The £11 foundation that will cure all of your winter blues

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When it comes to drugstore foundations, it’s difficult to find something that reaches the ‘ehh, decent’ bar. But I have discovered one of the most glorious and hydrating foundations on drugstore market! This foundation is simply the epitome of gloriously hydrated and supple skin, that gives some of the most expensive foundations a real run for their money.

I’m talking about powerhouse makeup brand, Maybelline. Maybelline have been killing the foundation game with their innovative formulas yet cheap prices for decades now, and that is no secret. If you haven’t tried the Maybelline Fit me foundation (£6.99 on Amazon!) then you absolutely should! It’s a cult favourite. However, Maybelline’s new foundation is a total game changer that not many people know about…yet.

Maybelline’s New Dream Urban Cover Protective Makeup, £10.99 on Amazon here

The Dream urban cover protective foundation (damn, can these names get any longer?) was released recently. Let’s run through all of the product claims before I get excited and tell you what I think of it.

This lightweight, full coverage foundation comes in 20 different shades and is best suited for normal – dry skin types. Dream urban cover will smooth away signs of dull skin to create a natural and healthy looking complexion. 

As well as being smooth and lightweight, this protective foundation is enriched with anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B3 and Biacaline. It also helps to form a shield and defend skin from pollution, with an SPF of 50. It is dermatologically tested, suitable for sensitive skin, non-comedogenic, and is clinically tested to lock in moisture.

– Maybelline New York
Maybelline’s shade range for their new foundation

Let’s talk shade range

The shade range of this foundation is decent for the drugstore. It comes in 20 different shades ranging from 095 fair porcelain, to 360 Mocha.

To be honest, the lightest colour isn’t light enough, the darkest colour isn’t dark enough, and the gradient in the medium colours makes me sad to look at. Usually with Maybelline foundations, I tend to fit between the shades 220: Natural beige, and 235: Almond when I’m a little darker. If you are stuck between shades, I would advise you to go for the lighter one, as this foundation definitely does oxidise and set a tad bit darker after a couple minutes! I guess we are still waiting for the day that the drugstore sort out their shades!

The good, the bad, and the ugly ingredients

As somebody who it totally obsessed with the ingredients that we put on our faces – this foundation makes me happy. If you don’t know how ingredient lists work, they are in chronological order. So, the first product on the ingredients list has the greatest concentration, and the last product has the least.

Full ingredients list from the ULTA website
  • Vitamin B3/Niacinimde, is the 5th ingredient, and it is a skincare phenomenal ingredient! I use it as a serum in my skincare routine, and it is fantastic for 1001 things. Evening out skin tone, regulating oil production, and minimising pore appearance are just some of the brilliant things that this ingredient does, so seeing this in this foundation got me so excited! There are a couple of other antioxidants in the ingredient list which stand by Maybelline’s ‘Skincare meets makeup‘ claim.
  • May I highlight, the gloriously high SPF in this product is not a substitute for your SPF. You must still wear a layer of sun protection underneath this foundation. The ingredients Maybelline used in the sunscreen almost exclusively from UVB rays. UVB sun rays burn your skin (UVB stands for burn), but it doesn’t protect you from UVA rays, which age your skin! (UVA stands for age). Essentially, you aren’t getting full spectrum protection. This foundation will do absolutely nothing to protect you from wrinkles, age spots, and more – which is why you need to be wearing a standard sunscreen beneath that will give you broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. You should also keep this foundation bottle away from direct sunlight to protect the sunscreen, as the bottle is not fully opaque. 
  • There are some downfalls in the ingredients list, that as much as I adore this foundation, I cannot ignore. The 5th ingredient in here is denatured alcohol, which although incredibly controversial, isn’t good for the skin. It is drying, at the very least, and the high potency of this ingredient in this foundation is an issue! 
  • Similarly, this foundation is marketed to be safe for sensitive skin and claims to be dermatologically tested – yet it contains both Fragrance and Limonene. Fragrance is a massive no for 95% of consumers with sensitive skin, and absolutely no dermatologist worth an ounce of integrity would ever recommend it. By the same token, Limonene is essentiallya citrus oil, a skin irritant on sensitive skins. In Maybelline’s defence, these two ingredients are the last few in the ingredients list, meaning they’re not actually very potent in the product at all – which just angers me because with such a small amount of it, why have it there at all? Could you not have just skipped it?

Packaging and Formula

This foundation is packaged in a plastic squeezey tube, which is super convenient for throwing into your makeup bag and travelling with. You can see the shade of the foundation through the packaging. Although convenient when shopping for your shade, opaque packaging is pertinent in protecting SPF! I don’t know how Maybelline missed this, but please keep it away from the windows to ensure it doesn’t loose it’s efficiency! It also has a nozzle applicator, rather than the pump applicator that most foundations go for. This is handy for precision and drawing the foundation onto your face, but it isn’t that handy when it comes to leakage.

The formulation of this foundation is impeccable. The consistency is somewhere in between being thin enough to glide effortlessly onto the skin, but thin enough that it isn’t watery. It doesn’t run when you squeeze it onto your hand, it just lightly jogs – you know?

On the right I have a swatch of the foundation in the shade #220. A couple of swipes here and there create a seamless and natural coverage. At the same time, if you apply a pumps worth of product, you get the most beautiful and flawless medium-coverage. Yes, I said medium coverage. Although this is a very buildable foundation, it is not full coverage as Maybelline claims.

Maybelline states that this foundation can be applied with fingertips, a sponge, or a brush. Personally, I prefer to apply this product with the Zoeva 102 silk finish brush, and then go over it with a beauty sponge to pick up the extra product and get rid of any streakiness. This foundation doesn’t dry too quickly on the skin, so you can really take your time with application!

Sniff, sniff

I found that this foundation did have a really terrible scent to it; funny enough since there is actually fragrance in here.

It could just be my particular product as I haven’t heard anybody else complain about it, but it’s absolutely there for me! It’s like a nappy scent, and I’m not talking about that baby powder nappy scent, I’m on the total other side of the spectrum. It’s a nasty scent. But, it wears off almost immediately and you cannot smell it throughout the day!

This is so gorgeously radiant on the skin – straight from when you apply it, until 10 hours later! I’m literally not joking. As somebody who has dry skin generally, exacerbated by the British winter blues, this foundation never emphasises and dries up on top of texture, or settles into my smile lines.  Because of all of the blowing and rubbing of the nose, most people generally tend to get very dry around there during the winter – but this just looks so seamlesssmoothand cleanaround the creases. This is seriously a gorgeous foundation, and Maybelline are totally right in saying this feels light on the skin. You get a mean coverage yet it feels like a BB cream!

Tick, tock, goes the clock – How does it last?

The lasting power on this is serious. Maybelline are clearly done playing games with us! Without a primer, I wear this foundation over 9-10 hour work days, and when I get home, it looks like I’ve just put it on. My skin looks luminous, healthy and fresh, and my foundation doesn’t wear away – it’s insane!!! 

The urban cover is a little bit tacky, so if you have oilier skin, do consider setting it with powder. Since I have dry skin, I just set beneath my eyes, and just along my cheeks where I do produce the slightest bit of oil. I use the Maybelline Fit me powder in #220

I have never seen a foundation last as well as this one does – it seriously has left me impressed, and seems to have impressed everybody else since I had so many questions on what I was wearing!

