Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Salve, Moisturiser, and Catching Fire.

Well, it's been a little while since I posted an update, so I guess I'd better fill in before I fall out of the habit of posting regularly.

My face is better!  No tight, scaly, dry skin.  No intense itching.  No hives.  And pretty much no acne!

After the miracle of Calendulan I needed a moisturiser, as Calendulan is too emollient for me to use continuously (duh, it's a burn salve!)  So, there is this cruelty free Dutch cosmetics company called Biodermal who is one of the oldest and foremost leading dermatological skincare developers in the country.  They were founded in 1975, and outside of Holland I'm not able to find much information on them.  I usually go by Paula's Choice Beautypedia evaluations on products, but they have nothing on this brand.  I think I've seen it on sale in the UK somewhere before though, as I recognised the brand without having tried it before.  But I digress!

I'd been meaning to try this brand since recognising it in the drug stores here.  It's not the cheapest of products, retailing at around €15 per item for their every day skin care ranges, and over €20 for their specialised ranges, but it's cheaper than Paula's Choice in this country.  So I decided that now was the time to trial the brand.

I bought one of the every day skincare moisturisers for very dry skin.  You get a day and a night creme to choose from.  I went for the day thinking it would have SPF in it.  It doesn't.  So I was very worried going outside with how damaged my skin was.

Regardless of the lack of SPF, it's actually a darn good moisturiser!  I was peeling so badly by this point that I had to have two showers a day in order to loosen the dead skin on my face so I could exfoliate it off with a towel, and this moisturiser did sting when I applied it on the raw skin.  But even though it stung, I immediately noticed a difference in the texture and tightness of my skin.  The "raw" skin was still damaged, and so dried out really quickly when exposed to air.  Within a few minutes of being out of the shower it would start to go tight and scaly.  This day creme soothed it remarkably, but I had to apply it very liberally.  As in large white dollops on my face liberally.  If I rubbed it in, it would only be perhaps twenty minutes before I'd have to reapply , where as I could go nearly two hours without having to reapply the creme if I dolloped it on.  It also didn't break me out, which is remarkable.

It's the third week since the incident and my face is almost completely recovered.  It's taken a lot of babying though.  The Biodermal day creme comes in a 50ml jar and I have gone through it in a week.  €15 on my face in a week!  Well, I suppose facials costs twice as much and last for maybe as long.  I don't know if it's still residual damage from the Benzoyl Peroxide or if it's just the composition of the creme is that good, but I'm considerably less oily than I was before.  The last thing you should do with oily skin is introduce a thick, heavy moisturiser to it, but so far I've gotten away with it.  I intend to repurchase the creme, but in the night formula, to use before I go to bed or if I don't have to go out of the house that day.  I wonder how long my skin will let me pump moisture back into it before it decides to regurgitate some of it back at me..

As my skin is no longer dry and peeling, I can start my makeup reviews of Meow Cosmetics and Darling Girl Cosmetics!  Actually, I'll debut a look on the 19th of this month with some of the products.  Mr Blue Eyes and I have got tickets to the midnight release of Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire!  Squea!  So excited!  I haven't read the books, but I have a huge girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence.  So I'm incredibly excited about this midnight manatee.

Also, I've learned that my local gym offers a pole dancing class.  Guess who's going to throw themselves around a pole!  And probably fall off and bang their head against it!  I'm also going to start Zumba and Kick Boxing for extra cardio.  Now that my sweat isn't irritating my skin, I've been hitting the gym again and LOVING IT!  Seriously.  I'm actually a gym nut.  I'm working on strengthening my joints at the moment, but after Christmas I'm going to start doing a proper weights routine.  I'm going to have a beach body by next summer, damnit!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Irony's a Bitch

In the quest for perfect skin I ruined my face.

Well, very nearly.

