speak. Just like the BB Cream, it has a slightly dewy finish which fades within a couple of hours (or as soon as you use a matte base product). It says on the website that you can apply this after toner, so it can be used in replacement of moisturiser. It is a moisturising, hydrating formula but I would still use a face lotion before applying the Face Conditioning Cream. It contains SPF 25 and cost around £8 ($12 USD)

Both of the Etude House products featured in this blogpost have whitening in them which is great if you've embraced the porcelain, fair skin look but not suitable for anyone who likes their tan!

too cool for school egg mousse pack review
Egg Mousse Pack by Too Cool For School

I was confused by this product, and I'm sort of still confused! I like the packaging, it messes with your brain!! It's a skincare product that wouldn't look completely out of place in your kitchen... The instructions on the packaging are all in Korean but after looking in to this a bit further, here's what I have gathered:

It's a face mask that contains egg yolk extract which promises to make your skin feel as smooth as an egg. It's odourless so don't worry, it hasn't got an eggy scent to it! It's comes out of the bottle as a mousse and foams up like shaving cream. Massage on to skin for 1 minute and within moments, it becomes totally clear and transparent. I have absolutely no idea how long to leave this face mask on for, I have tried to find this out on Asian blogs and Too Cool For School stockists but no luck yet! Anyway, for that reason, I haven't tried this product on my face yet (only on the back of my hand) because I'm not 100% certain how to use it. It retails on BonjourHK for about £6, so it's a budget face mask. 

yumei triple action lip

Yumei Flawless Triple Action Lip Reshaping

I don't know exactly what it is about the product that 'reshapes' your lips - again, I've tried to look for this information - but I think it might be because this lipstick/lipgloss duo makes your lips appear fuller. The triple action claim is that it plumps, repairs and makes the colour glow.

One end of the product is the lipstick with a balm in the core that conditions and moisturises. The other end is a very shiny gloss in the same shade. I don't really know if you're supposed to wear the gloss over the lipstick but I tried this and the colour ends up seeping in to the lines of your lips. I like both lip products on it's own but wouldn't wear it together at the same time. I'd recommend wearing each on their own.

Although it claims to do a lot of things, and you are essentially getting two products but the packaging feels a bit flimsy and the quality in both lip products don't feel like it's worth the retail value of £10, which is how much it cost on BonjourHK. The price aside, it is generally a nice lip product! 

dr bauer pobling review
Pobling Pore Sonic Cleanser by Dr. Bauer

This is different to the other sonic facial cleansers that I've tried in the past. First off, it is really affordable as it retails for about £25 (BonjourHK are selling them for $21.64 which is approximately £15). In the set, you get a brush head and a holder. The brush is really really soft and the gentle sonic vibrations cleanses the pores on your face. I think it's a pretty simple product to use, there isn't much to it. I literally just picked it up and used it with a cleanser. The thing with these facial cleansing brush is that after the initial two weeks of using it, I don't tend to persevere with them after a while because the brushes get dirty and I feel really bad but I don't replace them so I end up putting it to one whilst go back to my usual routine of cleansing with a muslin or cotton flannel. 

Having said that, the Pobling is a nice way of testing to see if you like facial cleansing brushes, it's inexpensive and easy to use.

eye brow pencil
Eyebrow Pencil

I think this is a top up cartridge which inserts in to the VOV full size eye brow pencils ($6) but as the cartridge ($3) works on it's own, it's like having a miniature eyebrow pencil. I have something similar from Sheseido which my mum got me from Hong Kong and I use it to outline my brows to give it precise definition. From the photo, the cartridge doesn't look like it's in the best condition but it honestly doesn't look that "chalky" in real life! I was sent it in the brown shade but it shows up really brown on my skin, so I can't really make use of this. It is a shame but I might try and see if I can use it as an eyeliner or something. It also comes in shades grey and black.

All of these products are available from Bonjour HK. They ship worlwide with shipping cost for orders to the UK costing about £6.40.


**Some of you may be aware that myself and Bonjour was hosting a giveaway and one winner was going to win all of these prizes. Due to a misunderstanding, this giveaway has now been paused until further notice. Those who have entered the giveaway already, I am really sorry. Please feel free to delete the entry from your Instagram profile. I will be back for to update you all when I receive more information. Thank you - and sorry :-( x **

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

I Cut My Own Hair

cutting your own hair, tips on how to cut own hair

I was reeaaaallly bored last night and got the urge to do something spontaneous. I decided to cut my own hair!!

