Real Techniques Blush Brush

28 February 2012
Real Techniques is the brush collection from top makeup artist and beauty vlogger Sam Chapman. The line of brushes are unique to their market and completely versatile, they're individually cut by hand and feature a self standing base for ease of use. A standpoint for Real Techniques is all brushes are made from Taklon bristles, meaning they're 100% cruelty free and synthetic without compromising on quality.
Real Techniques launched in Boots at the start of February, and were an instant hit! They sold out in almost all stores and online within days of the launch, I felt so lucky to have gotten my hands on some before the shelves were cleared.
Real Techniques brushes are packaged in chic plastic casing, the colour coded products make it easy to find exactly what you're looking for too, which is handy. Gold means base, purple means eyes and pink means finish; here we can see the Blush Brush is a part of the 'finish' collection and so takes the pink handle.
The bristles are domed in shape, allowing you to use the brush in varying ways - such as contouring, shaping or simply adding colour. I use the brush by contouring my cheeks with the side of the brush, then using the peaked end to add a pop of colour to the apple of my cheek. At the same time the design of the bristles is very dense, meaning the brush picks up plenty of colour in one sweep across the pan!
The feeling of the bristles is very soft and smooth, without feeling too synthetic at all, there is very little fall out at all and they're easy peasy to clean. Against the face they feel dreamy and almost relaxing!
Standing the brush is a feature users will either love or hate, I prefer the standing brush as it's handy if I haven't got my storage to hand and don't want to lay the bristles against anything. It takes a little getting used to but I think it's a very innovative and useful design, it helps the brush stay stable in your hand and gives easy grip too.
When applied to the face with the Real Techniques Blush Brush, I found my mineral and pressed blushes appeared near-flawless, I'd go so far to say they look better than when applied with a far more expensive MAC brush. Application is smooth, easy, and flawless, you can build colour well with the brush and contouring is a breeze. I don't know how I ever survived without this brush, I can see my old MAC and Sigma brushes collecting dust in the corner, and I don't even feel bad about it!

Real Techniques Blush Brush retails for £9.99 in larger Boots stores, Boots online and at the Real Techniques website.
At the start of the year (here) I told you about the latest addition to the Liz Earle haircare collection - Botanical Shine Treatment (*).
The Botanical Shine Treatment is a deep treatment for the hair, aimed at coarse, frizzy or very dry hair types. I myself have very fine hair and a lot of it, but thanks to endless blow drying and styling I have very dry ends! It is used by smoothing through wet hair, then left for 10 minutes for a quick nourish or up to 30 minutes wrapped in a towel or shower cap for 30 minutes for a deep treat.
The packaging is classic Liz Earle, the patent bottle is easy to hold and squeeze, and the cap end places back easily to prevent spills. There's an air of class and beauty surrounding the Liz Earle packaging, so I feel anyway! It's so chic and aesthetically pleasing, and if you order online it arrives wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a sticker.
The formula of the product is thick and creamy, as pictured, and needless to say it distributes through the hair like a dream; the formula is this way so it stays on the hair for the length of time required. For my mid-length hair I used one or two walnut sized dollops of product.
When applied a subtle scent which I can only describe as alike horse chestnut (does anyone agree with me?) is released, it's really relaxing and pleasant, and stays on the hair until the next wash.
I'll say from the offset that, rather disappointingly, the product doesn't 'feel' as though it's working on the hair whilst its applied, it doesn't give that instant smoothed feeling when you wash through the product, but go with it and have faith.
Once rinsing through the hair and drying, the product comes into it's own! I tend to get a lot of flyways and static whilst I blow dry my hair, having used the treatment for only ten minutes this was not the case at all. My hair remained smooth and manageable whilst drying, and once dry it felt oh so soft and smooth, not to mention how much softer my ends were!
When left for 30 minutes the product gave even more incredible results, it left a gorgeous shine and kept my hair completely smooth even in humid settings such as the gym, and my locks were still manageable but silky. I can see these results working particularly well with thicker and possibly even curly hair types as it tamed my hair so well.
What I really like about the product is it doesn't leave any build up or residue and doesn't accelerate the length of time it takes for the hair to build grease either. It lives up to all its claims and I would certainly repurchase!