My Paula's Choice order arrived on Monday, and I was super excited to get the kit out and start with the recovery of my complexion.  Everything was fine too; I cleansed my face with the CLEAR cleanser, washed my blackhead prone areas with the Balancing cleanser, soothed my skin with the Balancing toner, slathered on some CLEAR extra strength exfoliate and again, treated my blackhead prone area's with the 2% BHA exfoliate.  Everything was hunky, until I applied the 5% Benzoyl Peroxide.

It tingled.  A lot.  Rather uncomfortably so, in fact, and also stung.  Not to the point where it was unbearable and absolutely had to was it off, but it continued on for a long time.  Possibly an hour.  I smoothed on some Balancing moisturiser without SPF on top of it, which was fine.  No adverse reactions or anything, it was actually quite cool upon application.  But I kept checking in the mirror expecting my face to be red.  It wasn't.

Benzoyl Peroxide works by inhibiting the skin's production of oil.  It is notorious for drying out you skin and is a reputable treatment against acne and oily skin for this purpose.  Dry skin and flaking are very common.  What happened to me next happens to only about 10% of BP users.

Ten hours later and I'm getting ready for bed.  I do the whole cleansing, toning, and exfoliating thing as per the norm.  Then I smoothed on some BP.  Probably a little more than I should have, but I wanted those spots gone!

My face burned.  More so than the first time I applied it.  It wasn't bad at first, but it steadily grew worse and worse.  I don't even know how long I distracted myself for before it got too much and had to wash it off, but when I did, holy crap Santa would have been jealous.  My nose and cheeks were scarlet right down into the crease of my neck.  I used cold water and the Balancing cleanser to wash off all the BP, which was probably a bad idea to use on dry skin, but I needed to make sure it was all off.

My skin felt dry and scaly to the touch, and it itched and hurt like crazy, but I wasn't too worried.  I'd read up on BP and knew that dry skin was a side effect, and just thought the level of dryness my skin was experiencing was me being over ambitious using BP twice in one day.  I still thought this was normal when my thick hydrating moisturiser made my skin sting and wasn't providing anything but the barest minimum of relief.  I just caked myself in the moisturiser and somehow fell asleep.

The next day was tolerable.  I was still red and scaly, but just kept applying moisturiser every half hour or so.  I'd rinse it off my face every three hours and then go through the motions again as my skin just wasn't absorbing the moisturiser.  I even went to the gym with my face lit up like a Christmas tree expecting my face to heal in the next couple of days.  Oh was I wrong.  That night I went to sleep with Neutrogena Norwegian Formula lip balm all over my face, as it was the only thing that made the burning stop.

Next came the olive oil, which helped a little by providing a barrier against my skin, but no moisture.  Then the Vaseline I found in the bathroom, which worked for a good couple of house, but then started to make me itch as my skin couldn't breathe.  Then I tried some random Aloe Vera cream that was in the bathroom, which stung like hell and made me turn bright red even though it contained no alcohol, but put some vague resemblance of moisture back into the parched bits.  I still ended up sleeping with Vaseline caked on my face though, after cleansing with some natural yogurt.  My face peeled a little with that, which was a good sign.

Today I woke up with the Vaseline still mostly in place, and my skin hurting considerably less.  So I wash off the Vaseline with just plain old water, and reapplied it.  A few hours later, I wanted to claw my skin off it was so itchy!  I pleaded with Mr Blue Eyes to run to the chemist and get me some pure Aloe gel, which he lovingly did, and wiped off all the Vaseline.  This helped a lot with the itching.  My face was still horribly chapped, but the burning was less than the previous day, and I could tolerate it until the boyfriend returned.

He didn't return with Aloe though, as the chemist had none.  He explained my plight to one of the ladies serving at the counter, and returned with Calendulan, a well known burn and scar creme here in Holland.  I was getting desperate by this point, and so slathered it on.  Hey!  It doesn't burn!  Always a good sign, and a surprising one as it contains alcohol, which is considered an irritant.  It wasn't soothing to be exact, more like it just cut all external stimuli off from my skin.  It was at this point, while applying it under my chin, that I noticed the hives.  This wasn't a normal side effect; either I was allergic to the Aloe creme, or I'd had an allergic reaction to the BP.

