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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I haven't used a sponge for my foundation in years! The brush is my preferred application method - some people may prefer fingers or indeed a sponge but for me the brush is King.
Having seen lots of things about the Beauty Blender sponge, this seemed like the next best thing which was available in high street stores (Boots, Superdrug and more so now Supermarkets)

The only thing I don't like about using this sponge is, as with any sponge it absorbs a lot of product meaning you find yourself applying more product than with a brush - that being said the finished result is great. It's also great for building coverage with some lighter foundations without it looking cakey. Oh and for those that love to contour this is great for blending the different shades together.

(real techniques recommend you dampen the sponge first to avoid soaking up too much product) 

I find the best method for application on my skin is to start with a base applied my a brush and then use this sponge to create fuller coverage and contour - but the sponge is a great option if you are looking for a speedy approach and don't want the fuss of a brush.

I've never tried a Beauty Blender but that retails at £16.00 and this is only £5.99.

Have you tried  both these sponges? Is there a difference in quality and performance to justify the difference in the price?

Rhian Xx

Saturday, 8 November 2014

GOSH Prime 'n Set Primer and Mattifying Powder

I picked up this product looking for a budget replacement to my Illamasqua loose foundation. I had also watched a YouTube video that if you applied this type of product under your foundation it would create a great base, minimising pores and readying skin for foundation. 
In which case a product called Prime 'n Set seemed like the perfect option. 

Now I'll be honest. On first impression I did not love this product and was ready to give it away to one of my ever grateful friends. Why? Well...

Firstly the texture was not what I was accustomed to with the Illamasqua one. This product was not as fine.... And also seemed a little grainy where it had gathered in places. So not a great start. 

Secondly I attempted the whole powder under your foundation using this and it didn't work for me at all! In fact I hated the finish, I had much better results from a standard pore minimising primer. I have read other posts about this product making an improvement so it may just be my skin that didn't like it. 

With this in mind. This product was banished to my make up storage unit and was going to be given away after I had written a blog post. (This was months ago I may add) 
Following my initial disappointment I picked up the NYX HD powder as a replacement. Both at £9.99-£10.00 but I was much happier with the texture of the NYX as it was similar to my Illamasqua one and if gave a great finish. 

Then! Shock horror! I run out so my only option to set my foundation was to try the GOSH product again. Now to my surprise, as a setting powder I love it!! The finish is great. Creates a lovely matte look to my skin and as its translucent it means my contouring is still visible. It's fair to say I've changed my mind so I'm glad I waited a while to blog about it. 

Maybe powder under foundation just isn't for me, but it may very well work for you. In which case I would give this product a go. 
Main Benefits; 
Pore Minimising
Shine control 
Matte finish
Inproves appearance of lines and imperfections 
Velvet finish. 

Available from Superdrug at £9.99.

Rhian Xx

Natural Collection - Eye Lines Eyeliner (white)

I remember reading ages and ages ago that using white eyeliner in your water line makes your eyes appear brighter ....  I have never used it - so wanting to check it out but being overly cautious as I wasn't sure if I would like the look I opted for a basic one which I picked up from the Boots Natural Collection which was a steal at only £1.99.

This is a great option - it doesn't last all day but for £1.99 you can afford to re-apply.

Fab little pick me up.

Rhian Xx

Smashbox - Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer

For those that follow my blog you'll know I have issues with my pores - particularly with my cheeks.I also have combination skin and am prone to an oily t-zone.
I was so excited when I heard about this primer - I am a massive fan of the classic Smashbox Photo Finish Primer - In fact it's my favourite.
PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER PORE MINIMIZINGI have tried lots of different pore primers and have always found Benefit's Porefessional to be the one that makes the most difference.

I have used this primer for the last 5 days and have noticed a substantial improvement in the oil control on my forehead. Smashbox promises 8 hours... maybe not quite but I am impressed with the improvement
Where other primers have failed to impress me is in their ability to conceal my pores - this one delivers to the same standard as the Benefit one.

I would say that if you only have concentrated oily skin and pore issues - you may be better mixing this with the standard one in a cocktail style formula, as it may be slightly too drying in areas.

This one is a little pricier than the standard one at £28 - but for me worth every £1 as I feel better knowing it's concealing my pores and mattifying my skin

Rhian Xx

Hoarcross Hall Spa

When it was time to celebrate my friends 30th birthday, we had a number of ideas on the list, but in the end the Birthday girl decided that what she really wanted to do was visit a spa.... Now I have been to a number of spa's within hotels and a number of day spa's with fitness clubs attached but I have never visited a spa like this one!

Located in the beautiful village in Staffordshire, Hoar Cross Hall resides amongst beautiful well kept grounds (50 acres to be exact) and is an 18th Century manor house.

Classic Twin Room

Hoar Cross Hall's Royal Suite

Now the first thing I noticed about Hoar Cross Hall is that it is a thing of beauty, the rooms are classically decorated but have modern bathrooms, each room also has an added touch of a name rather than a number. We stayed in the Milady Natasha, which had 4 single beds, 2 bathrooms, a separate sitting room complete with a champagne bar, oh and a private garden with patio area and hot tub! Swanky huh?

That's enough about the room - lets talk spa!!

Oh what a spa it is - my words really wouldn't do it justice so that's why this post is complete with plenty of pictures.
There is so much to do here - whether you fancy the gym, an exercise class, a swim or general relaxation this place has it all.

Two separate pools - one a Salt Water Vitality pool - which was cooling and refreshing -  The saltwater pool also boasts heavenly volcano and jet massage pools, a starlit cave (very Hugh Hefner) and two luxury whirlpools.
This pool is surrounded by loungers, some of which are heated and separate water therapy areas as well as the usual steam room and sauna (detox area). Now I don't want you thinking that this is all pretty standard because really it is not - amongst the water therapy you have: foot massagers, foot and back massagers, aqua massagers and for the really, really brave a cold water plunge pool!

Salt Water Vitality Pool

The second pool is a Hydrotherapy pool which also includes a whirlpool spa and water therapy area (soon to be renovated) 

Hydrotherapy Pool

Heated Loungers

Aside from the fabulous pools, every inch of this spa is thought out with things to do every which way you turn - including massage chairs in walk ways and a champagne nail bar!!! Eeek! How amazing is that?

 The spa offers an entire catalogue of treatments, including treatments from the usual suspects, Elemis and Clarins.
You can review the spa brochure here;
Did I mention there is also a Hair Salon?

My stay included 2 complimentary treatments - for which I opted for 2 massages (it has been a stressful few months and so these were very much needed)
I also went for a Salt Brushing treatment - everyone needs a good scrubbing now and again - followed by a vitamin moisturiser - my skin felt amazing!

If you aren't one for water therapies or the gym there is also the option of a sleep room with heated water beds.

You also don't have to worry about changing room facilities as there are plenty - with a separate area for day and resident guests.

There really is something for everyone at this spa - decadent rooms and dining rooms and fabulous spa facilities. For more information please visit;
I would encourage any spa lover to give Hoar Cross Hall a try - I will be visiting again soon.

Rhian Xx