So, let’s conclude with some of the overall pro’s and con’s of this foundation!

Pro’s

  • Beautifully hydrating on the skin and very forgiving on overall skin texture. Also doesn’t settle into my smile lines.
  • Leaves a dewy and ethereal glow on the skin – not greasy. 
  • Lasts so, so well on the skin without a primer – looks fresh and beautiful throughout the day.
  • Lightweight on the skin, doesn’t even feel like anything at all!
  • I have dry skin, however I do usually develop the tiniest bit of noticeable oil on my cheeks. 8,9,10 hours of having this foundation on and I didn’t have any oily cheeks in sight! This is why I’m comfortable to recommend it to oilier girls.
  • Buildable foundation to create your desired coverage. 
  • SPF 50 UVB protection – and no flashback!
  • Niacinimde and other skin luvin’ ingredients within foundation.

Con’s:

  • Misleading as this foundation doesn’t have substantial UVA protection, so please wear spf beneath this and do not rely on the foundation as it is not substantial sun protection. 
  • Seems unlikely to be ‘suited for sensitive skin types’ as Maybelline claims, due to the inclusion of irritating ingredients such as alcohol and fragrance. If you know that your skin reacts to these ingredients, tread carefully! At the same time, they are very far down in the ingredients list…
  • Not enough shades, and lots of gaps in between the shades. 
  • Not full coverage as claimed, but a lovely medium coverage. 
  • Smells like poo, to be frank – but could just be my bottle as I haven’t seen anybody else complain about it.

I would totally recommend this to anybody with normal-dry skin. I think it would still be amazing on oilier skin – in particular with a magnifying primer beneath. Either way, it is so cheap and cheerful that I think it’s worth trying! It is widely available at your local Boots and Superdrug’s, but you can purchase it on sale for £10 right now on Amazon here.

Have you tried this foundation? Are you a fan? or, are you looking forward to trying it? Let me know!:)

See you soon,

This is what dreams are made of…my December beauty Wishlist.

I have a very, very long wishlist of both makeup and skincare products, that I am just lusting after desperately. In the upcoming year I can’t wait to purchase and experience these new items for you guys! They caught my eye and I can’t stop thinking about them. On the train, at work, during lectures – even when I’m sleeping. I think there’s a problem here.

I hope that this blog post serves to not only introduce you to some releases you may not have known about, but also might inspire you to to gift somebody something dreamy during the festive season. Or, like me, gift it to yourself. I mean, we deserve it, right? (right?!)

Drunk Elephant – D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, £30.00

Description: Drunk Elephant’s beloved D-Bronzi Antipollution Sunshine Drops grants sunshine’s enviable bronzy glow without the damage! An easy way to get a sun-kissed glow without the long-term consequences, this hard-working product is formulated with a chronopeptide that mimics the antioxidant benefits of vitamin D, omega-rich virgin marula and black currant seed oils, along with vitamin F (fatty acids), which immediately replenish the delicate balance that supports a healthy barrier function of skin, while a concentrated mix of protective antioxidants boosts skin’s defences against pollution and environmental stressors…all delivered with a bronzy finish. D-Bronzi’s just-got-back-from somewhere glow flatters every complexion!

I am absolutely obsessed with Allana Davison, and she is absolutely obsessed with the D-bronzi sunshine drops! She uses this as a primer/base of sorts beneath her makeup, and it just creates the most gorgeous warm-bronzey iridescence that shines through every and anything put on top of it. This product also has some amazing ingredients that are amazing for the skin (since Drunk Elephant is predominantly a skincare brand) so I really am lusting and drooling over this serum!

Nudestix – Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze, £28.00

Description: Nudestix Matte Blush & Bronze is the perfect pick-me-up, conveniently dual-ended with a block of colour at one end and a soft, densely-bristled brush at the other, this stick is a one-stop ticket to flawless faces. The soft, subtly brightening balm can be drawn directly on to cheeks, eyes and lips (gently dabbed in with fingers or stippled with the brush), offering sheer, long-wearing coverage that can be built up to intensify the colour.

I am going through a moment right now where I am head-over-heels in love with anything cream. Cream blushes, cream highlighters, cream foundations (otherwise named stick foundations) – cream everything. I find that the formula just melts so perfectly into the skin, and the infusion just creates an effortless, beautiful and natural base. I am particularly interested in the shade Sunkissed – a deep terracotta bronze, that will create the perfect flush at the same time as added bronzey dimension.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer, £30.00

Description: Get primer + moisturiser in 1! Primerizer delivers up to 24-hour hydration plus powerful face primer benefits in the lightest possible texture. This non-greasy, quick-dry formula acts as a makeup magnet that locks on foundation & makes it last.

This is every youtuber’s favourite primer, and I am so proud of myself for not buying into the marketing for this long. But now – enough is enough. This primer has an abundance of reviews, and everybody seems to have six thousand good things to say about it. Smashbox has always been good at perfecting bases; they have countless water-based and silicone primers that are widely respected and adored in the makeup world. This ultimately gives me some confidence that the primerizer won’t just be a gimmicky product. As somebody with dry skin, the hydration that this product claims to offer is a total winning bribe; particularly to help me to survive this British winter.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation, £42.00

Description: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation infuses the skin with a radiant glow and creates a seamless complexion. Inspired by charmeuse silk, the “Fabric of the Emperors”, the weightless and comfortable face makeup helps to correct uneven skin tones, smooth texture and blur any imperfections. Micro-fil™ technology utilises light-reflecting particles to create a luminous and lit-from-within finish.

Carrying on with the youtube-made-me-buy-it trend (or should I say, youtube-made-me-want-it), the Giorgio Armani foundation is a firm cult favourite. I have had my eyes on it for a while now, and I’m just waiting to finish some of the foundations that I own currently before purchasing this. Listen, I need something to make me feel better about spending £42.00 on a foundation! Every single time that I have seen somebody wearing this foundation, it has looked amazing – I just don’t know what it is! But I NEED IT.

COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask, £23.00

Description: COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask is a hydrating face mask that works through the night to bring you noticeable skincare benefits. Infused with 68% Rice Extract, the formula absorbs effortlessly and immediately starts to balance the complexion for a more even skin tone. Sunflower Seed Oil intensely hydrates for a plumper texture while Niacinamide adds a radiant, healthy glow. It can be used as an overnight mask, a wash-off mask, or even as a cream!

I’m not even joking when I say that this product has been on my Wishlist for the longest time. The only thing that has honestly stopped me from purchasing it is the disgusting ultimatum of unbelievable shipping time of importing this mask from Korea or paying quadruple the real retail price for a UK stocker on Amazon… I probably will just bite the bullet real soon and have it imported: winter is not kind on the skin and I have heard endless amazing things about this mask! The ingredients look absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to get my hands on this… soon.

RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum, £39.99

Description: RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum is a multi-award winning formula clinically proven to give up to 50% longer-looking natural lashes. This serum promotes fuller-looking eyelashes, utilising a Hexatein® 1 Complex (combining a scientifically advanced blend of Polypeptides with Amino Acids, nourishing Pumpkin Seed extract, Biotin and Panthenol) to condition, nurture and hydrate lashes. Promoting lash durability and shine, the high performance serum will leave lashes looking healthier, luscious and stronger.