I knew what was wrong finally, but I was still miserable, and after a few hours or applying the Calendulan on the hour, my skin was feeling rough rather than scaly.  I took one of my body exfoliating gloves and with a little water, exfoliated away the rough skin before reapplying the Calendulan.  A few hours later, again, my skin was feeling rough, and there was enough noticeably flaky skin to risk exfoliating again.  And oh, the joy!

My skin tone is finally evening out, and while my skin is still sensitive and itchy, it isn't scaly anymore.  I probably have a good few more days of babying my skin ahead of me before I can risk using one of my cleansers again, but this little tube of burn creme I feel has sped up the healing process of my skin by leaps and bounds.  I'm taking anti-histamine tablets and am going to pick up a topical tomorrow to help with the hives under my chin.

Surprisingly, even though I've been putting fatty and oily substances on my skin, my acne hasn't worsened.  I have three or four new spots, but they are superficial and will disappear quick enough.  It's even more surprising that I had an allergic reaction to BP in the first place, as I have no allergies to speak of, and that the hives are only under my chin instead of everywhere I treated with BP.  Needless to say I will not be using BP every again.  I think I'll just invest in a Calrisonic when I get a job.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Thank You Daddy, For Being As Vain As I Am!

I'm broke.  So unbelievably broke.  I haven't been able to look for a job since moving as I'm studying Criminology and Psychology, so Mr Blue Eyes (the boyfriend) has defaulted to the main bread winner.  Unfortunately, he hasn't had much luck on the job hunt, so we are currently living off the donations of our parents.

My hormones have been on a monumental bender these past few months, and while Paula's Choice was managing, though not preventing my breakouts, I have run out of the testers and my skin has once again becoming incredibly unbalanced.  This has taken all of three days to happen.

Chatting with my Dad, I mention that my hormonal acne is getting out of hand again, and he proceeds to ask what I can do to purge it.  I explain about Paula's Choice, and how the testers worked well with my skin, and he then offers to send me money in order to buy the skin care systems, commenting "you can't go to job interviews with your face a mess!"  The dramatic decline of my skin has made me unwilling to look a gift horse in the mouth.

So I've purchased full sizes of the CLEAR cleanser, extra strength exfoliate, and a a tester of the extra strength acne treatment with 5% benzoyl peroxide (only available from the US website).  I also purchased full sizes of the Balancing cleanser, toner, and I've taken a gamble purchasing the moisturiser without SPF from the same range.  My skin reacted badly to the moisturiser with SPF, but the twice that I used the moisturiser without, my skin didn't react negatively.  I also purchased two samples of the Hydralight moisturiser with SPF to see if that is more agreeable with my skin for use during the day.

I purchased all of this from the United States website, using a promotion code which skimmed 15% off the total price excluding shipping.  Ordering from the US website also included a trial size of an exfoliate - I chose Skin Perfecting 2% BHA exfoliant from the Balancing range- and three samples sachet - of which I chose three makeup removers - for free!  Including the freebies the order contains 12 items and came to $100.60 after I applied the discount.  The only international shipping option offered on the US website is international priority, which takes 3 - 5 working days to arrive, but it costs $55.  I would happily receive my order a week later and pay less shipping, but even with the outrageous shipping, my order ended up being less than I would have paid using the European distributors.  And I got freebies!  Freebies are always appreciated!

That's all the money Dad gifted me gone, however.  I'm trying to look at it as an investment, so that if it works, I won't go spending lots of money on foundations.

Speaking of which, I ordered a bunch of $1 samples from the mineral company Meow Cosmetics.  Their mineral foundations are said to be the holy grail by many a cruelty free beauty guru, and with over 80+ shades of foundation, I'm hoping I'll be able to find a close match!  I'm expecting two foundation samples, two blush samples, two eyeshadow samples, and a bunch of primer and finishing powder samples, all for oily skin.  I'll be reviewing these when my face doesn't look like it'd be more at home on a mountain troll.  They should be arriving this week.

