17 On The Spot Foundation

17 ON THE SPOT FOUNDATION: £6.99 @ BOOTS

We all know that one of the worst things about spots is the vicious cycle of spots–heavy makeup–clogged pores–more spots–more heavy makeup—more spots–etc. I am incredibly lucky that I have managed to avoid acne for most of my teen years (so far anyway) but I was still intrigued about a product that promised an immediate conceal but long-term prevention. And it comes from 17, a brand whose base products have been pretty good as of late with Phwoarr Paint and Stay Time (review to come). 

I have just finished the recommended four week trial period and, well, it’s alright. Nothing special, you know? It didn’t particularly clear up or prevent anything, but it didn’t cause any new blemishes either. The coverage is nice, medium-to-high although definitely more for oily skin as it clung to my drier areas. However I am very wary to write this off completely as if I’m honest I really don’t think I’m the intended target market. 

Overall would I repurchase?

It’s a decent foundation, so never say never. Please let me know if you have tried this and you have more blemished skin though, as I don’t think I can really give it a rigorous testing!

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Lush Honey Bee

LUSH HONEY BEE BATH BOMB: £3.35

Dear Lush,

I love you, I do, but pleASE STOP MAKING YELLOW BATH BOMBS! ARGH!

Look, we’re all friends here and we all know yellow bath water has an extremely obvious connotation, and it’s not pleasant. It’s such a shame because Honey Bee is such a great bath bomb – it fills the whole room with an authentic honey scent, it leaves my skin feeling extraordinarily soft and it’s not too expensive. But one of the reasons I believe Lush bath products are worth their price tag is because they sell a multi-sensory experience (feel of the water, fragrance, etc), and the look/colour of the bath is a big part of that. I wouldn’t mind as much if it turned the water a gold colour similar to the Sunnyside bubble bar, but it truly is a horribly lurid (let’s face it) p*ss yellow. Gah.

Overall would I repurchase?

Maybe some day, but it’s never going to be my favourite.

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream

SOAP & GLORY SMOOTHIE STAR BODY BUTTERCREAM: £10.50

S&G body butters are some of the best around in my opinion, not least because of the wonderfully diverse scent range that caters to everyone. The Smoothie Star fragrance is one I’d recommend smelling before purchasing though, as while I adore the delectable-gourmand-y-ness it is a bit too sugary sweet for some. The best way I can describe it is to liken it to the best creme brulee you’ve ever had – thick and creamy in texture with a sweet fudgey smell to match. You can definitely detect the almond and pistachio, and the vanilla base-note lingers long after the cream has sunk in. It’s a great moisturiser that serves its purpose of hydrating dry arms, legs and bodies whilst adding a touch of affordable luxury.

Overall would I repurchase?

Yep! Well done yet again S&G.

Top Three High-End Palettes

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URBAY DECAY NAKED (1) PALETTE: £38.00

The original and the best, I’ve used this palette every day since I bought it and I still love it. Pricey, but worth it.

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NARS X ANDY WARHOL EYE AND CHEEK PALETTE: (£45) LIMITED EDITION

I’ll be the first to admit I used to scoff at people who bought expensive makeup just for aesthetic purposes, and then the Nars x Andy Warhol came in to my life and here I am – the owner of a palette I never have and doubt I ever will use. Still, it is gorgeous though isn’t it?

BENEFIT HOW TO LOOK THE BEST AT EVERYTHING: £25.50

Though not technically a palette, it is all in one self-contained small box so it’s pretty much the same! This is the kit that introduced to two of my now-fave makeup products, Boi-ing concealer and the Porefessional primer. A great introduction to Benefit for anyone and the reusable box is fab. 

The Best Face Mask for Your Skin Type

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NUXE CREME FRAICHE MASK: £18.50

BEST FOR: Dehydrated, thirsty skin

If you’ve ever eaten an indulgent, creamy dessert and wished you could give your skin the same treat as your tastebuds, then this Nuxe mask is the one for you. It sinks in to skin to replenish and soothe and only a thin layer is required, so the tube lasts forever. 

GOOD THINGS MANUKA HONEY MASK: £4.99

BEST FOR: Oily, tired skin

If you’ve had a stressful week (or month/year) your skin is the first thing to show it. This mask whips fed-up skin back to life and the white clay helps get rid of any sneaky stress spots.

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BALANCE ME RADIANCE FACE MASK: £18.00

BEST FOR: Dry, neglected skin

I use this mask whenever the dryness on my T-zone decides to pop round and say hello, or when I’ve been a bit sloppy with my skincare for a few days. It brightens and refreshes while the small scrubby particles help reveal new, softer skin. 

GOOD THINGS FIVE MINUTE MASK: £4.99

BEST FOR: Naughty, blemished skin

If you can feel a breakout brewing this is the mask to go for – it stops my spots in their tracks without being over-drying or harsh on my skin. A gentler, natural alternative to eye-wateringly strong blemish masks.

MONTAGNE JEUNESSE PASSION PEEL OFF MASK: £1.00

BEST FOR: Dull, ‘rough’ skin

Peel-off masks are a godsend for dull skin that’s not feeling as soft as it could be, and this one is cheap, effective and leaves my skin feeling amazingly soft and smooth. 