Although I am very spectacle about the authenticity of lash serums, I can’t seem to keep my eyes off of them. My lashes are decent in length, but they are so, so straight. They are so stuck in their ways that a lash curler is just a pointless form of machinery on them; nothing will give them a curl (but that amazing LVL!). A while ago when I got my LVL (Length, volume, lift treatment), my lash lady recommended the RapidLash serum, and could not stop boasting about how much it had helped to grow her fluttery and dreamy lashes, and I have been lusting over it ever since. They also have a brow serum that I would totally be interested in checking out, too!

That’s all for my December beauty Wishlist! Do any of these products trigger your inner consumerist? Do you own any of these products? What is on your own Wishlist?

Let me know!

See you soon,

The three best styling products for curly hair, perioooood.

Since transitioning to natural hair almost a year ago, I have gone through countless styling creams, pomades and smoothies that promise to do everything to the world and back. Swearing to define curls, get rid of all that frizz, and smooth out hair – a lot of of products just did not work, leaving my natural hair in such a horrible state – you would think there was a bird resting in it. Or a couple of birds. At the same time as I found all of the stylers that did not work in my hair, I found the ones that did. And trust me, they are good. I’ve got you, and your curls, covered. These are my right hands, my go-to’s.

PS: Besides every product, I have listed the hair types that these products are ideal for. This does not mean that you cannot use a product just because your hair type is not listed though! It was just created for the particular hair type in mind. Here are the different hair types! If it helps, I have 3B-3C curl type.

Cantu natural hair moisturising curl activator cream, £7.99

IDEAL FOR THICK, CURLY HAIR – TYPE 3A,B,C – 4 A,B,C. You can use this product if you have finer hair, but use less so that you don’t weigh your curls down! Who wants flat hair? Not me.

Cantu moisturising curl activator cream activates curls, delivers volume, reveals frizz-free, bouncy curls, enhancing natural curl pattern. Cantu moisturising curl activator cream also leave the hair feeling virtually weightless and soft.

Cantu is probably one of the most popular brands when it comes to natural hair. Although there are some products from Cantu that just aren’t going to work for everybody’s hair type, this product is a total home run. I have seen people from all across the spectrum use this cream to style their hair.

A little goes a really long way with this product. I use a pea-sized amount of cream on each of the three sections that I part my hair in whilst styling, and that’s all I need! It is really thick and moisturising, and after scrunching – this product really does enhance my natural curl pattern beautifully – without the frizz. This product can feel heavy if too much is applied, so moderate how much you are using! it’s always best to start with less and add more, than to go in with too much and struggle to take it out.

Whilst I was transitioning to the au-natural side of life, my biggest problem was sections of straight and stringy strands of hair, and an insanely uneven curl pattern. It was so bad that I genuinely was embarrassed about it at the start. I needed a thicker cream that would allow me to manipulate my strands into the even curl shape that I desired. Say goodbye to strangely shaped strands and hello to defined and elongated curls! The best part about this cream is that it is crunch free, leaving your hair soft and shiny. The ingredients in here are amazing too, so rest assured that you are nourishing your unruly strands at the same time as styling them. This has great hold on it’s own, but you can absolutely lock it in with a gel afterwards, if you wish (and I recommend!).

Devacurl B’leave in miracle curl plumper, £47.99

UNIVERSAL PRODUCT, IDEAL FOR EVERYBODY, BUT WORKS BEST ON 1A,B,C,2A,B,C AND 3A,B,C CURLS. (4a,b,c, girls – try Devacurl’s Supercream, coconut curl styler, you will love it more! It is thicker and oh so heavenly moisturising. Love it so much!)

  • A lightweight leave-in gelée for natural curls.
  • Offers moisturizing conditioning & strengthening benefits.
  • Adds instant shine volume & plumpness to curls.
  • Creates soft smooth defined & touchable curls.
  • Free of parabens sulfates & silicone.

This is my favourite styler in the whole wide world. No joke, this is gold dust to me. (And it better be, for that price tag!)

Essentially, this product defines and emphasises whatever curls or waves you already have going on. If you have fine hair, this will be your best friend. It adds volume and density, ideal for anybody who is transitioning as it will help to cover up the damage you have going on! B’leave in is super lightweight – unlike most styling products, this is not a cream. The texture of b’leave in is somewhat like a gloopy gel, since it is glycerin-based (glycerin is a great humectant that absorbs moisture from your surroundings!), it will never feel heavy and thick on your hair; regardless of how much you use! I always, always recommend this to anybody transitioning, and everybody in general since I still use it today!

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Smoothie, £12.99

IDEAL FOR CURLY THICK/THICK HAIR, AND TYPE 3A,B,C-4A,B,C You can use this product if you have finer hair, but use less so that you don’t weigh your curls down!

Our Curl Enhancing Smoothie, enriched with Silk Protein and Neem Oil, defines curls, reduces frizz and smooths hair for a soft, silky feel. Coconut and Neem Oils restore moisture and create brilliant shine. Nutrient rich vegetable butters condition hair without weighing it down for bouncy, healthy curls.

I think most curly-haired girls know about this product. Ironically, this is one of the most popular stylers of the bunch, yet it is the last one I tried! I’m so glad that this baby is in my life however, because it absolutely revolutionised my hair routine…

This cream honestly makes my hair look the curliest, thickest, and healthiest that it has ever looked. I don’t even know what is in this stuff, but it really is magic in a tub. My hair just drinks this up, and paired with a great gel – I promise your hair will look 10/10. Hello, curl definition and volume! The only down side to this product is that it does not control frizz too well; which is fine, since it does not make this claim. It just means that I personally have to go in with a great gel, or a good serum to tame my curls, or they will explode into crinkly mess in a matter of hours. You need to try this, if you have not already, and tell me what you think!

So, those are all three of my ultimate favourite stylers that I swear by. There are a lot of hoax products making dreamy claims just for marketing, so I hope this list helps you to save some money, because we all know how expensive natural hair can get, and invest in haircare that that you can trust will work.

Do you have any other favourite stylers? Let me know!

See you soon,

Roubs,

Xx

My favourite fashion purchase of this season

I have never, ever been much of a fashion person, to be honest. My passions dive way deeper in skincare and makeup. But, like most people, the autumn/winter season are no strangers when it comes to leaving my bank account totally deserted, and this seems to be the time that all my favourite clothings brands release fashion gold. Recently, I have found myself scrolling through countless new clothes on countless new websites, building an endless list of wants and needs in my head. This one item, however, was undoubtedly a need. I could not look away from it. I had to have it.

TOPSHOP FAUX LEATHER TROUSERS

£36.00 at Topshop. Shop these trousers here, also available in petite and tall.

Leather trousers are a total necessity. They have been a massive fashion staple for centuries – Everybody from Bella Hadid to Elvis has rocked these; arguably, one better than the other. I have wanted a good pair for absolutely ages, but it is unbelievably difficult to find a good pair that fit the leather trousers curriculum. They must be tight – yet comfortable. They should fit – yet stretch. They have to look stylish, but aren’t noisy; the requirements are endless.

These trousers are honestly everything that I want…they are to die for! They are high waisted and fall at an uberrr flattering point at your stomach, making your waist look super slim. On top of that, the piping going down the front of the trousers helps to create an illusion of longer legs. Talk about body sculpting trousers! Let me tell you, these fit amazingly. They really do come in to meet at the waist, and stretch out totally at the right places – These are bum friendly! Although these trousers stretch endlessly, they maintain their quality: which is so important to me; these actually feel great on.

