Friday, August 1, 2014

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer

This review originally appeared on Beauty Bulletin and can be viewed here.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Hydrating*

Smashbox Cosmetics were developed for makeup artists on set, so they’re the real deal. Smashbox came up with the idea for primers because makeup artists were constantly having to do touch-ups on models throughout a photo-shoot, so they developed primers to help make makeup last longer and to help create that flawless look we all love! Even better, they recognise that everyone has different skin, so they created a range of products targeting different skin types and skin problems.
I have been testing the Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Hydrating. This product claims: “Give complexion a moisture boost while preparing the perfect canvas for foundation application. Apply over clean, moisturised skin.”

What I loved immediately is that it doesn’t have that thick, silicone-y texture that many other primers have. It’s quite thin and rubs into your skin easily, feeling very comfortable. I’m looking forward to using this lightweight primer when summer rolls around! It provides an added touch of moisture to ensure that foundation doesn’t go cakey or flaky on any dry areas of your face, while its oil-free formula also works well with oilier areas – a great win for those with combination skin. I also found that it did an excellent job of minimising the appearance of the large pores on and around my nose. Overall, it created a smooth, moisturised surface for my makeup to be applied over. I tried wearing this with several BB creams, CC creams and foundations – for all the makeup I applied, the use of this primer extended the wear time. It’s important to note that with primers, a little goes a long way! Applying too much can sometimes actually have the opposite effort and make your foundation slide off easier.

On the con side, it is rather more expensive than I would normally spend on a product like this (because I am on a tight budget), and I found that - while it did extend the wear of my makeup - it didn't make my makeup last as long as when I use a thicker, non-hydrating primer (like the original Smashbox Photo Finish primer).

And in case you want to look at my face: this photo was taken towards the end of the day (maybe 8 or 9 hours after doing my makeup?) (no filter, natural light). My foundation has stayed in place (this was the Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation in Vanilla) and so has my blush and highlighter, while the dry and flaky patches I have on my forehead and chin are still nicely concealed.

Have you tried a primer by Smashbox before? What were your thoughts.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Favourites

I am having serious trouble believing it's the end of July already. It doesn't feel like it should already be 2014 and now it's going to be August tomorrow? How on earth did that happen?! In any case, I thought I'd share some of the things I've been loving this cold and winter-y July. Sorry in advance for the odd lighting and colour in the product photos - I had to take them this morning before the sun came up. (I love winter but I am really looking forward to having sunlit mornings again!)

On the fashion side, my favourite this month has got to be the beanie from Factorie that I'm wearing in the above picture! It's lovely and warm, is soft (nothing worse than itchy knitwear), has a giant pom-pom and who can deny the stylistic appeal of the stars and stripes! It's all I was looking for in a beanie this winter!

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Sloan's Plum

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen this lipstick in more than a couple of selfies. I love how comfortable it is to wear and the plum shade is perfect for winter, so it's become one of my go-to shades for everyday wear. (Bonus - the colour matches my beanie!)

Rain Rooibos and Baobab Body Butter*

I received this body butter at the Rain blogger event in Platbos earlier this year but I've really fallen in love with it now that it's been colder. This body butter is very thick and rich, so it's perfect for winter skin. I also really love the scent - it's so unusual and so pretty - which I can smell on my skin for hours after application.

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream

My skin was playing up a bit this month (I think winter aggravates the redness) so my usual BB creams weren't cutting it anymore. This CC cream offers medium coverage and is good at disguising redness.


I often wear my hair in a high ponytail for work (need to keep that hair outta your face!) but now that my hair is longer, I was getting a headache at the end of each and every day - not cool! I'd heard lots about the Invisibobble hair ties and I'm excited to report they work! I haven't used a conventional hair tie for a ponytail in the month since I bought these and haven't had a ponytail-induced headache yet! They also don't leave that tell-tale kink in your hair, which is another bonus.

Plus one non-beauty favourite:

Villiage Candle in Warm Apple Pie

Because what's better in winter than a nice dessert-scented candle? This one smells of cinnamon with a touch of apple sweetness and buttery goodness. The only con is that it is very potent and my flat is very tiny, so I can't burn it for long periods of time because the air gets saturated with scent quickly.

Thought for the Day

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Facial Day and Night Cream

Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Facial Day and Night Cream - approx R189 each from Clicks

I've been using this day and night cream pair for about three months now and I've loving them! They have very little fragrance (just a hint of the classic Nivea scent) which is always a bonus for sensitive facial skin. Both creams are lovely and moisturising (thanks to hyaluronic acid), sink into the skin very quickly, are non-oily and leave my skin smooth and soft. This range is a little more expensive than the normal Nivea products, but still very budget friendly! (Bonus: A little goes a long way - I've been using these tubs for ages and I'm not even halfway through yet.)

The day cream is very light but still moisturises all my dry spots away. It has an SPF of 15, which isn't very high but I always put on a dedicated sunscreen cream anyway so it's not important to me. 
The night cream is richer and heavier, but never makes the oilier parts of my combination skin flare up. It's a pleasure to wear and has become my favourite part of my evening skincare routine. (An extra heads up - it's even good in the morning. Cleansing with The Body Shop's Cleansing Butter and then moisturising with this night cream is a great way to make morning-after, hungover skin feel back to normal!) (*cough* Not that I at all do this on a semi-regular basis *cough*)

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