I also purchased a bunch of eyeshadow samples from Darling Girl Cosmetics which I've been told was shipped today, so they will get reviewed next week when they arrive!  Ooh!  Exciting new pretties!

I've gotten bored of not working, so I've decided that I'm finding a job, even if it's just for a few weeks.  I sometimes think of myself as lazy, but the truth is I cannot stand being unemployed.  I don't have much of a reason to go out of the house if I don't have a job, mainly because I have no bloody money to go out with.  I'm actually going to volunteer at the local animal sanctuary twice a week so I can get out of the house for a bit.  I can also get my fluffy fix, as they're looking for cat petters (yes, someone to pet their cats so they get used to people!) and dog walkers.

 Dad has also offered to pay for a gym membership for me, which I'm going to take him up on.  I have a physiotherapist appointment tomorrow morning to see if we can find a way for me to exercise efficiently with my buggered knees!  My feet are arched incredibly high, which causes my knees to hyper-extend (bend in on themselves).  I have special insoles for my shoes to walk about in, and I wear sport supports for my knees, but they only help so much.  So here's hoping we can find a way to get me moving and all sweaty!

Well, this blog post ended up being much longer than intended.  I'll bugger off for now!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Paula's Choice Review #1

Well, I've admittedly been postponing this review of Paula's Choice; the day I go to review the company, I have a monumental hormonal meltdown and awake with bumps, blemishes, and pustules.  Yummy.  Who wants to take "after" photographs where they look worse?  Especially when the product actually works and your body is just being uncooperative.

I purchased the travel sized (30ml) CLEAR cleanser and exfoliate with 2% salicylic acid in the regular strength formulation, and the Balance 10 day trial pack.  I absolutely ADORE the CLEAR acne solutions, but the Balance range left much to be desired.

I'll start by explaining that I have radically combined skin conditions; hormonal acne, oily T zone and forehead so that in a matter of hours you could jet ski on it, and dry chin and cheeks.  Mix that in with sensitive skin, and you'll understand that finding an acne product which works and doesn't leave me needed to sandpaper off the dried out skin afterwards is a constant war.  That's right, not battle, but full on, ax swinging, Kevlar worthy war.

I saw results from the CLEAR cleanser from the very first wash.  My skin wasn't at it's worst when I used it admittedly, but I had a very prominent pustule on my upper lip area.  The cleanser is soft and foamy, and makes my skin feel clean and balanced after use.  I say balanced because my skin is a bit tight, but not uncomfortably, and there is a distinct lack of oil on my skin.  The redness which accompanies my acne also, was considerably diminished.

After washing with the CLEAR cleanser.

I followed the cleanser with the Skin Balancing Toner, which I find none irritating and works well in combination with the cleanser from the same range to reduce blackheads.  Then the CLEAR exfoliate which again I found none irritating, and while is a bit sticky on the skin, drys completely matte, the Skin Balancing antioxidant serum with retinol which feels silky, almost oily, until it's absorbed, and the Balancing moisturiser without SPF.  The results within hours was reduced redness, my acne was far less inflamed, and my little pustule was almost gone!

My fringe isn't down on this one, but see!  No puss!

The next couple of days I used just the CLEAR cleanser and exfoliate (that's right, no moisturiser!), which has consistently kept my complexion even and shine free for close to 12 hours.  On the fourth day of my 7 day trial, however, I deviated and used the Balancing cleaner, which is surprisingly thick, the exfoliate, which is almost gel like, and the moisturiser with SPF.  After cleansing and exfoliating, my skin felt incredibly tight, but not painful.  The blackheads which plague my nose were significantly reduced in size and colour, but my skin tone was no longer even, which the Balance range is formulated to do.  When I applied the moisturiser with SPF, my face started to burn horribly!  I lasted perhaps ten minutes before I absolutely could not stand it anymore and had to was it off.  My complexion in the bathroom mirror was horribly red and splotchy, and while washing with the CLEAR cleanser helped a bit, it was the following day until my complexion was normal again.