150ml is £14.00, available from Liz Earle stores and online.
Following the great success of the Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint 2011 and the ever popular Lip Shimmers in 2003, and after three years of design, a new range is coming to us this year from the botanical expertise of Liz Earle.
The 'Liz Earle Colour' range is a capsule collection of ten products, none are tested on animals and all are suitable for all skin types.
Here we have a sneak peak of three of the products: a healthy glow creme blush, light reflecting concealer and cream lip glosses! Each product is available in a vast range of colours to suit and compliment all skin tones.



Liz Earle Colour collection launches June 2012, available from Liz Earle online, Liz Earle stores and John Lewis!
The Body Shop Vitamin E line comprises of face and body care products containing the vital ingredient 'Vitamin E'. Vitamin E is a gentle ingredient meaning its suitable to be used on all skin types (though best suited to 'normal' skin types), a great advantage to the range.
The Vitamin E Hand & Nail Treatment is my favourite product from the range, I just had to tell you about it!
The baby pink packaging is lovely and practical, it's the perfect size for popping in your handbag and it squeezes product like a dream. The product is delicately scented of Vitamin E, a creamy scent which lies slightly talky!
The formula is non-oily and super smooth, it absorbs quickly which means you can use your hands straight away, rather than slipping about everywhere with everything you try to hold! You only need a pea sized amount (as pictured) so a little goes a very long way, which for me (along with the results) justifies the price tag.
In terms of results, my hands are smoothed until the next use, even if I wash them! It banishes any dry skin at all and softens my cuticles well, allowing me to push them back without any problems or little pains. I can't say however that I feel my nails are any stronger from using this, but I don't use it every day so I can't fully comment.
For an extra boost I found this cream worked incredibly well when left on overnight with gloves, it deeply nourished into the skin with the added heat and left my hands smooth for at least three days!

The Body Shop Hand & Nail treatment retails for £8 from The Body Shop online and instore.

MAC Fix + Review

20 February 2012

PRICE: £12.50/100ml or £7.00/30ml

AVAILABILITY: MAC stores and online

CLAIMS: 'An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance, finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up!' - MAC online

PRODUCT: The packaging is classic to MAC skincare, a translucent tube with a matte black lid. The Fix + has a push-spray top which dispenses product easily across the whole surface of the face, it dispenses a little too much product for my liking.
One spray dispenses a lot of product, you will certainly only need one spray onto your face unless you want it to look wet! One spray leaves a dewy finish, for me it's too dewy and again appears slightly wet. Once sprayed to the face the product takes around 2 or 3 minutes to dry, which is quite annoying if you're in a rush! It gives an instant cooling and refreshing sensation, which is what I liked most about the product, making it perfect for those warm summer months. The scent is delicate and fresh, it's hardly noticeable at all.
In terms of 'refreshing' makeup, I don't feel the product goes the extra mile. Admittedly my face looks a little brighter but my makeup doesn't last any longer nor is the colour any more intense. I'd go so far to say this decreased the wear-length of some of my cheaper brands of makeup, and left an unpleasant feeling on top of cream blushes.
This product seems to vary with skin type, it works very well on dryer skin types, but not so well on combination or oily, through my experience.

RATING: 3/10 - great for a quick refresh to the face for the summer but very overpriced for what the actual product does considering the claims. Perfect for those who strive towards a dewy complexion, but personally I would not repurchase.
Excuse the 'well loved' photographs, I do hate to post a product that isn't new but I was dying to post these swatches for you. Lilicent came a part of the line of MAC Blushecreme's - cream blushes reached their peak in 2011 and it seems their popularity is staying for 2012.
Cream blushes are perfect for those wanting a soft and dewy yet natural look, they're easy to apply with a finger or stippling brush and a little goes a long way.