With previous leather trousers I have tried, by the time I have one leg in, I’m sweating more than an olympic runner. I really should not have to have a serious battle with my trousers to get them on: these however, are lined on the inside with a smooth, thick fleece material. They slide on and off so easily! They also keep me warm, so I’ll be protected from the upcoming British winter. Speaking of sliding on and off easily, these trousers also have a button on the side which is concealed behind a zip fastening. They are so easy and practical!

They are of course a faux leather PU fabric – 100% polyethylene. To top everything off, they do not make that terrible sound faux leather makes when you are walking! These trousers are undeniably the best purchase I have made in a while, and I just know that I will be wearing these to their death. Topshop also sell them in Burgundy and khaki too. My favourite colours! I will probably be grabbing those two as well.

I love how universal these leather trousers are. Pair them with some converse and a cropped jumper, like I have done above, for a super casual and chill look. If you pair it with some Chelsea boots and a blazer, you look smart. Pair it with some heels or some knee high boots, and you look expensive. 10 stars for versatility, am I right? These trousers have been selling out like crazy, so I know I’m not the only person obsessing over them!

What do you think of them? Do you have any fashion obsessions you are buzzing about this season already? Let me know!

See you soon,

Roubs

Xx

The only makeup I will be wearing until 2020 and beyond.

At the start of every morning that I put makeup on, I find myself reaching for the same makeup products. I have found a routine that really works for me, and is fast and minimal. How hard could it possibly be to keep the same routine until the new year? This is absolutely the only makeup I will be wearing until 2020 and beyond…she says as she scrolls through the cultbeauty website…

YOU KNOW I’M ALL ABOUT THAT BASE, ABOUT THAT BASE…

Base is my true love when it comes to makeup. There’s nothing I enjoy more than making my skin look the best that it can. If I could only do one thing to my face every morning, it was absolutely be my base.

Sun protection.

Sunscreen is the first step of my makeup routine. No. Matter. The. Weather. This Sun gel from Face Republic is my holy grail – it is an amazing form of protection at SPF 50+, and contains some of my favourite skincare ingredients, including Niacinimde. Often, people with darker skin tones can feel threatened by suncreams, but trust me, this product is totally transparent on all skins – girl, what grey cast??

The reason why I have included this in my ‘makeup’ routine, is because I also use this as a primer of sorts. This sun gel leaves my skin looking dewy – not oily. People always ask me about the ‘glow’ on my skin, and it really is just the sun gel! Even If I do not wear any makeup on top, it makes my skin look fab, whilst keeping me protected. This product is a little tacky, which is great because the tackiness ensures that whatever you put on top, really sticks. This is the best 2 in 1 skincare and makeup product.

Concealer.

Foundation is a massive skip for me on a regular basis. Particularly if I’m having a bad skin moment (which I have absolutely been having lately…thank you hormones), foundation only emphasises the textural problems going on. On a regular basis, I use a high coverage concealer in the places that I need it, and leave the rest of my skin bare. This is the best way that I have found to create a natural base. Pin point your concealer, it’s all about the detail. It is also so important to make sure that your concealer is your exact shade, rather than brighter, if you are not wearing any foundation. You don’t want anybody to clock that you are wearing anything at all!

If you want to read more about the Too Faced Born This Way Multi-use Sculpting Concealer, I have a full review here – it is my holy grail concealer and I use it all the time. It is the best formulation, coverage, finish and texture. If you haven’t tried it yet, you need to try it!

Powder.

For powder, I love the Collection Sheer Loose Powder. Cheap and cheerful. To keep things glowy and natural, I only powder right beneath my eyes, and around my nose. Keep in mind, I do have dry skin, so powdering my whole face or even my T-Zone is not an imperative for me. I also don’t like powder, so where I can save on it, I will! If I have any spots around my face, I’ll powder those too – I don’t need shine highlighting a blemish that is already acting like the main attraction, am I right?

The Maybelline Fit Me Matte And Pore-less is another one of my favourite powders. I am in the shade 220. It adds a little extra coverage and makes those under eyes look as smooth as silk.

Bronzer.

Bronzer is so, so important to me. There is nothing like making your skin look like you’ve just come back from Turkey. Or Spain. Or anywhere other than gloomy, rainy London. I purchased Benefit’s Hoola in the shade Caramel, and have not looked back since. It has the perfect cool tone – warm tone ratio. You end up not only getting a bronze out of your bronzer, but also a little bit of definition, thanks to the grey tones.

I load up on the bronzer like nothing else, on a massive fluffy brush. All over the cheeks, the nose, the forehead, and jawline.

Highlighter.

Highlighter for me, is not really a ‘must’ product – when I feel like it, I’ll put it on. When I am wearing it, I always opt for either a cream or liquid formulation, to create the most natural and effortless glow. My thing with highlight is I never aim to have a thick stripe of highlight on the skin. I want my highlighter to look transparent and etheral. The Becca Shimmer Skin Perfecter Liquid is one of my favourites, in the shade Opal. It just creates a glossy and seamless beam across the face. Minimal and not over the top; as you can tell, that’s my style.

I apply highlighter onto my cheekbones, above my eyebrows, my tear ducts, onto my nose bridge and tip, and finally, my cupids bow. I blend it all in with my fingers, rather than a sponge or a brush, to create the most natural finish. I do not tend to set it with a powder highlight unless I’m going out, or I want an intense glow. In that case, I always go for Mac’s mineralise skin finish in the shade soft and gentle. It has the perfect pinky, peachy, golden tones to it, that mimic a natural gloss. Love it!

IT’S ALL IN THE EYES, CHICO.

The eyes do not lie about anything, you can see it alllll – for the eyes are the windows to the soul. I love using products that will create an eye-opening and lifted effect, to make me look more awake (because as a third year student at university, when am I not tired?) and more alive.

Mascara.

Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Lash Multiplying Mascara has found itself to be very much irreplaceable in my makeup bag. I am yet to find another mascara that is as good as this one – this is coming from somebody who has very sorry lashes, indeed.

This mascara is great at making it look like you have a lot more going on than you actually do; it adds definition, length, and lots of volume – then I flip the brush, and use the curved side to separate any clumps, and enhance the volume. It catches the tiniest hairs and is a pleasure to use. I don’t think I will ever find anything like this mascara! If you haven’t already tried it, you need to!

Brows.

As the years have gone on, I have become more and more minimalistic when it comes to my eyebrows. As you can see from the clear battering this eyebrow gel has taken, Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel is my go-to brow product. It has these amazing fibres inside that make your brows look way thicker, and much more voluminous than they actually are. It also has a nice natural tint to them that makes them look just that much fuller. Bonus!

I use this eyebrow gel to just brush my eyebrow hairs towards a diagonal. I have found this is the best way for me to do my eyebrows. Brushing them totally upwards makes my brows look super strange, but at a diagonal, I think they look best.

WHAT’S ON THOSE LIPS, GIRL?

Lip Balm.

If we are going to keep it totally 100, it’s always going to be some sort of balm on these lips. No lipsticks, and no lip liners. Lipsticks are just way too high maintenance for me, and I don’t feel that they suit me. I have never been the type of girl to top up my makeup throughout the day, and I can tell you for free, I’m not about to start! Vaseline, Lanolips, and Carmex are my top favourite lip balms. Simple and cheap.