After that my skin became steadily dryer while using the CLEAR cleanser and exfoliate, and on the sixth day I finally applied a thin layer of moisturiser before I went to bed.  After cleansing the following morning, I noticed the skin along my jaw and upon my cheeks felt dryer than normal, and sure enough, there was a thin layer of white flaky skin which I had to manually exfoliate away.  Time for some heavy duty moisturiser!

I don't have any wrinkles yet, so the retinol treatment was wasted on me, and the Balance moisturisers are just too harsh for my sensitive skin.  I have fallen in love with the CLEAR system though, but while as it has evened out my complexion significantly, I am still breaking out with bumps and pustules.  The regular strength helps heal my acne noticeably faster than with drug store acne treatments, so my next purchase to Paula's Choice will be for the extra strength exfoliate to see if it can better prevent my acne.  I also intend to purchase the Hydralight system, which is for Rosacea sufferers with oily skin, so should hopefully agree better with my skin than the Balancing system did.  The Hydralight collection is formulated to reduce redness and inflammation, strengthen and soothe the skin, and restore the skin's natural barrier and smooth it's texture.  The cleanser is formulated to help with blackheads also, but if I do not see the same result with the Hydralight as I did with the Balancing, I may pick up the Balancing cleanser and toner too!  Just wish that Paula's Choice EU distributors would price the products comparably with the US, as there is almost a $100 difference in expense for the complete Skin Balancing system which through multiple emails Paula's Choice claim to have absolutely no say in..

Paula's choice is cruelty free, but a few of their RESIST anti aging products do contain palm oil, so if you're wanting to avoid that, then make sure to read the ingredients!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fyrinnae Swatch and Review #1

Fyrinnae (pronounced Feer-ih-nay, the y is soft) is one of the more unique vegan makeup companies you may stumble across, and is home to some of the most truly unique eye shadow shades I have found.  From vibrant blues and indigo that you feel you could go swimming in on a warm day, to lusciously rich bronzes and earthen colours, their formulas are more than just mica all shmushed together.  There is no glitter in their products, instead, they're layered and/or baked to produce some spectacular results!

The following swatches are over Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy; a pigment enhancer where a little goes a long way.  This isn't a primer, but if you think your shadows were bright before, try some of this stuff!

  • Fire Opal - Metallic coppery bronze on a charcoal base.
  • Rapunzel had Extensions - Pink with golden shimmer.
  • Arcane Magic Collection; Steampunk - Taupe with purple undertones and a golden shimmer.
  • Sake and Sashimi - Earthy bronze with gold and green sparkles.
  • Bastet - Velvety black with golden sparkles.
  • Pumpkinfire - Charcoal black with copper sparkles.
  • Purgatory - Bright wine red with bright red sparkles.
  • Freya - Deep amethyst with bright purple sparkles.

Natural Light
With Flash

Natural Light
With Flash

With Flash
Natural Light

I love, love LOVE these colours!  They really pop with the Pixie Epoxy, but lack vibrancy without it.  The blacks become grey as you blend them out, and a lot of the sparkles that make these shadows stunning when they hit the light are lost in regular application.  I also find the lids of my jars constantly come loose also, but I have had these shadows for over a year now, so they may have just been a defective batch of jars.

There are two sizes of jars; full sized jars have a net weight of 3 grams for $6.25, while their mini jars have a generous 1/3 of a teaspoon of product in them, which weigh in at about .4 to .7 of a gram depending on the shadow, and cost $2.25.  They do not do sample sizes as their mini jars are so reasonably priced.  They also ship internationally.