As always, the packaging has classic MAC design - it's sleek and sturdy, I've dropped this countless times (oops!) and it hasn't shattered or split. The product stays fresh in the pan, it remains subtly moist to the touch and in good condition so long as you close the lid after each use.
In the pan the shade leans slightly terracotta with vintage pink and peach hues, when swatched and blended the shade because a lot softer, it's a gorgeous pastel honey hue. The formulation lasts a good six or seven hours on the skin whilst leaving a 'dewy' finish. Those with oily skin may wish to steer clear of this unless set with powder as it can slip a little.

MAC Lilicent retails for £17.50 but it's been discontinued so if you like it you may need to hunt a little! 
Amidst the biting weather this February I've been day dreaming about the slowly approaching warm summer months, I'd do anything to speed up their arrival! Citrus scents always give me that summer holiday feeling, they're my staple summer shower scent and I can't get enough of them. To bring that summer feeling round as quickly as possible I've been juicing up my shower with The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish.
The transparent packaging with satsuma detail sits well with my tastes, it's to the point and aesthetically pleasing. The packaging itself is practical for dispensing the product though it does take some muscles to squeeze a lot of product at once! I find a walnut sized amount is more than enough to cover my whole body, the gel formula glides easily across the surface, depositing granules as it goes.
The gel formula contains particles of walnut shell and loofah to gently exfoliate and buff the skins surface; they have an even saturation in the formula which works well. The particles themselves aren't at all harsh or scratchy but do their job more than sufficiently.
Once smoothed across the skin the results are instant and noticeable, dead skin cells and flakiness are banished without any harsh scrubbing and no residue or red patches are left behind.
I'd say this product works brilliantly as a shower gel and buffer if you're in a rush, I like to double up with the Body Shop Satsuma Shower Gel for an added burst of satsuma sensation.
My favourite aspect of the product is the zingy citrus scent, it's very strong and punchy but not at all displeasing! The scent lasts all day on the skin, particularly when doubled up with the Satsuma Body Puree.
If like me you can't get enough of that early summer feeling and the addictive citrus scent of satsuma, why not try the shower gel and body puree too?

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish retails at £9 per 200ml or 2 for £15 exclusively at Body Shop stores and The Body Shop online.

Four Reasons Duster Review

14 February 2012
Hair powders have become a product of the moment, particularly popular with salon brands they're a new way of adding texture to your hair without any hairspray, wax or gel. The finely milled powders can be rubbed between the palms before smoothing through the roots of the hair and styling; they act as a two in one to style the hair and refresh between washes.
Hair powders, particularly in their milled form, are most suited to shorter hair lengths; now my hair has grown beyond my shoulders I find little use for powders so I hand this review over to the lovely Dave! Dave describes his hair as unruly and longer than your average male, he wants a product that's easy to use, gives him lasting texture and stands the tests of his busy lifestyle.
Unlike its rivals, Tigi and L'Oreal, the Four Reasons duster offers finer texture and a whopping 10g of product. Ingredients such as Silica give the hair flexibility with an ultra strong hold that should last as long as you do.

PRICE: £11.95/10g pot

AVAILABILITY: Four Reasons website and selected salons

CLAIMS: 'Volumising hair and texture powder, ideal for intensifying your look' - Four Reasons online

PRODUCT: The packaging is portable and practical, the lid twists on and off too which means you don't have to worry about spilling the product when not in use. The insets don't give so much control when dispensing the product because they're quite wide, so you do need to be careful. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of the bright green hue but the quirky sayings put a smile on my face.
Application of the Duster is easy thanks to its super fine texture, I rubbed it between my hands and ruffled them through my hair. Instantly I had texture which was easy to work with and definition to my layers with uplifted roots, my usually unruly barnet felt a lot more controlled. Although I felt no stickiness in my hair, it felt and looked very dry and dehydrated as soon as the product was applied and this lasted through wear until my next wash which I really didn't like; it left a tacky feeling on my hands too.
My final word is this is a great product if you want definition, texture and control but you will need to look past the straw-like feeling it gives to the hair when you touch it.