I am totally a gloss girl too! The Fenty glosses are amazing, as well as my ride and die simple Barry M clear lip gloss. I alternative between balms and glosses, to achieve any given look.

And that’s it! When you type out a blog post all about the products you use, your routine suddenly seems a little long…haha. What is your ride or die makeup looking like at the moment?

See you soon!

Roubs

Xx

5 big skincare mistakes you are making that are so easy to break!

In the words of Hannah Montana, Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has those days. But, skincare is not something we should be making mistakes on- on any day! Here are five of the most common skincare mistakes that you are likely to be making, and how to fix them!

Mistake #1: Not applying sunscreen!

I don’t know where this myth originated from, but sunscreen should be applied year-round, not just in the summer! UVB rays are weaker in the winter, so you won’t be getting sunburnt or anything like that. However, UVA rays cause discolouration and wrinkles, and they are just as strong in the winter as they are in the summer. Besides skincare, wearing sunscreen will help to prevent you from skin cancer, so slather that on whether it is raining or the sun is shinning! The Earth is actually closest to the sun during the winter, increasing your levels of risk – yes, even if you are a person of colour. The sun does not discriminate, so protect yourself! In an age where everybody and their mother is using chemical exfoliators (glycolic acids (AHAs)/Salicylic acids BHAs), it is even more imperative to be using sun protection, as these agents make your skin even more vulnerable to sun damage and pigmentation.

Mistake #2: The order of your skincare

Using products out of order can significantly decrease the efficiency levels and even worsen a lot of your existing skincare problems. There is absolutely no point in spending £80.00 on a serum if you are applying it at the end of your routine. With so many different textures and ingredients, it can be difficult to understand the exact order that you are supposed to apply your skincare. To really simplify the order, you should generally always start with the thinnest products, and end with the thickest.

Toners, treatments, serums generally have a thinner consistency, and therefore should be applied first. Humectants such as hyaluronic acid and heavier creams and oils tend to have a thicker consistency, that should be used towards the end of your routine.

Mistake #3: “I don’t need to moisturise, my skin is oily enough!”

This makes my body cringe. Oily skin is thirsty skin. Scrap that, dehydrated skin. Scrap that, droughty skin. The reason your skin is producing so much oil in the first place is because there isn’t enough moisture on your skin. This makes your face believe that it has to overcompensate with oil to ensure your skin doesn’t dry out. With oily skin, you have to find the perfect balance, provide your skin with that good moisture through hydrating serums (the ordinary’s Hyaluronic acid is a great one) and gel moisturisers (use a gel moisturiser rather than a heavy cream, as it’ll feel lighter and more comfortable on the skin), then sit back and watch your skin blossom.

Mistake #4: Thinking natural is always better

This is a really big misconception that social media has totally eaten up. There are thousands and thousands of quirky DIY videos on natural face masks and washes that are absolutely doing more harm than good. Just because products are natural, doesn’t make them good for you. A prime example is the notorious lemon. I can’t even tell you how many videos and articles I have seen using lemons for it’s ‘brightening effect’. They forgot to mention that lemons are also highly acidic…that tingling sensation isn’t a sign that it’s working, it’s a sign that it’s burning your face.

The best products on the market combine both natural agents and chemical agents to create a perfect concoction that synchronises with your skin. Do some research and find some amazing products formulated for the skin that will help you to achieve what you’re looking for.

Mistake #5: NOT REMOVING YOUR MAKEUP PROPERLY

Too much of the time, makeup isn’t actually being removed from our skin, and we are sleeping in it. Makeup wipes (get rid, read here for more reasons as to why!) and ineffective cleansers will leave you with traces of makeup laying on your skin, so it really is best to just go in with the double cleansing method. Double cleansing will always leave you with fresh and clean skin.

Whilst we are sleeping, our skin attempts to regenerate and replenish, however it cannot do this through a layer of makeup. Think of it as a scenario similar to being on the central line underground at peak time – all you want to do is escape – but there’s a man to your left, a woman to your right, even a baby at your feet and an armpit above your head! Your skin gets claustrophobic and breaks out as a result of not being able to breathe throughout the night. If you ask me, it probably was the armpit above the head. Makeup is rarely the problem, it is the way that you remove it!

These are the most common skincare mistakes that I hear about on a very regular basis- I even use to shamefully make some of these mistakes myself…as long as these bad mistakes aren’t in your routine, you will absolutely see changes in your skin!

Ps: Guess who’s on blogloving now? Follow my blog with Bloglovin !

See you soon,

Roubs

Xx

Why your shampoo is killing your hair and how to restore life to your limp curls!

Ever since going natural with my hair, I have endlessly researched, all day and all night on the best products for my damaged strands. We are calling them strands because that is literally what I was working with – damaged strings of dry hair. I could not stand the sight of my hair in its natural state; it just looked frazzled and sad. But, of course – what else should I have expected from my hair when I was using the same shampoo and conditioner as I was prior going natural? Going natural is not just about cutting out heat or doing a big chop, it’s about switching out the crap stuff for the good stuff – and boy did I learn just how much crap stuff was in mainstream hair products. Now, almost a year later, I am writing this blog post for anybody going through the same thing. I am going to talk to you guys in detail about the dangers of silicones and sulphates in your shampoos, and share my favourites that will leave your locks looking juicy and happy!

What should I avoid?

The most important thing that going natural taught me was just how important it is to assess the ingredients in your products. You cannot believe the claims on the bottles, or what the celebrities read off a convincing script on an advertisement – you need to have a look for yourself, and you will absolutely be shocked at what you find.

The harshest ingredients that you need to stay away from are those dangerous sulphates. Sulphates are detergents (found in your laundry powders, washing up liquids, and body washes) found in shampoos that create that rich lather and strips your scalp, leaving you with that ‘squeaky-clean’ feeling. Something like a foam cleanser that you would use on your skin. The issue here is that it literally removes all of the oils, the good ones and the bad – totally drying you out. Curly hair is already naturally very dry as it doesn’t produce a lot of oil naturally, and it struggles to travel down the hair strand due to the curl, so a shampoo with sulphates is only going to cause more frizz, more tangles, more breakage and a lot more excess shedding.

Sulphates can be disguised as many different names in your ingredients list, and some sulphates are gentler than others. It is of course best to just avoid them totally. Here is a list of all the ingredients you should run away from when purchasing your shampoo’s.

Harshest sulphates on the market:

  • Sodium Laureth
  • Myreth
  • Lauryl Sulfate
  • Ammonium Lauryl
  • Laureth Sulfate
  • Dodecylbenzenesulfonate
  • Sodium Alkylbenzene Sulfonate
  • Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate

Gentler and milder sulphates:

  • Sodium Cocyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
  • Sodium Socoyl (or lauryl/lauroyl) Sarcosinate
  • Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine SulfateSodium Cocyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
  • Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate
  • Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate
  • Methyl Cocoyl or Lauryl Taurate – mild, derived from coconut fatty acids 
  • Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate

You should also try to avoid silicones. Silicones are typically found in conditioners and styling products. They are added to products to act as a sort of ‘plastic cast’ over your hair. They act to help prevent frizz and soften the hair. However, this plastic cast also prevents moisture getting into the hair, drying your hair from the inside-out. Silicones are not water soluble, which means that they cannot be washed out of the hair with a sulphate-free shampoo.

