Magic minerals

Ironically, for one who uses/buys/lusts after beauty products as much as I do, I have to confess I’ve never actually given mineral make-up a road test. I know, I know.

So when the opportunity to try out a new brand made entirely of the mineral stuff came along I jumped at the chance. And this isn’t just any new make up launch ladies, it’s the launch of a brand co-founded by Kimberly Wyatt, of Pussycat Doll fame.

Along with Scottish business partner Laura McComiskie, founder of skincare line Love The Planet, Kimberly has launched BM Beauty, an all-encompassing range of mineral foundations, blushes, bronzers, concealers and finishing powders, as well as vibrant eyeshadows, mascaras and lip glosses.

In a nutshell, the BM Beauty range is high fashion, natural and cruelty free, not to mention vegetarian and vegan friendly. The products even have the stamp of approval from the BUAV.

Animal-friendly attributes aside however, what got me interested was the huge list of skin-friendly ingredients. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll probably still have an acne-fest of a face that rivals any teenager when I’m 50 (God forbid), so I was more than intrigued when I saw that all of the foundations in this range contain zinc, a natural anti-inflammatory which is great for spot-prone skin like mine. Plus, mineral make-up is far less likely to clog up your skin throughout the day, so you can keep it well topped up without feeling overly done up. Bonus.

BM Beauty also scores highly with me for being free from parabens, synthetic dyes and fragrances. Since reading up on parabens a while ago I’ve been careful to ensure that any moisturiser I choose now is free of them, so using a make-up range that follows suit is definitely a must.

I was lucky enough to be able to try out these gorgeous eye shadows from the range, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The best bit? They’re nice and light for the daytime, which meant I could wear them to work and not feel too made up, but come night time/weekends when I wanted a more dramatic look I simply mixed whichever one took my fancy with a dab of water before applying and the colour intensified ten-fold.

Dusty Road

Platinum Tiara

Her Majesty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dusty Road and Platinum Tiara are now my weapons of choice for a subtle daytime look, but Her Majesty wins hands down whenever I need something a little bit different for the weekend. And I’ve tried it out as a blusher, for which by the way, it works just as well.

 

 

 

If BM Beauty floats your boat, then check out the entire range here: www.bmbeauty.com, where you can also watch video tutorials to help you get the most out of the products. The range will be hitting selected outlets nationwide later in the year, so keep a well made-up eye out!

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Spend vs Save

 

Hairspray is one of many timeless beauty products that never gets the attention it deserves.

Forget all the fancy lotions and potions that hog the limelight, hairspray has been an essential part of my getting ready ritual for well, as long as I’ve had hair, basically.

And a good one is hard to come by. I’ve tried many over the years, and no matter how much they say they’ll volumise/keep your hair glued in position against all manner of weather conditions, the cheaper ones just don’t really cut the mustard.

Until now. Tesco are currently offering a range of well known and own brand hairsprays for a snip of the price you might find elsewhere – there’s something for everyone, whether you’re spending, saving or just looking for something new.

If, like me, you’re still on a bit of a budget, then Tesco’s ProFlex Max Hold Hairspray is the stuff for you. This promises to hold your locks in place all night long without that stuck-down, stiff look and I have to say, it does deliver. I was pleasantly surprised that a quick brush before bed rid my hair of nearly all of this, and more to the point I wasn’t left with that sticky, post hair wash residue that’s common of a few other budget brands.

Tesco's ProFlex Hairspray max hold £2.00 for 200ml

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will certainly give a professional finish to any ‘do, up or down, and considering it costs a mere £2 for a 200ml bottle it’s definitely worth a try.

However, if you’re not watching the pennies and fancy treating yourself then nothing beats a generous helping of Elnett’s Satin Volume Extra Strength Hairspray. If you’ve ever used Elnett then you’ll know what I’m talking about; if you haven’t then get down to Tesco, where you can pick yourself up a decent-sized can for well under a fiver.

Elnett Satin Volume Extra Strength, £3.54 for 200ml at Tesco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whichever one you decide on, you’ll be grabbing a beauty bargain that doesn’t break the bank.

Every little helps

Not content with selling food, clothing, beauty products, eye tests, medicines and insurance (amongst a host of other things), it might be little surprise to some of you that Tesco has just launched a new health and beauty service.

The service comprises a range of high-quality, cut-price treatments for hair and nails, ensuring customers the ultimate supermarket shopping experience.

