NEW YEAR, NEW SKIN: MAGNITONE BAREFACED! REVIEW

DSC_0018Last year, Magnitone kindly sent me one of their Barefaced! Cleansing Brushes to try and test on my skin. I have held off on posting my review for a while because I really wanted to give the device a thorough test over time in order to bring you the most well-informed and honest review. Having never owned anything like this before, I was so excited to get started!
DSC_0016MY SKIN TYPE
Lets break my skin down first, my skin type is sensitive, oily and acne prone. There are also times when I get dry patches, particularly around my nose; I have noticed this become more prominent as the colder months have engulfed us.

WHAT I LOOK FOR IN MY SKINCARE
I like my skin to feel squeaky clean, those with drier skin types might like to feel more nourished from their skincare, but I like a good scrub. I travel to and from uni most days (a 6-hour all-round commute) and on the other days I’m at work all day, so when I get home, I like my skin to feel like it has had a good clean. Having said that, I don’t like the tight, dry feeling that can come with a good deep clean, I just like the surface to feel fresh and the pores to feel cleared.

WHAT DOES MAGNITONE CLAIM?
Well first of all, the clue is in the name, the Magnitone Barefaced is supposed to leave you with skin that you love so much that you would go barefaced with. That’s quite a claim. As somebody who likes the full coverage porcelain look, I’m not about to go ‘barefaced’ any time soon, however I’ll take whatever this can give me… It claims to ‘deep cleanse pores, tone, and beautifully condition your skin…’. It has a 60-second timer with 20-second intervals to change the location of the cleanse, for example, 20 seconds for the forehead and nose, 20 seconds for the cheeks and chin and 20 seconds for the neck. The bristles of the brush head are soft and do a good job of cleansing without being too scratchy.

WHAT I USE IT WITH
I have been using, and loving the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel (why do these products have SUCH longggggg naaaaames?) for the past 6-7 months and it’s been doing a really good job of clearing my pores and keeping my face feeling fresh. However once I started using the Magnitone, I noticed that my skin was feeling a bit too clean with it, and that I needed something that wasn’t solely aimed at skin clearing and oil control. So I decided to go for something a bit gentler and I’ve been really loving the Aloe Gentle Facial Wash from The Body Shop. It’s just as clean-feeling, with no scent, but doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight after. DSC_0017HOW OFTEN DO I USE IT?
I started off using the Magnitone Barefaced! every day, at night time, after taking my makeup off. I soon found this to be a little bit too intimidating for my skin and my face soon told me off by giving me a slight bumpy rash around my cheeks, my most sensitive area. I persevered with it but reduced the usage to around twice a week and this is still how often I use it and I’ve found the happy medium. This is not for daily use on someone who has slightly sensitive skin, I found it to become an overload of pressure on any section of the face that didn’t really need deep cleansing as much as some other parts such as the chin or nose.

RESULTS AFTER 3 MONTHS
Having used the Magnitone Barefaced! for the past three months now, I’ve found that my skin does feel clearer, I haven’t noticed any difference in terms of oil production, I’ve read reviews where people have said that their skin became less oily after using it, but I haven’t noticed that. I would say however that my skin is a lot smoother since using it, it definitely feels well-exfoliated after and my skin always drinks up the products that I place on top, my night creams and eye creams do tend to sink in better once I’ve used it. 

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
I would recommend this product to anyone who has acne-prone oily skin like myself but I would say this is more suited to somebody who has less sensitive skin than me. I don’t know how this works out on dry skin as I simply don’t have super dry patches anywhere, but this works well on my sometimes-combination skin.
As for comparisons with other skin cleaners like the Clarisonic, I can’t really comment on as I’ve never owned or tried any of them, however with the Clarisonic placed at a slightly higher price point than the Magnitone which costs £70, I would say that if the two products worked and felt the same and left with the same results, I would rather pay less and get the Magnitone, I don’t think that this kind of result should cost more than the Magnitone anyway. It hasn’t done anything revolutionary to my skin, but it is a really nice product. My skin likes it, doesn’t love it, but everyone’s skin is different. Try it out, see if it works for you!

Magnitone Barefaced! Face Cleansing Brush – £70

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#UDxGWEN – MY FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS GIFT

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A few months ago, when the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette was announced, I think it’s fair to say that I was pretty excited. Pretty excited is perhaps an understatement considering I’ve been a die hard Gwen Stefani fan since I was 11 and have been waiting for a collaboration like this for YEARS. So yes, I was *pretty* excited.

Now I have to give full credit to my BFF Hayley for this Christmas gift, she was on it like a bat out of hell getting this palette online (which sold out in minutes – go Hayley!).