For a while, I have been whinging about how fed up I am of my long, overgrown and weighty hair. I couldn't do much with it other than curl it. I'm not attached to my long hair and I don't mind getting a short hair style but my problem is finding the "right" hairdresser to do it. I have never stayed loyal to a hairdresser and I never visit the same salon twice. I've never liked a hair cut enough to return. In short, I'm an awkward customer and I find it hard to hand over the money for someone to cut it.

Last night, I decided to chop it all off and that I was going to do it myself! I don't make a habit of it because I'm not a professional but I've done it before, I used to cut my own hair when I was at college and university. I started off by giving myself a little trim and waited for my friends to notice the change, but they never did, it was that subtle. I did the same at uni, a few inches off here and there! I even cut in a bold, thick fringe at one point! No big deal!

Here's what my hair was like before:
long hair, long black hair

And this is what it looks like now!
cutting own hair

Now, I'm not advising that anyone does the same, but I snipped 5 inches off last night! I actually did the same last year and kept it quiet, but as no one noticed, I'll take that as a sign that I didn't do such a bad job! Yay! (unless you were all too polite to ask why I had butchered my hair....) I always keep it quiet because I thought it was a weird thing to do! But from the comments I got from Instagram and Twitter, it looks like a few of you also cut your own hair too.

The way that I have felt about my hair in the past month, I can't say that I was particularly precious about it when I got the urge to cut it last night. It is risky but my attitude was "I'm bored, I want to do something crazy, and if I ruin it, I'll just get it fixed at the hairdressers next week"!! As you can imagine, I had sooooo much hair to work with to begin with so it was a case of trimming tiny bits off at a time and levelling it out; cut and level, cut and level. I'm not sure how ballsy I would be if I had mid-short length hair, it's a lot easier to do this when your hair is long to begin with. Another reason I wasn't too bothered is because my hair also grows so fast, it will be long again in 6 months time. Using my outfit posts as a way of showing you just how fast it grows, this was when I cut my own hair in April last year... And this is how long it grew 6 months later!

So, how did I do it? I have no set method really, but I use the techniques that I have observed on the occasions when I actually visited the hair salon! And I cut the hair when it's dry so I can see it take shape whilst I'm cutting. I'm super happy with my hair today, no regrets - more happy than I would have been if I had got it cut professionally. Probably because I was in total control of how I wanted it to look in the end! (Control freak!)

You'll see proper pics of my new hair in my upcoming outfit posts! I'm happy to share a few tips if anyone finds it helpful? I'm not sure how common it is to cut your own hair! Let me know in the comments what you think!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

NEW from Yankee Candle // Pure Essence Collection

Yankee candle, Yankee candle spring, yankee candle Pure Essence Collection
Yankee candle, Yankee candle spring, yankee candle Pure Essence Collection

Embrace the essence of Spring with Yankee Candle!

I'm ready to put all of the typically 'Winter' fragrances away because frankly, I'm so sick of Winter now and I can not wait for Spring to arrive! And with the new scents from Yankee Candle, Spring can begin right now. Or at least it can begin within the confines of my own home!

Pure Essence is the new Spring collection from Yankee Candle and it consists of three new fragrances. Time to banish the January blues with this lot!

Shea Butter:
This is as lovely as you imagine it to be. If you're a fan of their Clean Cotton, Fluffy Towels or Baby Powder, you'll LOVE the new Shea Butter candle. It's a creamy, calm, non-offensive smell that promises to bring you pure contentment. It's a gentle and very subtle scent but lovely, nonetheless. 

Aloe Water:
It is hard to pick but out of the three, I *think* Aloe Water is one is my favourite; a clean, refreshing, green and watery scent. It's difficult to describe the fragrance of this but it brings back memories of the Cucumber scented beauty products you used to be able to buy from Boots in the 90's. It also reminds me of a posh hotel spa because it's kind of soapy... in the nicest possible way! If it was to pick a candle to buy in a bigger jar, it would be Aloe Water.

Cassis is a thick, syrupy liquid made from blackcurrant so I expected it to smell a lot like Ribena. There is a strong kick of blackcurrant but it's not so sugary as Ribena. It is quite tart, a bit like raspberries, actually. This is definitely different to the usual blackcurrant scented products, one for those who like their fruity candles!

All three are available now from Yankee Candle website, stockists and outlets. They come in all sizes from tea lights to large jars, as well as wax tarts. Prices all stated on Yankee Candle website.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial | Beauty Review

REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial review
REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial review
REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial review

Face masks are a regular part of my skincare routine. Along with exfoliating, I use a good quality mask once a week and I like the ones that you can leave on your skin for a long time - to me, that equates to a better result. So when I was first introduced to the REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, I was skeptical. It was a new product at the time, I hadn't read any reviews beforehand and I wondered how can you achieve a spa facial results in just 60 seconds?! I was given a small sachet of it to try last year and I loved it so much that I asked for a full size product for Christmas. 