Ultimately, this will lead to build up on the curls and scalp, and the excess silicone on your hair will stretch your locks, leaving them looking limp and weighed down. This creates a really vicious cycle where you are using a product that causes crazy build up (your silicone conditioner/styling product), and then stripping everything away (with your sulphate shampoo, because nothing else will get rid of the silicone) – this will ware and tear at the hair, damaging it. Basically, you have to cut out the sulphates if you want to cut out the silicones, you can’t just do one or the other.

Identifying silicones in ingredients list is a lot easier, practically anything that ends in ‘cone’ should send you running for the hills. Some real big ones include:

  • Cetearyl Methicone 
  • Cetyl Dimethicone 
  • Dimethicone
  • Dimethiconol
  • Stearyl Dimethicone

You should try to also avoid alcohols and parabens in your haircare. With all of these rules, it can seem like there are literally no products left out there to use. But believe me, there is a whole new world out there! Some brands that are great for sulphate free and silicone free products include: Shea Moisture, Cantu Beauty, Maui moisture, Kinky curly, CURLS, Camille Rose and Mielle organics are all great brands that I personally love.

Finally, some of my favourite shampoos and ranges for luscious looking curls!

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Caster Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo
£10.99 at Superdrug

This is one of my favourite shampoos, and I have repurchased it consistently.

This Sulfate-free, clarifying shampoo removes buildup, while infusing hair with nourishing moisture. It is formulated with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and organic Shea Butter to help promote natural growth by strengthening damaged or chemically processed hair, reducing breakage and the resultant shedding. Peppermint Oil helps invigorate the scalp for a tingling experience.

The best part of this shampoo is the lather. It can be difficult to find a sulphate-free shampoo that lathers due to the absence of sulphates. I need a lather in my shampoo otherwise I just don’t feel clean enough – but Shea moisture nailed it. The consistency of this shampoo is also super spreadible and thin, which makes it really easy to work with. It also means you won’t have to use a lot of product either!

Maui Moisture thicken and restore + Bamboo fibres Shampoo
£8.99 at Superdrug

Exotic bamboo fibres are infused into this shampoo blend with castor oil (yes to hair growth!) and neem oil. These ingredients help strengthen and repair over-styled, damaged hair. Furthermore, this shampoo will renew and soften treated, natural or transitioning hair types and encourage healthy-looking hair.

When I first transitioned into natural hair, my biggest problem was my thinning hair. After years and years of constantly straightening my hair everyday of my life ever since I was ten, the damage was so real. I had lost so much hair and it was left frail. A shampoo with fibres was a dream to me; the fibres made my hair appear thicker and healthier, and overtime, the shampoo and conditioner absolutely helped to restore my hair to its natural condition. I love this! Please do try this whole range if you are transitioning, or if you feel your hair is weaker/thinner.

Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo 
£6.99 at Superdrug

Cantu’s sulphate-free shampoo deeply cleans the scalp allowing hair to grow. This is a really simple shampoo. The texture is very thick and creamy as it is formulated with shea butter, making it nourishing and a pleasure to use on your scalp. The shampoo is formulated without harsh ingredients such as mineral oils, parabens, silicons, gluten, sulphate, phthalates, paragon or propylene.

More than anything, the cleansing cream shampoo smells amazing and makes my hair feel juicy and moist. I love the conditioner too, and highly recommend the whole line, including the styling products!

Ultimately, you should try and listen to your hair. You will know if your hair agrees or disagrees with a certain product. These shampoos that I have listed above are all drugstore products that you can find in your local Boots or Superdrug, under £11. Going natural with my hair genuinely drained my bank account – I spent so much money on different hair products, so I was truly astonished at some of the gems in the drugstore. This is why I wanted to create this blog post – not only to shine a light on the dangers in sulphates and silicones present in some of the cheaper hair products, but also, to show you some of my favourite cheap stars.

So now you know the dangers in silicones and sulphates, is the shampoo you’re using right now really good for you? Are you willing to let it go?

See you soon,

Roubs

Xx

Why you need to get rid of your makeup wipes. All of them. Right now.

A lot of people use makeup wipes on a regular basis to clean their faces, believing they are an effective and convenient makeup remover. This is probably the biggest beauty misconception on the planet, and I just have to dissect it. This post is all about makeup wipes, and why they should never buy them again.

Makeup wipes have established a prominent status in the cleansing community; people use them to start their cleansing in the morning, refresh or fix makeup during the day, or even to remove their makeup at night. People love makeup wipes – it’s crazy! But I think of them as some sort of devilish epidemic. They are so incredibly bad for you!

The ingredients in makeup wipes is the first problem here.

Many wipes contain alcohols which dry and irritate the skin; they are usually really high on the ingredients list too, which means your makeup wipe is doing a lot more harm than good! Irritated skin leads to inflammation, and inflammation leads to hyperpigmentation. Who wants that?

If your wipe doesn’t have alcohol in it, it absolutely has very strong preservatives in it. Preservatives help your makeup wipes to stay hygienic and anti-bug. These wipes sit in their wet packages for weeks, and we all know that bacteria loves to grow in warm and moist environments. Companies need to use chemical components to keep the wipes from growing mould. Methylisothiazolinone (MI), parabens, alcohol denat (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) and triclosan are some of the nasties which you’ll find in your ingredients list. Worryingly, the preservative methylisothiazolinone (MI) can cause swelling, rashes and blistering. The problem with these strong ingredients is that they are just too harsh on the skin. You will be left parched and irritated. This may not be an immediate reaction, but it will absolutely develop over time.

Finally, and probably most importantly – makeup wipes do not actually remove your makeup. There aren’t any ingredients that remove makeup, so really all you are doing is spreading it all over your face, along with the grime and sweat from the day. You are not unclogging your pores with a wipe, or lifting the dirt and oil that your skin has produced throughout the day. Water is an essential part of your cleansing process, that helps to sweep it all away; you are not getting a proper cleanse without washing your face. You might aswell just sleep in your makeup – it really makes no difference. To make matters worse, as you rub these harsh towelettes over your face, you are creating micro tears, inviting wrinkles, inflammation and hyperpigmentation to your party.

Everybody loves wipes because they’re so cheap and they’re so simple, but they are also so bad for you. Now with everything in life, there is a time and a place. If you are using makeup wipes once a while to fix makeup, you aren’t really killing your skin too badly – but stop. The problem is when these wipes are used as a part of your daily routine, or you use them on a regular basis to remove your makeup. It just isn’t going to work.

Aside from damaging your skin, makeup wipes also damage our environment. They are becoming an increasingly large problem for not only the coastlines around the world, but also landfills. Whether you flush them away or chuck them in the bin, you are damaging the environment. Founder of campaign group City to Sea Natalie Fee said:

‘The problems with wet wipes are threefold. ‘Those that are flushed, clog up our pipes and sewers and contribute to giant fatbergs. This then makes our sewage systems overflow and other plastics spill into our waterways and seas, putting marine life at risk. ‘Those that are discarded in the bins will often end up in landfill or get incinerated, contributing to carbon emissions. ‘Ideally, we want people to stop using them and treat them like they would any other single-use plastic.’

Metro news, 2019


A single wet wipe can take 100 years to biodegrade in a landfill. When flushed, they cause a serious strain on our sewers that aren’t designed to cope with wet wipe waste. A report by the Marine conservation society has shown 80 wipes were found every mile of the beach, resulting in an insane 400% increase in the last decade, and an increasing steady 15% every year (Green people, 2016).