To round this review up, these shadows are statement shadows; my opinion is that they should be worn either by themselves, or as the focus shadow for a more glam look.  If you compare any of Fyrinnae's shadows in person, you can see there's something about them which makes them different, more unique in their jeweled tones and almost oil slick sheen and shimmer.  I haven't used these shadows enough as I've always had something new and shiny to distract me, but now that compulsive buying is taking a bit of a backseat, I can't wait to wear these and create some fun looks!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Paula's Choice Order #1 - Unboxing.

The hunt for vegan cosmetics is a tough one.  Even the hunt for reputable cruelty free cosmetics is difficult, but cruelty free skincare?  That's a battle all in itself.  Which is why I was delighted to stumble across the company Paula's Choice.

Burt's Bees is completely unavailable here in Holland from what I've managed to uncover, and the Body Shop is so incredibly overpriced here that it's almost as expensive as some salon quality skin care brands.  I resent having to pay nearly an extra £4 for their tea tree facial wash just because I'm a spit away from the UK.  I thought Paula's Choice might be the answer to my cruelty free prayers!

My order consists of their Skin Balancing Sample set and their two week supply of CLEAR Anti Blemish regular strength cleanser and anti redness exfoliating solution with 2% salicylic acid.  For €17.90 (£15.20) including postage, it's an incredibly overpriced two week trial.  I'm just praying it works to rid me of this hormonal acne and balance out my T zone.

The Skin Balancing Samples are as follows;

Two applications - 

  • Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum that fights multiple signs of aging
  • Skin Balancing Oil Reducing Cleanser to remove excess oil and makeup
  • Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner to minimise pores and help prevent signs of aging
  • Skin Perfecting 15 BHA Gel with Salicylic acid to even out skin tone, unclog and diminish enlarged pores, and helps build collagen
One application - 

  • Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask which absorbs excess oil, reduces enlarged pores and blackheads, and smooths rough, uneven skint one
  • Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel to stimulate collagen, minimise pores, and reduce wrinkles
  • Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense with broad spectrum SPF 30 that hydrates without adding shine, prevents signs of aging, and has added antioxidants to help repair sun damage

Paula's Choice is suitable to use by those who have delicate skin conditions eg. Rosacea, such as the multi-award winning cruelty free blogger Phyrra suffers from.  It is also, in terms of effectiveness, comparable to the Clinique 3 Step System.  For an amazing transformation story, visit

Nice to see Paula's Choice is concerned for the environment..

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Urban Camouflage - Foundation Part 1

When I moved, I had to leave well over half of my makeup collection behind.  In fact it would probably be more accurate to say that I left over two thirds of my makeup collection, and 6/8th's of my brushes.

What I brought with me is the bare essentials, and most of my lipstick collection (hey, lipstick's essential!).  I miss my huge tool box full of makeup something fierce, as I keep thinking of awesome makeup ideas I want to do but, oh wait!  Flying to a new country doesn't really leave a whole lot of room for a 4 kilo tool box full of makeup.  The Beau and I shall be taking the car and ferry back to sheepsville when it comes to picking up the rest of my stuff.

As it turns out, I brought a couple of foundations with me that I should really just toss.  Not because they're particularly bad, but because the colour is so incredibly wrong for me that I don't know what I was thinking buying the shade in the first place!  First up is Garnier Miracle Skin Correcter BB Cream for oily skin in light/clair,  This BB cream has a rather watery consistency, so the coverage you get with it is surprising.  Or maybe that's just the colour.