RATING: 6/10 - the product added great texture to my hair which lasted a long time, but the feeling it left behind in my hair was unpleasant and the price is still too high even for a 10g pot, I'd rather less product and a better price.
If you've come across Liz Earle you've probably heard all about her ever famous skincare routine, particularly the cleanse and polish! Six years ago, Liz Earle used her botanical knowledge to branch into the world of haircare, introducing one shampoo to compliment all hair types and three conditioners for specific hair types: dry/damaged, normal and oily.
The Liz Earle haircare line was an instant hit, six years on it's received countless awards, including the Beauty Insiders Choice Awards and WomansHome Best In Beauty Award in 2011.
Packaged in colour-coordinated packaging so you can tell each product apart, the Liz Earle Shampoo and conditioner have an air of speciality about them when they sit in the shower or bath. The glossy patent packaging is a breeze to dispense product from, and you only need a walnut sized amount of each for mid length hair.
The shampoo has a thick consistency but lathers well through the hair, it isn't at all hard to apply. After massaging the shampoo through the hair and rinsing thoroughly with water I apply the conditioner which is of an equal consistency and leave it for two or three minutes before rinsing thoroughly again.
The results are almost instant, whilst rinsing the hair I can feel how detangled and smoothed my hair is, this manageability remains through to drying and styling.
One problem I found with this shampoo and conditioner combination is it made my hair almost too soft, it was so silky and soft it slipped out of ponytails and bobby pins really easily! This does lead me to explain how incredibly soft and silky my hair was after use, a lasting effect right until my next wash.

Liz Earle Shampoos and Conditioners retail for £8 each per 200ml and £4.25 each per 50ml, exclusively to Liz Earle stores and online.
If you're going to buy me a drink I'll make it a Disaronno and Orange - there's nothing I love more than the sweet marzipan taste of amaretto, and Disaronno deliver that combination perfectly.
Just in time for valentines day, Disaronno are giving away free lip glosses with promotional 500ml packs!
Packaged at the top of the bottle in valentines themed cardboard, the adorable 8ml of lipgloss features amber coloured formula scented like Disaronno, it mirrors the liqueur perfectly. The plastic tube is designed with a twist cap, decorated with outlines of silver Disaronno bottles and lettering.
The formula itself is as you'd expect for a free lipgloss, very, very sticky! Stickiness aside, it lasts for a good four or five hours, and has the gentle scent and taste of Disaronno which is a lovely and surprising touch - it's definitely a freebie for the true Disaronno lovers amongst us!
The shade is fairly neutral, though it shows some amber signs in cracks of the lips, so do be aware to scrub and moisturise the lips before application!

Promotional packs of Disaronno can be found at all good supermarkets until Valentines 2012, they've been a sell out in Northampton so get yours while you can!

Please drink Disaronno and all other alcoholic beverages responsibly, be aware some countries have raised the age limit of drinking to 21, in the UK it remains 18 years of age.
Creme D'Nude was relaunched as a part of the MAC 'In The Groove' Collection in 2010, where it has since remained a permanent shade in MAC's ever growing line of lip colours.
Packaged in the classic black bullet with the twist up mechanism, Creme D'Nude has it's firm place in the line of permanent shades for the Cremesheen collection, which first came onto the scene in 2008. Cremesheen formulas give medium to full coverage with their creamy soft formula, provide an element of moisture and last around five or six hours, depending on what you do with your lips!
Creme D'Nude is certainly one for those nude-lip lovers out there, it's a fleshy toned shade with pink undertones, I detect subtle yellow undertones as well. This shade tends to take its hue from the shade of the skin however, on me it looks slightly like concealer lips if I use too much which I can't say is at all flattering! You would need to try this on your own lips before making a firm purchase I imagine, less is more with this shade I feel.

Creme D'Nude retails for £13.50 from Mac stores and the MAC website.
Continuing from yesterdays post about freshly launched haircare brand 'Four Reasons' in the UK, I bring you the second product I've tested - Four Reasons Volume Mousse. 
The Four Reasons volume mousse is ideal for those such as myself with finer hair who want to add lightweight lift to the root, it hasn't been tested in this review on thicker hair so please be aware results may vary depending on your hair type.