In conclusion, double cleansing is really and truly the way to go if you want a quick and effective cleanse. It really does not take long at all, and you can rest assured that you are nourishing your skin at the same time as removing your makeup and cleansing your skin. It really is a win-win situation!

So now you see the hidden secrets behind the sacred makeup wipes. How often do you guys use wet wipes? Do you feel like you might try and stay away from them after reading this post?

See you soon,

Roubs

Xx

The best budget beauty buys!

I don’t think there is a more satisfying and very guilty indulgence than going online and spending £300.99 on beauty products. But, it isn’t the nicest to your bank account. I am so ecstatic to share with you guys some of my staple drugstore finds that I am constantly going back for, and hopefully help you to find a dupe for something you may be unnecessarily splurging on.

To prime or not to prime? That is the question. If you do choose to prime, I have an amazing one for you.

The MUA pro base moisturising primer is an absolute steal at just £4.00. The vitamin A and E in this primer hydrate the skin and leave you with a smooth base for your makeup to sit on top of. It also has tea tree oil in it which makes me feel great, because I love products that combine both makeup and skincare. This primer really makes my makeup last; I can absolutely see a difference when I am wearing this and when I am not. I find it is very similar to the Too Faced £32.00 hangover primer, particularly in consistency as they both are lotion-like. Sometimes, I wear this primer on it’s own without any makeup, because it makes your skin look so supple and fresh, with a gorgeous glow! It really is amazing and I recommend it to anybody suffering with issues with both makeup longevity and dry patches.

Brows have been the thing for the last couple of years, and Anastasia Beverly Hills has definitely taken the award for best pomade and best pencil. Personally, I am not the best at brows, and for this reason, the NYX professional makeup micro brow pencil in the shade Ash Brown, has won my heart.

This is a great brow product for a beginner, or anybody who sucks at eyebrows really. The pigmentation is not as strong as ABH, which I love, because it allows you to build up the pigmentation to create a perfect and natural eyebrow. The itty-bitty pencil also helps, as you can get into all of the gaps and spaces and fill them in. The thing I love the most about the NYX eyebrow pencils is the shade range. I think all brunettes can agree that the most frustrating thing is when companies think that there is only one shade of brown! NYX has Ash browns to blacks, chocolates and espressos – But there are also Taupes and blondes, even an auburn for coloured hair! Much more impressive than most brands. It doesn’t take too long to do and your eyebrows, and they will always look super natural! I adore this product. At £9.00, if you have not already tried it then you definitely should!

Garnier’s Micellar waters are by no means a hidden gem, but I am in love with the oil infused version, and many people don’t know about it!

Micellar waters are a very effective and gentle way to cleanse the skin, but this version is formulated with oils that emulate the job of a cleansing oil. I would recommend this to anybody who wants to try cleansing with an oil cleanser but is worried about feeling greasy. The oil in here not only helps to cleanse the skin more effectively, but also nourishes and hydrates the skin. When it comes to Micellar water, you really do not need to splurge on them; they all do the same thing. Since you follow up with another cleanser (well you should be!) afterwards anyway, you are only washing it off. The La Mer Micellar water is a whopping £70.00 compared to the £6.99 for a 400ml of the Garnier oil infused Micellar water… do yourself a favour! Garnier has an amazing skincare line for amazing pricing in general, I have been using the pure active line for a very long time and really recommend it!

As somebody with dry skin, I run for the hills at the whisper of a powder. I live for the dew and the glow, and I would rather eat broken glass than to have a matte face. So, you can imagine that finding a powder that does not kill all of my dew has truly been the bane of my existence. Well, I did it. And I did it drugstore.

The Collection 2000 sheer loose powder in the shade translucent is an amazing setting powder that doesn’t leave you looking like a chalkboard. The powder is enriched with silk and Vitamin E that leaves you with a soft-focus finish. Vitamin E is very hydrating on the skin, which helps this powder to look seamless under the eyes and around any other drier areas. Collection’s powder also contains UVA and UVB sunscreens, protecting you from sun damage; something that I am very passionate about. All of that for a bargain price of £2.99. It is so insanely impressive how well this product performs for such a cheap price; the powder is so finely milled and is completely undetectable on the skin. I have set with this, and baked with this, and it just works so well as my daily powder where I need it. This is an absolute dupe for my ultimate favourite powder, the Too Faced Born this way ethereal setting loose powder. I would even go on to say that due to the skincare benefits included in the Collection powder, it surpasses it!

Makeup revolution has been a long time favourite brand for me from the drugstore. Their eyeshadow palettes, concealers, and makeup in general is honestly top class and as cheap as chips. I have a lot of firm favourites from them, but I want to talk about a particular lip product for today.

After Kylie came out with her lip kits, a lot of drugstore brands came out with similar concepts because they just made makeup easier. People will pay extortionate prices for convenience – which is why Kylie’s lip kits did, and still do so well. Many of the drugstore brands that released lip kits just did not come up to par, at all. Makeup revolution came out with their Retro luxe matte kits in 2017, and I absolutely fell in love with them. At £6.00, ‘Bow down’ is that perfect warm, browney, beigey, nudey colour. The formulation is what really sells this to me; although it is matte, the lipstick is super comfortable on the lips. It doesn’t settle into any of the lines on the lips or accentuate any dryness thanks to the super thin formula. Nonetheless, this lipstick still maintains a high opacity, and lasts so well.

I am absolutely a low maintenance type of girl. It is really rare for me to top up my lips throughout the night; but, I honestly forget that I am wearing this sometimes and it still looks good every time I look in the mirror – even after eating and drinking. These lip kits from Revolution are available in 13 different shades, with matte formulations, gloss formulations, and metallic formulations. Try them out if you have not already, and let me know what you think!

Eye have one more lashtastic recommendation for you guys from the drugstore. Let’s talk mascara.

Mascara is not really something that I am willing to spend a lot of money on. I can’t really tell the difference between using a higher end mascara, and something from Superdrug or boots. Particularly these days when drugstore brands are really elevating their game; I don’t really deem it totally necessary to spend £30.00 on a mascara.

At £8.99, Maybelline’s lash sensational is my go to mascara. The formula of this mascara is really amazing, it is very liquidly, which makes it great for layering and even mixing with other mascaras! It never leaves your lashes looking dead and clumpy, and instead will help you to achieve full and fluffy lashes. I think we can really agree that what really sells this mascara is the wand.

The wand on this is very unique, and the way that I use it helps me to achieve the full lash effect that I’m looking for. I use the inner curve first to reach all of my lashes, short and long. I find that it provides me with the length that I am looking for out of my dream mascara. I then flip the brush and use the thicker outer curve to separate and add additional volume to my lashes. This mascara takes me from 0-100 real quick, and it really never fails me. Like the Garnier Micellar water, it is by no means a hidden gem, and most people know about this mascara – unless you have been living under a rock. I have ditched all of my other mascaras since purchasing this one, and I love it!

Top tip: if you find that your lashes fall throughout the day and cannot maintain a curl, try the lash sensational in waterproof. Waterproof mascaras hold more of a curl!