I have a very neutral skin tone; I can wear any hair colour and it'll suit me.  In fact I've had every hair colour but green (the orange was an accident..) and it hasn't looked bad.  Not always the colour I was going for, but I haven't looked like a clown.  This BB cream turns me orange and seems to cake to my skin when applied by sponge, brush, or fingers.  Actually, the consistency strikes me as good for airbrushing, but I may just have a defective tube.  It goes on at about a medium light coverage; it coats the skin but doesn't completely blend in imperfections and/or blemishes, and I actually get around the oompa loompa look by applying it with a damp sponge in kind of a dabbing/dappling technique.  This lightens the coverage to, well, a light coverage that makes me look like I've just chosen a foundation a little more coloured than my skin actually is.  I then put a finishing powder which lightens the colour even more before finally very lightly swishing a pale pink toned powder foundation over it all.  This makes the BB cream wearable for me with the minimum colour change, but it's a hell of a lot of work for me to wear a BB cream, and the finish isn't much lighter than wearing a full coverage foundation, and you still see the blemishes!  It's finish is also dewy, which is a faux pas for oily skin.

I'll be finding a replacement BB cream soonish!

Next up is Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions in 01 fresh ivory.  After moving from somewhere which rains 50 weeks of the year to a country which actually sees sunlight, I inevitably caught a tan and had to rush to get a foundation which didn't make me look like I'd borrowed someone else's makeup.  I wasn't very happy about buying this foundation in truth; Clinique is approved for sale in China, which don't sell any cosmetics which haven't been tested on animals, so they aren't cruelty free.  I hunted and hunted for local brands of cruelty free makeup only to come up with very cheap looking brands which I wouldn't trust not to break me out in huge cysts, and so finally caved and bought this foundation with the firm resolution that I was never buying Clinique again.  It's a shame really, as it's a lovely foundation.

The consistency is lovely and creamy, it doesn't settle into pores and doesn't go on cakey.  It's finish is just ever so slightly dewy.  I still use the damp sponge trick for application because I feel it gives a much more natural coverage, but does make the foundation's finish a lot more dewy than au natural.  It does again dilute the coverage from a medium to a light , but now that my tan has faded, I mix it in with one of my paler full coverage foundations and it evens out to an even medium coverage once again.

The paler foundation I have is my favorite.  Kiko Skin Evolution in ivory 101 is fomulated with SPF 10 and is a thick, full coverage foundation which is just a little bit too pale for me even in winter.  I first found this makeup brand in Sienna when I hadn't seen the sun for a few years.  Kiko is a vegan brand and the quality of this foundation is superb, but can cling to dry skin if you haven't moisturised before hand.  It also drys rather quickly,but again, the damp sponge technique is brilliant for getting a lighter coverage and delaying the drying time of this foundation.  It's finish is completely matte and I'll be re-buying once this and the Clinique are used up, but in a slightly darker shade.

The Clinique and Kiko foundations are both neutral, and when mixed together right match my skin near to perfect.

I am not the kind of girl who doesn't leave the house without makeup in her bag.  I try to be, but I fail at it when I need it the most, which lead me to emergency buy Maybelline Fit Me liquid foundation in 120 and powder in 125.  The Fit Me range has an extensive colour range for a drug store brand, but they only carry shades with either cool or warm undertones.  Standing there in front of the display, running out of time on my lunch hour to decide which shade wouldn't make me look like a child in at her mother's makeup, I had the bright idea that if I chose a foundation in one tone and a powder in the other, it should even out to a neutralish shade, right?


Well, not entirely.  The problem is that my skin is paler than most drug store brands stock.  It comes from living on an island which rains.  Lots.  When I wear just the liquid foundation, you can tell it's too yellow for my skin and it's also too dark (damp sponge helps a lot with this), and when I wear just the powder, I look too pink.  The products themselves are nice to work with; the foundation is a tad runny on the back of my hand, but applies evenly and doesn't dry too quickly, but does have that dewy finish most drug store brands are notorious for.  The powder foundation has the problem that all none mineral powders have in that it sits on your skin rather than blends into it, but it does provide a lovely velvety finish when applied with either it's own applicator or a dense powder brush.  The two together are wearable as long as I keep the liquid foundation light.  I wouldn't buy the liquid foundation again, but the powder can give a lovely glow of colour if used lightly.

 I have a horribly oily T Zone, so I have to always wear at least one kind of powder on top of my foundation, but I'll write a separate post about primers and finishing powders another day!