PRICE: £5.95/100ml (*) or £11.95/200ml

AVAILABILITY: Four Reasons website and selected salons

CLAIMS: 'A lightweight non-sticky mousse for adding loads of extra volume to fine hair' - product website

PRODUCT: Little advance to say on the packaging that I didn't say yesterday, I personally quite like the packaging as it's quite fun and different. The mechanism to dispense the product is easy, you shake the can a few times then push down on the pump to steadily release a foam, a typical mechanism to mousse products.
The formula is a liquid-to-foam consistency, once dispensed the product transforms into a thick foam which grows in front of your eyes. I apply the lightweight foam by smoothing it between my hands then ruffling it through my roots going from the forehead to the crown of my head and through, it's easy to disperse! No sticky feeling is left when dispersed through the hair or once dried, in fact I found no build up at all.
When left to dry naturally I saw little change in the volume or lift of my hair, when blow dried I noticed a significant difference - my hair had lots of lift, it was very smooth and almost 'whispy'. My hair is smoothed at every use but remains controllable and holds the lift, I found this product worked extremely well when used with the Four Reasons Volume Booster which I posted about yesterday.

RATING: 8/10 - the results match up to claims but the price may be a little high for some. I can't say much more than the mousse works and I would repurchase!

To celebrate their UK launch Four Reasons are offering an incredible competition to their Facebook and Twitter fans, the lucky winner receives £250 worth of Four Reasons products and an amazing hair makeover with five time British Hairdressing Champion Craig Hubert! To be in with a chance of winning and to find out more, head to the Four Reasons website: http://www.fourreasonshaircare.com/#!__competition.
This February saw the official launch of Four Reasons, Scandinavia's fastest growing haircare brand, in the UK. Already popular with salons all around the UK including Craig Hubert's London and Essex salons, the Four Reasons ranges tailored to your haircare needs are set to take us by storm.
With a range of over 30 shampoos, conditioners and stylers (including some products never seen in the UK before) available at prices ranging from £5-£12 you can get salon quality products at a fraction of the price; it's no wonder they won Cosmopolitan's Best Hair Product award in 2011!
I'm forever seeking to add volume to my rather lacklustre, ultra fine hair without backcombing it to the end of the earth. I've been kindly sent the Volume range from Four Reasons to see just how much volume I can add to my hair using these products alone, no back combing or root-crimping in sight!

PRICE: £11.95/250ml (*)

AVAILABILITY: Four Reasons online and selected UK salons

CLAIMS: 'Upright roof lifter, gives volume, body and a great lift, speeds up drying time. Spray on damp hair, especially to the root' - product packaging as pictured

PRODUCT: The Four Reasons packaging is certainly something to put a smile on your face, adorned with quirky sayings and lyrics replaced with the word 'hair', it's fun to look at and unique. The design of the packaging is practical, a plastic protective cap prevents product leakage and the spray mechanism is easy to use, it dispenses just the right amount of product.
The formulation is slightly 'tacky' to the touch but very fluid (as pictured), it disperses through the hair nicely without leaving any greasy, sticky feelings or residue once dry; I found four or five squirts at the roots and one or two squirts through the lengths ideal.
I spray the Volume Booster to towel dried hair and then blow dry, it can however be left naturally which gives a similar voluptuous effect, just not as much as when blow dried. I can confirm it does indeed speed up drying time, especially through the lengths of the hair, it cut down my natural drying time by about 30 minutes which is highly impressive!
When blow dried the product really comes into it's own, my hair transforms into masses of textured, silky soft volume which remains controllable. Once dried you can style your voluptuous hair as you wish, I straighten or curl mine depending on the desired style, no matter what style I create the volume holds its own without dropping.
I've been using Four Reasons Volume Booster for just over a week now and I've fallen head over heels for the product, every time I use it the results are amazing and my style stays even if I forget hairspray. I've barely touched my backcombing brush, much to my hairs delight, and I've had super volume round the clock!

RATING: 10/10 - for a product priced around a similar mark to Tigi products and L'oreal I'm completely impressed. The results of this product alone astounded me, I didn't need to backcomb my hair at all and the style lasted as long as I needed it to. This has become my go-to instant volume product, I will definitely repurchase.

