Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Homemade Moisturiser with Shea Butter, Aloe Vera and Almond Oil

With my homemade experiments working quite well recently. I decided to try and refine my moisturiser recipe for the winter. My current moisturiser has done wonders for my skin. Check out homemade moisturiser. However, I feel like I need something a bit more intense for the winter months.

I decided to add Shea Butter to the mix. Having used it in my homemade lip balms, I thought I'd try it here. Shea Butter is very rich, but it is not pore clogging. Did you know that there is a comedogenic (pore clogging) scale? Shea Butter and Aloe Vera score 0 on this scale, meaning that it is not at all pore clogging. See this website on Comedogenic Scale For Other Ingredients

Shea Butter
Aloe Vera Gel
Almond Oil
Essential Oil is optional ( I used Orange)

I recently used shea butter to make a hand cream and tried to whip it by hand, mixing it with almond oil. The result was a great thick moisturiser, but it took a lot of hard work and the shea butter left some small grains in the cream.

This time, I decided to gently heat the Shea butter in a pan so that it was easier to mix.

I used 3 tablespoons of Aloe Vera Gel and added 1 tablespoon of Almond Oil and used a knob of shea butter. I wasn't so strict with amounts, but I would say the amount of butter you would need for a sandwich. This makes enough for 1 jar. I used an old moisturiser jar and rinsed it with boiling water.

I whipped the aloe vera and almond oil together first. It should have a yoghurt consistency. If it is lumpy, you probably need more aloe vera. I then heated the shea butter very gently on the lowest setting. Once it melted, I gradually added the shea butter to the mixture while mixing it in.

I ended up with a lovely creamy textured mixture. I added about 3/4 drops of Orange essential oil, which is just lovely. Shea butter doesn't have the most pleasant of smells. It is quite strong, but I can see how some people might actually like it too. Perhaps it's one of those Love/Hate things. Adding essential oil helps with the smell.

**orange works fine for my skin, but my mum said it irritated her skin and she is a bit allergic to citrus fruits, so try another oil if you have allergies**

I was very pleased with this moisturiser. I have quite dry skin and it has worked really well for me. The Aloe Vera has a tightening quality to it, whereas the shea butter has the intense moisturising element. I find it works well under my makeup as well and keeps my skin hydrated all day.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Homemade Christmas Garland for £3

I'm not usually the thrifty type, but when I saw the price of christmas garlands, I thought I would shop around a little...

Then I came across these cute christmas wreaths for £1 each in Poundland. I was quite proud of my craftiness when I thought I could use them to make a garland.

So here is what I started with...

The wreaths were held together with a little plastic tie. I undid the tie to straighten the wreats out...

I used electrical tape to join them together...

And voila, a lovely homemade christmas garland. All I need now are a few fairy lights to top it off :)

Have you made any  of your own christmas decorations?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

MUA Nail Varnish £1

Shade 1 - Dark Metalic Blue

I got this shade to match my spidery halloween makeup. I loved the shade in the bottle as it appeared to have little glittery specs.

On application, I found the nail varnish to be very thin and one coat would definitely not do. I had to apply around 4 coats in the end. Saying that, the varnish did dry pretty quickly between coats.

As you can see the first coat is very transparent

Getting better with coat 2

Coat 3 is adaquate, but there were still little see through streaks in some places.

I was disappointed with the colour as the metalic "gliterriness" didn't show through. From any sort of distance, the colour looked black rather than blue.

Not too much of a big deal for a halloween costume, but not really what I expected it to be. I found the varnish to be long wearing, lasting up to about 1 week.

I am really impressed with MUA as a cosmetics range in general. £1 for a nail polish is a god send if you're playing with one off colours for a bit of fun and experimentation, so I'd be interested in trying out more colours. I like their eyeshadows too. Check out my review of MUA Eyeshadow.

I also recently bought one of their eye shadow palettes, which I will review soon.

On the whole, I think this nail varnish is value for money. It takes a little more applications than other products, but I don't mind this for the price. I would like to try out other shades in this range to compare :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream

Ok, I'll admit it, I am so late to the BB Cream party. I hadn't even heard of them until about a month ago!

