Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Clarisonic Mia - is it really worth it?

Reviewing products like this is precisely why I got into blogging. The Clarisonic has received so much hype, everyone just laaaaaves it, it's so uhmazing etc etc. When researching the product though, I wondered how much of that is
 a) PR fuelled hype - I got my expensive product for free so I'm gonna say great things about it or
 b) all the cool kids think it's fantastic so I'm gonna say it's great too. 

I felt the need to be something of a Penn and Teller 'Bullshit' (if you haven't seen it I'd highly recommend it) of the blogging world, or 'Mythbusters' if we're looking for a analogy with less cursing in it's title. With that in mind, here's my review of the Clarisonic Mia, grab a cuppa for this one, there's a tale or two to be told.

So, a few months ago P.Diddy was very generous and although gently guided, bought me the perfect gift, the pink Clarisonic Mia that I'd had my eye on for a while.

My reasons for wanting this were:
  •  my sister told me she knows a lady in her 40's who swears by it and looks around 20. No, no, this is clearly nothing to do with genetics, the Clarisonic and the Clarisonic only will be my savior.
  • the skin on my face is an arse, and a spotty one at that. It's waited until my late 20's to go through puberty. Hurrah!
  • I'm a sucker for a fad
  • It comes in pink

Bolstered by all of those very valid reasons, I was delirah when I opened the box to see my shiny new gadget that was going to completely change my genetic, hormonal make up.

For those of you who mightn't be over familiar with what the Clarisonic actually does, it cleanses and exfoliates your face by using small sonic pulses through it's rotating brush. My Clarisonic is a later model and has a built in timer that beeps after 10 seconds to indicate moving on to the next area of the face. The brush then turns itself off after a minute to prevent overuse. 

Back to my reviews... well, like a kid with a new toy at Christmas, I went hell for leather with my Clarisonic. I used it day and night for a week. My skin felt as smooth as a babies backside. It really was fabulous. I'd catch myself unconsciously stroking my marble smooth face during the day. That was until disaster struck and my face began to resemble  a babies bum - the nappy rash kind. Yep, that wasn't really part of the plan.I was getting massive break outs on my chin and I couldn't understand why. That was until I remembered something that had happened to me last year.

 In ye olde Summer of 2013 I'd taken to using a facewash with microbeads in it to cleanse my face morning and night. I thought the microbeads would scrub all traces of spots away. It had the opposite effect on my skin. Instead of making it  cleaner and clearer (as was implied by the brand name) ,it was making it spottier and em.. unclearer. It was explained to me that over exfoliating the face can leave the skin susceptible to spots as it's stripping of a protective layer and causing the cells to work too hard to regenerate themselves.

 I had a disappointing light bulb moment when I realized that this is what must be happening to me with my Clarisonic. I'd suffered temporary amnesia and forgotten that little nugget of information. I used the Clarisonic a fair few times last week and now have a whopper amount of spots on my face. One even on the skin /lip border -- how is that even possible? Then I remembered what I shouldn't have forgotten.... ah.

I've now come to view my Clarisonic like I see my Mark Jacobs bag, a 30th birthday present to myself. (I'm very gernerous to myself, aren't I?)  Even though it's really expensive for what it is, I love it. It's not something that I can use everyday but it's not something that will ever go out of style either. There won't be a point where I won't want to use it. It's something that for years to come, despite not using it daily I will still really appreciate it on the days that I do.

In brief the Clarisonic:

makes your skin super smooth
is very fancy
may give you spots from overuse if  you've spot prone skin
won't make you look 20 in your 40's.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Make Up Geek Brushes: Brushes You Need To Know About


Sleep shopping, apparently this is a new thing in my life now. Not that I'm complaining or anything, I just suppose someone would want to let my credit card know

A few months ago I woke up during the middle of the night and no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn't getting back to sleep. I got up and started to browse through YouTube videos. Marlena of The Make Up Geek been one of my long time favourites. I'd been meaning to try out her line of cosmetics and brushes for a while and at 3 am I figured the time is now. In a couple of thumb taps on my phone I was told that the brushes were on their way. Off to sleep I went, only to wake up without a single memory of the whole experience, with the confirmation email bringing all of this back to me at lunch time the next day.

Here's what I bought in my semi alert state:

Bent Liner Brush 

This brush is perfect for applying gel liner. The bent angle of the brush makes it pretty foolproof. I know, foolproof and gel eyeliner don't generally tend to go in the same sentence but honestly, that bent angle takes all of the fiddliness out of applying the eyeliner. Your hands don't have to contort themselves in to all sort of weird angles like some overexcited mime and you can get on with the easy task of following the water line. Being so easy to use means that it's possible to create both very thin and thick dramatic lines.

The Outer V Brush

This brush was designed for applying eyeshadow to the outer v section of the eye, used predominantly in the ubiquitous smokey eye. What I love about this brush is the fact the bristle are quite compact. There's no room to mess with them. I have other angled brushes that are all a bit too fluffy and kinda faff around the job. They leave a trail of loose shadow in their wake. None of that with this brush,  It gets in and gets the job done. 

The Angled Contour Brush

The bristles in this brush aren't the softest, although, that's not to say that they're rough. Like the outer v brush, they're compact and sturdy. Again, I like this. I'm not there to brush a bunny rabbit's tale off my face, I want to apply a bit of bronzer in the hope that I will magically have Angelina Jolie cheekbones. The sturdiness of the brush allows for precise application of the bronzer with no product fall out.

None of the brushes have shed a single hair in the months that I've had them.

I've saved the best bit for last: the price. 

The bent liner brush is $6.99
The outer v brush is $7.99
The angled contour brush is $8.99

Insanely good value for money. Including postage of $9.14 (which took 3 weeks) the whole sleep shopping experience cost me $33.11  approximately €26 , which is a dream (ouch!)  for 3 brushes which I use daily :) 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The cheapest and easiest way to remove Benefit's They're Real mascara

Panda eyes, the sign that you've either had a really great night or a really bad nights sleep. Either way, it's something that you probably don't want to broadcast to the world, well, not on your face anyways.

Despite it's lovely, wonderful, super lengthening, all over fabulousness, Benefit's 'They're Real' mascara is an absolute demon for letting the world know 'I haven't had time to take my eye make up off properly!!'.  Despite taking extra care when removing it, I would still find rings of the mascara under my eyes the next morning , or even worse, magically appearing as if from nowhere on my face half way through the next day. It was nearly enough to turn me off using the it, only keeping it up for big nights out, until I discovered the easiest and cheapest way to remove all traces of the offending product.

Drum roll.................

Boot's own brand eye make-up remover pads. 

 The product itself looks like a throwback from something from communist Russian times and is just as cheap. Billing in at €1.99 or 3 for €4, this stuff is definitely cheaper than chips. Keeping with our communist product theme here, the packaging is about as useful as good sensible shoes. The plastic container is small and compact which makes it ideal for throwing into a make up bag/ bringing on holidays.

While it mightn't be so fancaay, it certainly is effective. One pad will remove all traces of eye makeup including that stubborn They're Real mascara. Not a single black rim to be seen the next morning.

Bleery red eyes? Well now, that might be your own fault ;)