The palette itself is Gwen ALL OVER. Literally, from the black and white polka dots, to the Gwen-related names of each shade, to the nod to an old No Doubt song Magic’s in the Makeup in the corner of the mirror, this couldn’t be more Gwen if it put on a platinum wig and taught you how to spell ‘bananas’.

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Can we just take a moment? How DELICIOUS is this? There is not one colour in here that I wouldn’t use, even the crazier colours Harajuku (the bright pink), and Danger (the blue), are actually wearable and can be so easily transitioned from bright statement shades to blended out, more muted tones. Punk is a fab shade, the maroon in the top right corner, great deepening the crease without being as harsh as a black. My favourite shade though has to be Baby, it just seems to really bring the green out in my eyes and it’s nothing like anything I own, which I love but also hate because it means that once this runs out, that’s it.

From the gorgeous gold, black and white case, to the samples of upcoming lipstick shades (!!!!!!!!!!) this hasn’t disappointed in the slightest. This is basically my favourite palette, partly because I would buy anything that’s even vaguely associated with Gwen Stefani, but mainly because I genuinely really love these eyeshadows. Well done Urban Decay, you have a very VERY satisfied fan.

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette £40.

IMG_2338.JPGTold you I’m a fan.*

 

*THIS WAS 2011, DON’T JUDGE MY APPEARANCE.

 

I FINALLY JUMPED ON THE BEAUTY BLENDER BANDWAGON…

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£18 for a sponge is ridiculous by anyone’s books, am I right? It is literally just a sponge, I can’t even imagine how much money they’re making on them. However… IT’S THE BEST THING SINCE THEY INVENTED FOUNDATION. No, really.

I fully expected not to think much of the much-raved-about Beauty Blender, I bought it on a whim when I was feeling particularly spendy – so much so that I didn’t even take photos before I used it when it was brand new, sorry about that.

The magic of this sponge is that it makes your skin look FLAWless. Completely smooth, poreless, and baby-soft. I can’t believe I haven’t owned one sooner.

I’ve used all manner of ‘dupes’ for the Beauty Blender and I totally understand why none of these products even come close to the real thing. How do they even manage it? Surely a sponge is a sponge? Apparently not.

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There’s not much to say about the sponge itself – how do you go about describing a sponge?! All I can say is that for some reason, it is different to all other sponges. It doesn’t seem to drink up as much foundation as the dupes, it seems to be perfectly shaped to get a full coverage really quickly without having to use a brush or another sponge to blend it out.

All in all, I really wanted to hate it (although I’m glad I don’t considering it’s the most expensive sponge I’ve ever bought/ever will buy) but I simply don’t.

Is a Beauty Blender an essential? No, I wouldn’t say you need it over, say, dinner. But it has definitely become my most-used tool in my collection, and I would for sure repurchase it.

I’m totally converted. Damn.

5 PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO ON A LONG DAILY COMMUTE

Boots // Carvela at Kurt Geiger | Jeans // Zara | Coat // New Look (no longer available, but similar here)

I am now in my third year of uni and for the last year I have commuted each day… 3 hours there, 3 hours back. You maths genius’ would’ve worked out that I travel 6 hours a day when I’m scheduled to go into uni. That’s around 3 times a week. So I guess I would consider myself a bit of a pro when it comes to travelling – my journey includes a car journey to the station, a train, a tube and another train to the campus – and during this time, especially now that I’m reaching the most crucial part of my course, I have found a few ways of staying productive on the commute.

If you travel 6 hours a day like me or just 15 minutes, let that time be productive!

  1. Read a book
    This one is something that I’ve always done without even thinking about it, I read for fun – I always have a book to read, I have to finish any book that I start, even if I’m hating it. Weird OCD habit. The train is a great place to read because you can really zone out from all the chaos of rush hour and escape into your own little world.
  2. Meditation
    Staying on the theme of escaping into your “own little world”, I have mastered the art of meditation on public transport. No weird “ohm-ness” going on with my legs crossed or anything like that, but for the past few months I’ve really become a fan of the Calm app. It’s a guided meditation app that’s really easy to follow and just allows your mind to switch off from everything around you. Earphones in, world out.
  3. Brain training
    Something which might not seem entirely productive is brain training. There have been times when I’ve been so tired on my commute that I’ve become a victim of the fall-asleep-head-roll-mouth-open gaze that seems to affect the best of us (only the very best, apparently) and so I’ve found that doing a sudoku or crossword puzzle helps to keep my brain alive and awake, as well as keeping my eyes open. And besides, something that is training your brain and making you think hard that early in the morning can only ever be a good thing, right?
  4. GET WORK DONE!
    I’m not one to sit on the train on my laptop, mainly because I can’t be bothered to lug around my MacBook with me all day, but I do find that if I’ve made notes on something I aim to do when I get home, or if I’ve read a few chapters of a book I’m studying for my dissertation, then I always feel much better and productive once I’m off the train. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re on a train with no distractions. Of course, if you really want to work on your laptop on the train then that’s great and totally admirable, I only wish my laptop wasn’t so heavy so I could do the same!
  5. Make a to-do list
    My last point is probably my favourite and most-used. Making a to-do list is so productive for me because it allows me to really plan my time well. Travelling to and from uni every day can take it’s toll on my productivity levels because travelling is so tiring. When I get home I tend to just want to sit around and catch up on Mad Men, but having a list of things that I need to get done helps me to focus. Ticking things off the list is so satisfying that I find that this alone is enough to make me want to reluctantly click away from Netflix and do some work!