Nail bars and threading are currently being trialled at stores in Wembley, Cambridge Bar Hill, Milton Keynes Kingston and Manchester (Walkden) and standalone beauty salons – which also offer hairdressing services – opened in Leicester and Chesterfield on January 31st.

Apart from the convenience aspect, obviously, and the fact that no appointments will be necessary, prices are extremely competitive – £20 for a cut and blow dry, £15 for a shampoo and hair cut and £12.50 for a dry hair cut. A half leg wax is £10 and full leg £15.

Customers will also be able to purchase top of the range, professional haircare products from the likes of Redken and TIGI Bedhead.

Shopping is a seriously stressful business, especially when it comes to supermarkets these days (think the Sunday before you go back to work + a hangover + a bit of token trolley rage and you get the picture right?), so this new initiative from Tesco is not only genius for us but also incredibly clever on their part too, given that we’re living in the new age of austerity. If you can save money on something then you more than likely will right now, even if it comes to a quick trim or a dab of dye on the roots. Even Tesco know that.

Whilst the initiative might only be in its trial stages at the moment, this looks set to be a surefire hit: “We know Beauty Treatments are very popular with many people these days, and we feel the convenience of great value and quality services from manicures to full waxing and styling could be a success with customers”, were the exact words from Andrew Carpenter, Beauty Category Manager at Tesco. And I dare say few would agree. Pretty soon Tesco won’t just be filling the kitchen cupboards and wardrobes of millions of homes, it’ll be a one-stop shop for every kind of convenience.

Clubcards at the ready…

Want clear skin the easy way?

Melting Cleansing Gel, £19.40 for 125ml

When I’m hungover, my skin is undoubtedly at its worst; dry, itchy, blotchy and (worst of all) shiny.

So what better time than this to put the rescuing effects of a particularly luxurious face wash to the test I ask you?

Last Sunday, after waking from a night of er, ‘celebrations’ (for want of a prettier way to say ‘I drank Smirnoff out of profits’), my skin was definitely crying out for a whole lot of TLC.

Rather handy then, that I’d just been sent a lifeline from Elemis in the shape of their new Melting Cleansing Gel face wash. Not content with being an average lather-up-and-slap-it-on type of face cleanser, this clever new product is designed to clean your face in two simple steps, with minimal mess and fuss. Perfect. Because, quite frankly, the less I have to do to achieve the perfect skin in the shortest amount of time, the better.

How it works is fairly straightforward; you simply smooth the delicious, citrus-scented gel all over your face, give it a little massage, then dip your fingers into some warm water and work it all in. The water reacts with the gel to create a soft milk which can then be quickly and easily wiped away.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m majorly excited (probably a little too excited, in fact) about the prospect of being able to wash my face without having to actually get it soaking wet. It’s genius, and makes choosing a multi-purpose cleanser to take away on holiday with me later this year so much easier.

Obviously with such products – and the fact I have incredibly sensitive skin – it’s always essential to check out all the ingredients, and this certainly boasts an impressive selection; light and golden Argan Oil, mattifying Rice Silk, lipid-rich Assai Fruit and anti-oxidant Rosemary. Put simply, this will pick up dirt and loosen grime to cleanse at a deep level.

I have to be honest, I’m always a bit skeptical when it comes to any kind of face wash or cleanser (given that so many send my skin into overdrive), but I was seriously impressed by how clean and fresh I looked and felt after using this. It genuinely did brighten, tighten and moisturise my face, and the uplifting citrus scent made me feel more refreshed and a lot less like I’d been up all night drinking the anti-christ of all things good-skin-related.

What I have to confess to liking most about this product though – and this might be shallow, but if you’ve ever had bad skin you’ll understand where I’m coming from – was that it allowed me to go make-up free all day and still look half-decent. Granted, I wasn’t leaving the house (read, going within 2 feet of the fridge) all day, but whenever I caught sight of myself I was pleased to see that I didn’t look quite so bad as I normally would, all things considered.

The real test, however, has been keeping the routine up this week; my theory being that if the Melting Cleansing Gel can make me look human on a hangover, then it’s got to make my regular skin look pretty much like the stuff dreams are made of right? And so far, so good. All in all I appear to be less shiny and look slightly more (dare I say it) radiant.

So would I recommend this to a friend? Yes, most definitely. Used on a daily basis, this product will enhance the look and feel of your skin. I like it so much I’ve even ditched my primer, and that’s saying something.

Yes, it’s slightly more pricey than some other cleansing products out there, but sometimes in life you just want to buy something that does exactly what it says on the pretty, white packaging. And this certainly does.