Makeup brushes are not something that I would discourage investing in too much because they will last, and they can make a massive difference in the way that your makeup looks. If you want to make an investment, I do love the Zoeva brushes, where a basic brush set will cost you £68.00. It is a happy median between something cheaper and the extortionate Mac brushes. But, if you do want to save some money on makeup brushes, Real techniques take the stage, with sets costing just £20.00. 

Image result for real techniques brushes boots

Real techniques brushes are so, so good. They never leave my makeup looking streaky, they do not shed on me, they’re cruelty free, and they stay soft and luxurious as they are made of Talon. The Real Techniques brushes are also synthetic, so they don’t suck up all of your makeup! I have not had any problems with these brushes and I’ve had them for years. I always use the expert face brush from RT to apply my foundation in an even spread. Then, I follow up with the real techniques sponge to mesh the product into my skin and achieve a natural finish. The expert face brush is also the perfect shape for blending in my concealer. I love how densely packed it is, so it helps to provide a fuller coverage. The RT brushes are insane, and should be a part of everybody’s starter makeup kits!

So, hopefully this blog post helped you guys to see that you do not actually have to empty out your entire bank account for some of the beauty products that you can find just as good in the drugstore. These are some real staple items for me that I adore and use often. Do let me know if you have any secret budget beauty finds that you think people should know about!

See you soon,

Roubs

Xx

The problem with Vitamin C in skincare

Vitamin C is probably the most hyped up skincare ingredient in the skincare world. It is truly the hero ingredient for everybody who is looking to brighten their complexion, get rid of dark spots and even out the skin tone. But, in many cases it really just is not that effective! This blog post is all about the problems with vitamin C and how best to make it work.

The main problem with Vitamin C is that it is an unstable molecule. What this is means is that it oxidises quickly on exposure to light, heat and air, making it physiologically ineffective. Product packaging and potency will determine whether you are getting the real deal, or buying an imposter product. Dr. Zamani gives us a guide on potency here.

Ingredient potency

“When looking for a suitable Vitamin C product, finding the right concentration is important. A potency of 10-20 per cent means that results for the skin will be seen quicker and more uniformly across the skin…A concentration of between 3 and 10 per cent will still be effective, in an L-ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid form.”

Maximum skin absorption of Vitamin C occurs at 20% strength. Increasing the potency beyond this point does not equal better skin absorption! Furthermore, using agents with higher potency levels such as 10% strength and 15% strength will give you more apparent results in a shorter amount of time; but you will risk irritating the skin. With skincare it is best to start with the least potent ingredients so that you can give your skin an opportunity to adapt towards these new and serious ingredients. You can do more harm than good if you just go straight in with 20%, you can always work towards the big boys – please bare this in mind, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

Packaging is more than just meets the eye!

Before you go and spend £200 on a vitamin C product, because we both know you can find one for that price tag, you should know something about packaging.

Vitamin C can become totally useless if not packaged and stored in the right way. Make sure that you keep it away from light to avoid oxidisation and weakening the potency of the ingredient. Also ensure that the packaging is tightly sealed as too much air has the same effect! Dr Zamani recommends to opt for formulas in “air-tight packaging, pumps or single-use, individually wrapped products”.

Individually wrapped products are great for experienced Vitamin C users. You can be the most sure that the ingredients are stable in this form. DIY kits are a great example, as they isolate the vitamin C powder away from the essence to mix it into, until you are ready to use it.

The different types of vitamin C, and what to look out for

Now, I highly encourage everybody to really analyse the ingredient list at the back of all products, just to be aware of what you are putting on your face. Ingredient lists go in the order of highest potency: the first ingredient is most present in the product, and the last ingredient is the least present. Vitamin C is not necessarily labelled as ‘vitamin C’ in the ingredient list however, as it comes in many different forms. Dr. Mahto has your vitamin C dictionary, and explains it all here:

“Any type of vitamin C in your moisturising serum and lotion will likely offer some skin benefit. There are several different types of vitamin C used in skincare products, so you want to look out for things like L-ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate and retinyl ascorbate on the ingredients label. Retinyl ascorbate has the most amount of scientific research surrounding its benefits and L-ascorbic acid helps to boost collagen production and smooths and firms skin, as well as preventing photo-ageing.”

“Other ingredients you should look for in vitamin C products include magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (this is the most stable and preferred vitamin C compounds), disodium isostearyl 2-0, L-ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbic acid sulphate and tetraisopalmitoyl ascorbic acid. The effects of topical vitamin C can also be enhanced by other agents such as ferulic acid and vitamin E.”

Investing in a product that combines vitamin C with ferulic acid and Vitamin E can result in even better skincare results. “Vitamin C can be combined with the anti-ageing, UV damage fighting antioxidant vitamin E, or hyaluronic acid, which penetrates into the dermis boosting the elasticity and hydration of the skin. The protective barrier on the skin locks in moisture, which gives the skin a youthful appearance. It is also often combined with ferulic acid, a powerful antioxidant that combats the free radicals in your skin.”

How should I use vitamin C? A cream? A wash? A mask? A serum?

How you use an ingredient is just as important as the effectiveness of an ingredient; it doesn’t matter how much a product can do for your skin if you are only going to wash it down the sink, right? Serums are your best bet for really getting the most of the super-ingredient, serums usually are the form that include a concentrated and active vitamin C. Serums are also great because it means that you can layer your skincare with minimal problems, whereas using something a little more direct may cause some interference with what you can and cannot mix on top of the vitamin C.

Now, you have had the run down of all of the problems with vitamin C and how to get around them; it might feel like you just do not know what products there are left that actually work! Here are some of my personal favourite vitamin C products, and what I have found actually work.

People with sensitive skin, or people who are trying vitamin C for the first time.

No7’s youthful vitamin C fresh radiance essence is an amazing product to start with. At £19.50, you can pick this up from your local Boots or online from several retailers. The reason that I recommend this so much is because it is a DIY product. You have to mix and shake a 5% vitamin C strength in with a gel like elixir and the concoction lasts you for a two week ‘course’. Due to the low potency of the product, it is great for sensitive skin and for people who are trying Vitamin C for this first time. Working up to higher potencies is the key to success!

The one thing I really urge with this product is to keep it away from light. As it is a two week course, it does not have too much time to go completely unstable, however you can always prevent this through keeping it away from the light.

People with oilier skin

The Phloretin CF gel is a pricey yet very effective form of vitamin C. At £150.00, Phloretin is dermatologist recommended as a superior brand, but it really does work. This product not only features a 10% strength vitamin C, but it also has Ferulic acid that enhances the benefits of this whole product. Due to its water base, it does not feel too thick or heavy on oily skin, and glides on to the skin, seeping in almost instantly.

The packaging helps to keep the product stable, as it is in a dark and opaque bottle, but always keep vitamin C away from the light anyway, especially if you spent £150 on a bottle!

Best for dry skin

Drunk elephant’s C-firma day serum is an excellent product that combined 15% L-absorbic acid (vitamin C) with Vitamin E. The product also has exfoliating fruit enzymes and hydrating Sodium Hyaluronate to leave the skin looking not only bright and even, but also very smooth thanks to the AHA’s. Alongside the vitamin E, plant oils within the product also provide nourishment to the skin, making it a dream for anybody with dry skin. Although this product is £67.00, it is an amazing investment to get your skin on the right track – I always recommend this product because it just has never ending benefits!

That’s all folks! I hope that this blog post has helped you to understand Vitamin C a little bit better, and hopefully help you to spend your money more wisely.

See you soon,

Roubs

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