Of course there are days when all I want to do on my commute is listen to music, zone out and pretend I’m in a totes-emosh music video whilst gazing out of the window (probably listening to Adele, just to be a total cliché), but I’m trying my best to keep those days to a minimum and try something productive instead.

What do you do on a long commute, I’d love to try some of your ideas – I have another 6 months of commuting ahead of me!

REVIEW: THE BODY SHOP OILS OF LIFE INTENSELY REVITALISING GEL CREAM

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Nice and snappy title there, not. However I do have to say that this moisturiser is the BOMB. I never, ever would’ve thought that I would like an oily product for my skin, having such naturally oily skin anyway. First of all, I’ll say that this smells DIVINE. I won’t go into describing the scent, because I don’t think that really ever works, however if you do one thing this week, go into The Body Shop and smell this line of products!

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I’d been wanting to try the moisturiser from this range for a little while now, and in the end I decided on the ‘gel cream’ version, as the consistency was slightly lighter and more fitting to my oily skin. One of the worries I had was that this would make my skin totally oily and repulsive to apply makeup onto, but the opposite is actually true.

With a very slight ‘pearly’ sheen, the moisturiser is very glowy, without being oily, and definitely makes my makeup-free skin look refreshed. Makeup looks great on top of this, I still have a matte face when I’ve used this, I don’t notice a difference with my face becoming any oilier throughout the day or anything like that.

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The packaging is great, it feels like a luxury item, a heavy glass jar – although impossible to travel with. Priced slightly higher than the other ranges, the Oils of Life range is priced from £15-£45, with this moisturiser priced at £25. Overall I really like this product and I would highly recommend it to anyone with similar skin traits to me. If you are oily/combination, like to have a glow but not shiny/oily, like to feel moisturised but not slick, then this might just be your next favourite moisturiser. Definitely worth the £25 price tag, and i would definitely purchase again!

10 MAKEUP TO-DO’S WHEN YOU HAVE A SPARE MINUTE

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There are so many chores that come along with having a larger than normal makeup collection, some are more pleasurable than others (although still chores…) and some are just a burden. Here is a non-exhaustive list of potential chores to do when you have a spare minute to deal with your (if you’re anything like me) no doubt ever-expanding makeup collection.

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  1. Wash makeup brushes
    This one is a given, but it is possibly the most important and also my most dreaded. Clean brushes are always so nice to use, it’s like getting into nice clean sheets at bedtime.
  2. Sharpen eyeliners & lipliners
    This one doesn’t take long at all and can actually save you so much time in the mornings if you like your sleep like me and then have to do your makeup in 5 minutes flat.
  3. … And empty the sharpener
    Another given, but hey, it has to be done!

  4. De-dust powders, blushes & eyeshadows
    This one is another annoying one that maybe you wouldn’t think of as a standalone job, but “de-dusting” any powder products to get rid of any excess dust that’s sitting on top can really reduce the amount of mess that you make in the mornings when doing your makeup. It also greatly reduces the amount of crap that sits at the bottom of the interior of my makeup drawers.
  5. Clean inside drawers
    That brings me onto cleaning the inside of the drawers. So much crap gathers in these drawers from pencil sharpenings, glitter, blush/powder/bronzer dust, dried mascara, gloopy bits of kohl liner, smears of lipstick… Gross. Making sure to keep these areas clean also keeps your makeup in tip-top shape and it makes getting ready in the morning a pleasure rather than just sighing every time you look at the mess.DSC_0008
  6. Organise & tidy up makeup
    Tidying up your stash really makes the world of difference, it helps you to see exactly what you have, and what you do and don’t use.

  7. Clear out products you won’t use
    On the same note, organising your makeup can help you to see which products you never use and can’t see yourself using. My advice would be to just get rid. If you haven’t used something in the last 6-8 months then the chances are that you won’t use it again. Clearing out these sorts of products gives you so much more breathing space to see the products that you really will use again.

  8. Bring forward any forgotten or less-used products
    Clearing out your stash allows you to see any products that you may have forgotten about or cast aside for “another day”. Bring these items to the forefront of your collection to bring them back into view for the next time you do your makeup. you never know, you might re-discover a product as a new favourite!