Lush Big Blue

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LUSH BIG BLUE BATH BOMB: £3.35

I believe Big Blue is one of Lush’s oldest bath bombs, as it’s certainly been around as long as I’ve been going and that’s quite a while! Odd, really then, that I’ve never tried it before. I guess it just never really stood out to me against the typical Lush back drop of rainbow-glitter-smothered creations. As someone who still suffers from the occasional bout of eczema, I was attracted to this as it claimed to give your bath water the same properties as seawater – salty (antiseptic and skin softening), cleansing (lemon oil and salt again), blue (no way!) and the generous portion of arame seaweed flakes apparently release various vitamins and minerals. Although regarding the latter I must say that there might’ve been a touch too much seaweed, which made it a bit of a pain to clean the tub after. Aside from that I can definitely see why it’s been a favourite for so long. It made for a great bath, cleansing but caring and turned the water a stunning aquamarine blue.

Dr. Organic Ice Mint Lip Balm

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DR. ORGANIC ALOE VERA ICE MINT LIP BALM: £3.49

If there is one thing I do not need, it is another lip balm. If there is one thing I will forever buy in copious amounts, it’s lip balm. And maybe notebooks. And pens. And chocolate truffles.

I do actually have an excuse for this one though as it came in a beauty box. I thought I might as well try it out, but over the past couple of weeks it’s ended up replacing my regular balm. It’s nothing amazingly groundbreaking, but it’s moisturising, thick (in a good way – not like those balms that just slip over your lips without really doing anything and disintegrate within seconds) and deliciously minty, almost menthol but not quite. It just feels like it’s doing something when I wear it, not just sitting on top of my lips and looking pretty. The SPF is a big bonus too with summer on the way (or at least whatever transmogrification of hot weather dear old Britain decides to chuck at us). 

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Overall would I repurchase?

At the price of a Starbucks it’s cost friendly and definitely one I’d recommend to a friend. It’s also available in other flavours such as Cherry, Liquorice and Argan Oil, which I think might sway me in to trying another (I’ll probably go for the Coconut one if you’re interested)!

Post-Stress Pampering

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We all need a bit of a pamper after getting through a stressful situation. Whether it’s a presentation, a close friend’s wedding, or in my case – exams. The very first thing I did when I got home after my last AS exam was have something to eat, obviously. However, the second thing was a luxuriously long, self-indulgent bath. I took my makeup off, put a face mask on and soaked my stress away. Bliss. 

So if you too are craving a post-stress pamper sesh, listen (or should that be read?) up – here are my top five destressing ideas:

  • Have a bath. Or a jacuzzi if you’re lucky enough to have one. Half soothing, half wallowing, they’re the perfect destresser and can be personalised to your needs (can’t sleep? try this. physically tired? try this. craving sweet comfort food? try this.).
  • Put on a face mask. Treating your skin is treating yourself, plus the right one will help deal with any stress induced spots that might have popped up.
  • Paint your nails. Take your time. Do an intricate pattern that requires all of your attention because it will take your mind off the stressful event and stop you over-thinking things. Plus you’ll have hella cute nails which is always a bonus. (If you’re stuck for inspiration, I love Pinterest)
  • Exfoliate. Scrubbing away dead skin cells is very therapeutic, especially after stress. You can imagine you’re scrubbing away all those worries, revealing new strength and positivity and all that jazz. Try it, you never know, it might just work for you. (When I was at the peak of my exam stress I’d probably have tried doing handstands in the bath if someone said it helped them unwind.)
  • Deep condition your hair. Ya’know the old saying: tame hair, tame mind. No you’re right that is 100% not a real saying and never has been. But still. I always feel more together when I can at least get a brush through my hair, plus you can stroke your new cashmere soft mane when you’re stressed. Think of it as a portable comfort blanket…attached to your head.

May all your stress be pampered away!

Nuxe Creme Fraiche Mask

NUXE CREME FRAICHE DE BEAUTE REHYDRATING MASK: £18.50

Nuxe are a cult beauty brand famed by bloggers and skincare aficionados, and one I’ve been meaning to try for quite a while now. This Creme Fraiche Face Mask promises to provide 24h hydration for parched skin as well as being soothing and de-stressing. As someone who usually sticks to cleansing and blemish-fighting masks it seems like an odd choice, but I felt my poor skin deserved a treat as my skincare has taken a backseat lately after all the pressure I’ve been under! 

I think that’s one of my favourite things about this mask actually – it feels like a treat. When you’re using it you want to pat yourself on the back for being so good to your skin. I guess it should feel like an indulgence when you’re paying nearly £20 a tube, but it definitely lasts a while and you can always only apply to areas that need it most (forehead/t-zone/etc). My favourite way to use it is to apply it just before a long, hot bath (I mean long, we’re talking an hour and a half here people), and then by the time I get out it’s sunk in and done its job leaving my skin feeling soothed, hydrated and cared for. It does leave a slightly greasy residue though, so this is one to use at night or on a day when you’re not wearing any makeup for a few hours after applying. 

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Overall would I repurchase?

Hmm. Apparently this Vitamin E Moisture Mask from Superdrug is meant to be quite similar, so at practically a tenth of the cost I’ll probably try that first. The Nuxe one is a fantastic face mask though and I do recommend it.