At first I thought hmm they sound a bit like tinted moisturisers, what's the big deal? But after researching a bit more, I can see that they are a little different.

For those of you who have also had your head stuck in the sand, a BB Cream is said to prime, moisturise, cover blemishes and provide SPF protection as well as a host of other claims. Bascially they are supposed to be everything rolled into one. The idea originated in Korea with the Korean brands being quite popular.

I did use my own moisturiser before applying, which I have heard you should do.
After reading some online reviews, I decided to give the L'Oreal Nude Magique a go.

My Skin: Dry, red blemishes, acne prone

What it says on the bottle:

  • Bare Skin Beautifier
  • 5 in 1
  • Mimics the texture and glow of perfect bare skin
  • 24 hr hydration
  • SPF 12
  • Smart Pigment Capsules
  • 30ml
  • Available in 2 shades: Medium and Light. I'm using the Light Skin Tone colour
  • Price: £9.99

So, on squeezing the cream out of the tube, it is white in colour with little blue specs. These give it a slightly gritty texture. but not so much that it would irritate the skin. The formula is quite thin. When you apply the cream to your face (with fingers) it changes colour. I did find the colour a tad too dark for my skin and had to use bronzer around my neck area to blend it a bit.

The cream doesn't feel wet at all, it strangely drys up as soon as it's applied and almost looks like a light powder finish. It evened out my skin tone quite a bit, but I had to reapply in some areas that weren't covered from the first layer. It seems to build well, but there were still come blemishes I needed to top up with concealer.

I would describe the coverage as light. It is nice to have something on your face that doesn't feel heavy for a change. You don't really feel like you are wearing makeup.

I wore this to work one day, and it didn't last the full day sadly. I'm happy to wear something like this on the weekend though when my skin gets a bit of a break.

Overall, I thought it was decent for the price and a good alternative to foundation. If the colour was a little lighter, I would be very happy with it.

It claims to give a "fresh dewy glow", but I actually found it to be the opposite. It is definitely more of a matt finish, but could have been down to my dry skin.

Hydration - it claims to have 24 hour hydration. Well I wouldn't be keeping it on for 24 hours to test that! but it isn't as drying as some foundations I've used and it does improve the dryness in my skin.

So bad points for me - the colour is a little too dark and coverage could be a little better, but I don't mind touching up with concealer in return for a lighter feeling makeup.

Watch this space for my next review of the Dr Jart BB Cream (one of the original Korean brands), which is completely different from this one :)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

GOSH Natural Touch Foundation

I would never normally buy a foundation in a hurry, but the day before I went to America I had to get something better than the drying foundation I was already using. Luckily it wasn't too much of a disaster.

So I was just looking for something light for the warm weather. I nearly gave up and this caught my eye as I was leaving the shop.

Costing only £8.99 I thought I'd give it a shot. Wearing it for the first time on my flight over was probably not a good idea. I don't think I've ever had a foundation that survives a long haul flight.

What you should know about my skin first:

  • Dry
  • Pale
  • Occasional acne
  • Red blemishes from acne

What it says on the bottle:

  • Flawless Natural Finish
  • Organic Sweet Almond Oil
  • Moisturising and Nourishing
  • SPF 8
  • 30ml

Available in 6 shades - I tried 36 Ivory

My skin is quite dry and I'm an on/off sufferer of acne, so coverage is important to me most of the time. I wasn't too concerned about coverage for my holiday though. I just wanted something that didn't feel heavy in the heat.

The texture is very light and colour is natural (yellow toned). It contains sweet almond oil, which is great for the skin. Comes in handy pump bottle and one squirt is enough for the whole face.
I like the feel of this foundation on my face, it's very lightweight and goes on smoothly. I would describe the coverage as light to medium. If I had a bad breakout, I'm not sure this would make the cut, but at the moment the coverage is enough. I would liken it to the Smashbox Healthy FX foundation as far as texture and coverage goes.