To celebrate their UK launch Four Reasons are offering an incredible competition to their Facebook and Twitter fans, the lucky winner receives £250 worth of Four Reasons products and an amazing hair makeover with five time British Hairdressing Champion Craig Hubert! To be in with a chance of winning and to find out more, head to the Four Reasons website: http://www.fourreasonshaircare.com/#!__competition.
Naked Skincare are the company who retail 97% natural skin and body care products, free from parabens and other such nasties! Naked products are completely vegan and vegetarian friendly, and dermatologically and skincare tested to ensure they're completely ideal for even the most sensitive of skin, especially as they're fragrance free*.
*Naked products have a delicate scent to them, delivered naturally through the ingredients used.
This product review spawns from recommendation by my darling friend Katie; she brought this to my house when she stayed once and I instantly hopped to using it. I can't resist testing my friends products and I liked this one so much I bought it myself.


PRICE: £4.49/200ml

AVAILABILITY: Superdrug instore and online, Naked Skincare online and KMI Club

CLAIMS: 'Our gentle cream cleanser is full of famous faces: aloe vera is well known for soothing and hydrating. It’s joined on the red carpet by cocoa butter which helps soften the skin and ginseng is all about the radiance darling!' - Naked Skincare online

PRODUCT: I hate to start with a complaint, but I'm going to get the negative out the way - I can't stand the packaging. As pleasing as it is to the eye the design really troubles me, the tube is difficult to squeeze, which makes tipping the tube upside down and popping the press mechanism to dispense product very annoying (as pictured).
Packaging aside, all I can do is sing this products' praises. This cream cleanser is to be used after washing the face with water or using a face wipe and before toning, it's swept on with a cotton pad with no need to wash off because it's completely natural. I do however recommend investing in a toner for use after the product, just to prevent any product buildup and remove any remaining grime or makeup.
The formula is very creamy, it isn't fluid but not at all emulsive either, it's just right; once poured a delicate and natural scent is released, it's barely noticeable but definitely there. The product sweeps easily over the skin, leaving behind no residue or redness, just baby soft skin! It removes makeup easily, but isn't particularly intended for use on the eyes or for removing eye makeup. I've used this cleanser morning and night for two or three weeks over my skin and noticed incredible results, not only is my skin round-the-clock smooth even without moisturiser, my skin is so much clearer! I've noticed a considerable reduction in blemishes and imperfections, which is what has really wowed me about this product. I use possibly a third of my image as swatched, so I can see the tube lasting me a good while too, even if used twice a day.

RATING: 9.5/10 - the product gets full marks from me but the packaging lets it down, the push-top is just an annoyance considering the bottle is so hard to squeeze. Fully impressed with the results at such a great price, I can't see myself using another cleanser for a long time!

Denman D3 'Kiss' Brushes

3 February 2012
Especially for valentines day, which is fast approaching ladies and gents, Denman have revamped their classic D3 Brush with a hot new look. Each full sized brush comes embellished with kiss lip prints in a range of colours: pink and silver (*), black and red or red and black.
Used by professional stylists worldwide, the D3 is one of Denman's most popular brushes thanks to it's rounded pad and easy-grip design; I've used a Denman D3 since my hair was long enough to brush, knowing its completely safe to use on my hair without tugging or pulling and damaging the hair.
With seven rows of soft bristles on the rounded anti-static rubber pad the hair is brushed quickly and easily to a completely smooth and tangle free style. The brush is heat safe and very long lasting, my original D3 has lasted me almost five years and it's still going strong!
The cute design is perfect for a teenager or early twenty something like myself who wants to add some colour to their hairstyling routine; the size is perfect for popping in your bag for on the go touch-ups and ideal for styling with the hair dryer.