For those who don't like to sit around for half an hour with a gloopy face mask on your face, REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial might just be the product for you! It's convenient, effective and due to the potent Vitamin C in the formula, you will get you glowing results instantly, even after the first use. With it being a 'fast-acting" product that only takes one minute of your time, it means you can use it in the mornings as well so you can go out with your skin feeling AWESOME! It is also especially handy on evening when you're feeling a bit lazy too.

It's really easy to use, all you have to do is apply the amount of a 50 pence piece size (a lot more than what is shown in the image above - I didn't want to waste too much for the purpose of a photograph!) and massage to face and then apply water to activate the Vitamin C. Massage the gel again and leave for one single minute before rinsing. Exactly one minute is all it needs, no more and no less. The highly active formula brightens, rejuvenates, tones, firms and smoothes - all in the space of 1 minute! When I first used it, I felt like Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her in the scene where she's looking in the mirror after swallowing the potion. Looking in the mirror, I was like 'oooooh, so smooth". Honestly, if your skin is feeling dull and lacklustre (which mine is during Winter!) but don't often have time or the patience to apply a face mask, I highly recommend REN Flash Rinse.

When I'm using it, there is a smell of oranges. It has a citrus kick to it. There has been some reviews where people have complained about a strong metallic scent but I haven't experienced this. After a year of using natural, organic and herbal skincare, the smell of REN does not offend me at all. In fact, I can't even detect the "metallic" fragrance, all I can smell are oranges. However, REN has states that the metallic smell occuring is from when the Vitamin C is activating. 

This is a potent formula which suits all skin types apart from those prone to sensitivity. With anything like this though, it's always best to do a patch test behind your ear or on your arm. I haven't experienced any problems and continue to use this twice a week. 

This product is free from parabens, sulphates, synthetic fragrances and mineral oils. It has not been tested on animals. It cost £32 for a 75ml tube and is available from REN website and stockists (such as M&S, John Lewis and Space NK)

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Claudia Louch Loose Mineral Powder // Beauty Review

mineral powder, claudia louch mineral powder, setting powder
Reduce oils and get the flawless look with Claudia Louch Mineral Loose Powder*

Setting powders and powders that help to reduce the shine from oily skin are one of my beauty essentials. I think everyone should have something like this in their make up collection! I started off using a budget powder like the Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder and then I moved on to something with a bit more oomph (Benefit Cosmetics Agent Zero Shine) - both of which have served me well, but something else has come along that has taken over. 

The thing that sets Claudia Louch Mineral Loose Powder apart is that it's 94% natural, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and does not contain fragrance, parabens or SLS. I've got a lot of time for a product that is free from parabens, but also when it's non-comedogenic which means it doesn't block your pores. This makes this mineral powder suitable for pretty much all skin types, but especially for those who suffer from acne and similar skin problems. It can be a vicious cycle for people suffering from acne because skin tends to be oily. And when product is applied on oily skin, the bad stuff gets blocked in the pores which makes the problem of the breakout even worse. The mineral powder from Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic will give you a peace of mind knowing that this cosmetic product will not cake or clog.

mineral powder, claudia louch mineral powder, setting powder

The tub comes packaged in a branded drawstring pouch which is rather different to the usual cardboard packaging we're so used to seeing. I've actually been using the pouch to put little bits of make up in there so that it's all stored together in one place and I'm not rooting loose product at the bottom of my handbag. 

mineral powder, claudia louch mineral powder, setting powder

As the product title states, this is a loose powder, something I used to be petrified of using!! I've learnt to be more careful when using make up products like this. It can get messy, and be prepared for it - it's probably not the best product to use it if you're in a hurry!

Offering a light coverage, Claudia Louch Mineral Loose Powder is very similar to Benefit Cosmetics Agent Zero Shine but it's easier to use, has more of the good stuff and guarantees that it's non-comedogenic. It can be worn on it's own or as apply over foundation to set your make up. With a few light strokes, the mineral powder will absorb excess oils, cover imperfection and give you skin a flawless, silky, matte finish. 

The powder itself is a beige colour but there's no colour pigment in it so it is translucent when it transfers to your skin. It also lasts a lot longer than budget brands which is a huge plus. I don't really want to be whipping this tub of loose powder out of my bag for touch-ups. In fact, I wouldn't even dare put this make-up product in my handbag - I'm far too scared of powder spillage disaster!

mineral powder, claudia louch mineral powder, setting powder

Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic Mineral Loose Powder is available to buy exclusively from their website and retails for £47.50 for a 15gm tub.

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