On my skin, I didn't find that it was very buildable. When I tried to go over my blemishes again it kind of clumped. It worked better when I touched up blemishes with some concealer.
I've been wearing it everyday to work and I'm finding that it is lasting all day long. I've also been getting more skin compliments since using it, so I guess it looks pretty good and natural.

It looks more natural than the Revlon Colourstay Foundation I've been wearing recently. I don't look like I'm wearing makeup, which is a plus for me. The shade is a tad too dark for my pale skin, but it's not bad.

One downside for me would be that it smells quite perfumey, but it's not overpowering. 

Apart from that and the fact it doesn't build well, I think it's a great sheer foundation that lets my skin breath for a change. It's great value for money at £8.99. I've been using it for 2 months now (everyday) and there is still plenty left.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Homemade Lip Balm With Shea, Coconut and Orange

This is the latest of my homemade beauty experiments and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the results.
I used to think making my own beauty products would be time consuming and just add to everyday stress. But in fact, it's the opposite. It's a bit like baking cakes and is very therapeutic. The hardest part is getting your ingredients together.
I've heard a lot of bad reports about petroleum jelly, so after already making my own Homemade Moisturiser, I thought I'd give lip balm a go.
This one involved a little bit of "cooking".
What you need:
  • A small pan - a non-stick one worked well for this
  • Containers/pots
  • Shea Butter
  • Beeswax
  • Coconut Oil
  • (Optional) - esssential oil of your choice. I used Orange
These ingredients are really easy to source on the internet. I got mine from Amazon and got the Coconut Oil in Holland and Barratt.
I wasn't too strict about amounts, but as a general guideline, I tried to use about a tablespoon each of shea, beeswax and coconut oil .
I grated the beeswax and added it to the pan. Turn the heat on the lowest possible setting. You only want to melt the ingredients so that they are easier to mix together.
Once the beeswax has melted, add your shea butter and coconut oil. Once melted give the mixture a stir. Then add about 8 drops of essential oil.
Begin spooning the mixture into your containers. Some people prefer to use a little funnel for this part, but it worked fine for me to just spoon it in.
Leave the mixture to cool and voila, you have your very own homemade lip balm. This recipe made 4 lip balms.
If you prefer your lip balm softer, you can add more oil to soften it up or less beeswax. The lip balm has a lovely coconut/orange smell and is very nourishing for the lips. I left it on overnight and woke up with lovely soft lips.
It's also possible to buy empty chapstick tubes on ebay if you prefer that.
The great thing is, they make great presents for family and friends :) Have you experimented with lips balms? Let me know if you gave this receipe a go?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Primark Autumn Winter Buys

Called into Primark recently to buy something at £1 and low and behold I ended up spending over £50! How did that happen?

Well I was quite impressed with some of their new stock. I couldn't resist stocking up on winter woolies and various other bits and bobs.

This is what I intended to buy. Some empty containers for making my own lip balm. Also good for packing cosmetics in your airplane hand luggage. £1

I then spied this cute little wollen skirt in burgundy. They have loads of wollen skirts in different colours and patterns. £8

On wondering what I could match this up with, I saw this lovely Ivory jumper. It is quite a fine knit, so would be good if you don't like heavy woolies. £12

Strategically placed beside the Burgundy skirt were matching tights (Opaque, 80 Denier). So of course I had to buy those as well ;) £2

Winter would not be complete without a christmassy jumper. I was very tempted to buy the "penguin in a santa hat" jumper, but went for this one instead. £14

This denim shirt was a bit of an indulgence buy. I'm not ashamed to admit I have fallen for the return of Dallas and I am liking the style of the ladies on the show. So this shirt, studded on the pockets and collar, reminded me of that style. Bargain for only £12.

Of course, as you make your way to the till in Primark, there are a whole host of goodies lined up to tempt you. So I picked up this 5pk of socks for £2.50

And that's how I spent £52.50 in Primark on my way to work. I suppose I got quite a lot for my money when I look at it like that.

To be honest, I could have spent a lot more. There are a lot of nice items in the shop at the minute :) Have you  bought anything nice from Primark recently?

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