Denman D3 Kiss Brushes retail for £7.31 from Denman online.
'Sapphire' nail files are popular for their ability to remove rough edges, they can be quite harsh against soft or thin nail but provide clear and defined results on medium to thick nails. I choose sapphire-style nail files over others such as emery boards as my nails are quite thick and so require something heavy duty to file them down nicely.
Sapphire nail files aren't generally pure sapphire, that would be very expensive, they're usually thin metal coated in synthetic sapphire particles such as corundum which are completely safe to use against the nail. The Superdrug Large Sapphire Nail File uses synthetic sapphire particles which are again completely safe to use on the nail.
The file has a lovely design, the handle is easy grip and does't slip, whilst the double sided file provides convenience and ease for use. The pointed end is indeed useful for cleaning under the nail and shaping cuticles, though I found it to be a little harsh against delicate cuticle skin so be very gentle when using it. 
Each sapphire file is packaged in a case, the file simply slides in and out the case so you can store it away to prolong its life; sapphire files are generally long-wearing anyway but storing them in a case helps prolong their quality.
The file itself is quite rough and coarse - qualities classic to a sapphire file - which buffs away the nail nicely in no time at all, but quite firmly. If you have very soft or thin nails I'd take great care using this file as I found it dried the ends of my nails more than usual, they feel very rough after use - to combat this I apply moisturiser after buffing them with a smoothing file. It does however file the nail very well, I found shaping is a breeze and I'll definitely be repurchasing.

The Superdrug Sapphire File is available for £1.99 in Superdrug stores only.
The Skin Shop was founded five years ago to bring customers natural products with plant based ingredients to tackle many skin complaints. 
As a part of the Acne Prone Skin range, the Yeast Face Masque comes as an interesting addition to a skincare regime. Brewer's yeast, a key ingredient in the masque, dries the skin which helps to prevent build up of oil and sebum. Although yeast can be drying, the Skin Shop combat this with added ingredients such as coconut extracts to prevent over-drying the skin.
The masque is aimed towards oily, acne prone skin, although I do not have skin acne I do have fairly oil-prone skin which regularly breaks out, unfortunately.
PRICE: £1.95 per 30g tube (*)

AVAILABILITY: skinshop.co.uk

CLAIMS: 'Improves the condition of oily, acne prone skin' - product website

AVAILABILITY: At a first glance I like the packaging, it's quite unique and rustic. Once I begin to use the product I realise the error of the packaging's ways, the metallic tube is hard to squeeze which makes dispensing the product a nightmare. Once it is squeezed, product keeps dispensing so I had to replace the cap as quickly as possible, each time I removed the cap product began pouring out which was quite an annoyance.
The formula isn't the most attractive of the bunch, it's very thick which makes it difficult to smooth across the face - once smoothed it forms a thick layer over the skin which dries quickly to a hard and flaky consistency. I noticed every time I moved the masque flaked off into dust, which ended up all over the place.
Once squeezed, an instant scent of what I can plainly describe as stale beer is released, it was wholly unpleasant and I was quite disappointed. This scent continued throughout use of the mask, it got increasingly stronger and I found myself trying to hold my nose in the last few minutes of application - this was expected as the scent is classic to yeast products, but I didn't expect it to be so overpowering.
Whilst the masque was applied I noticed a considerable and instant tingling sensation, it's recommended the masque is left on for 20-30 minutes before bed, waiting twenty minutes was quite painstaking - my skin got increasingly tighter and began to sting a little. Removing the mask was fairly quick, completely fuss free with my own muslin cloth, but I saw no instant results.
Regardless of the unpleasant sensations I found from the first application I continued applying the mask before bed for six days until I could no longer continue application. I chose to stop applying the masque as my skin was breaking out considerably more than it usually would on my chin and it caused a lot of discomfort whilst applied; I saw no reduction in the oiliness of my skin or change at all in the duration of six days.

RATING: unrated - unfortunately I couldn't trial the product long enough to fully test the results, the masque felt so tight and tingly on my skin it became unbearable to repeatedly use.

I'm glad I tested the product because it was something new and interesting but I would never consider using it again, not even at such a low price. I wouldn't say don't try it because you might achieve better results, but as an individual with combination skin I was surprised at how badly it irritated it; if you have sensitive skin I'd definitely recommend you avoid this product.
The Skin Shop website recommends a patch test taken before any use of any of their products, so if you are going to use a product of theirs please do follow guidelines and patch test it on your skin prior to use.
© All content Copyright to Holly Arabella unless stated otherwise.