  9. Throw away any “stuck” mascaras
    Mascaras are my most-hoarded product. I always just seem to keep them as I always think that they’ll get used. But once I finish one and go to use one of the others, they’ve all dried out. So, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to throw away any stiff or gooey (haha) mascaras and just use ONE AT A TIME.
  10. List any replacement or missing items
    My last tip is the best one… Write a list of all the things that need replacing or that you’ve found to be missing. A few months ago I did this and realised that I was missing a decent brown kohl pencil and it’s now something that I use almost every single day. Go through your lipsticks and note any missing shades or shades that you could possibly stock up on if it’s an everyday nude or something that you wear all the time.

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I hope you liked these 10 tips, let me know if you have any others!

MY FAVOURITE WINTER FRAGRANCES

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First of all, I’ll start off by saying that describing fragrances is SO hard. I could get all technical and get the official press releases of these scents and give you a big spiel about the “notes” and “essences”, but I won’t bore you with all that. What I will say is that these are some SEXY ASS FRAGRANCES. Exactly what winter is about.

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Okay, now that’s out of the way, here’s why I love my two favourite winter perfumes. The first one is DIANE by Diane Von Furstenberg. Classy, feminine, powerful and elegant are all very appropriate adjectives for this scent. It’s more of a daytime fragrance that lingers for the whole day without being overly powerful – it’s one that I love to spray in my hair to make the scent last even longer. If you want to feel like a super-sexy, padded-shouldered, wall street business woman then make this your go-to fragrance.

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My other favourite winter fragrance, and probably my favourite fragrance in general is Tom Ford Noir Extreme. To paint an image for you it smells exactly like those rich Arab ladies stepping out of their chauffeur-driven Rolls’ straight into Harrods. It’s a super-rich smelling fragrance that smells EXACTLY like Selfridges beauty hall (does anyone know if this is the scent that they actually pump into the air-con?!) This is more of a evening or special occasion scent. It makes me feel so sophisticated, travelled, cultured, wealthy and basically anything that’s not exactly me – and I’m totally up for that. I feel like if I could be a fragrance, it would be this one.

Let me know which fragrances are your winter favourites!

A ‘GLOW’ PRODUCT THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU OILY?!

Everyone always talks about ‘glowing’. How to get a ‘glow’. Foundations that make you ‘glow’. Get ‘glowing’ skin.

But if I’m honest, as a girl with really oily skin, I can’t think of anything worse that having an intentional ‘glow’. Until now. When I swatched the KIKO Glowing Potion Perfecting Serum in the shop, it seemed different to any other ‘glowy’ primer/serum/base that I’d tried before. It offers a glow, without being too dewy or slick. It really dries down quickly without leaving any feeling of tackiness or slip.

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I use it as a primer, on top of my skincare, but underneath my foundation, and I can honestly say I haven’t noticed any difference in the longevity of my matte complexion throughout the day. My skin stays matte with just a slight luminous sheen on my temples and on top of my cheekbones. I don’t tend to use it across my forehead or down my nose as I tend to get oily here pretty quickly anyway. It’s great for someone who might find certain matte foundations a bit too matte, it really does just lift the complexion.

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The packaging is cute, a slim frosted glass bottle with a really handy pump and rose gold lid – doesn’t that just sound dreamy? At £13.90 for 30ml of product I guess it’s not the cheapest, however it is a whole lot cheaper than some other products that I’ve tried and hated. Definitely a recommendation from me if you have skin that’s on the oilier side.

HOW TO MAKE FOUNDATION LAST ALL DAY ( & VICHY FOUNDATION REVIEW!)

Having oily skin can be such a burden throughout the day. There are some days when I wish that I knew what it’s like to have NORMAL skin. If I’m honest, I don’t believe that ‘normal’ skin exists, but if it does and you have it, I hate you. Rather than curl up into a ball and rock back and forth forever and ever, I have been pro-active and found what I’m calling a ‘Power Quad’ (don’t shoot me for the slightly half-witted name) for keeping my foundation in tact for a long day.

I’m usually applying my makeup at around 6am, with a 3-hour commute to uni which includes a sweaty, sooty, smelly ride on the disgusting never-ending void that is the London underground, having a day at uni and then repeating the commute home again in the evening. Sometimes, this means I’m out of the house for a total of 14 hours, and my makeup has to last that length of time too. Most of the time I can’t be dealing with touch-ups, ain’t nobody got time for that.
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So here is my Power Quad: Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector (fabulously snappy name there), Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation*, KIKO Soft Light Powder and Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray (mine is the travel-size version).

STEP 1 // PRIME
Primers have always been a love/hate thing for me, most of them don’t work on me, some are even a burden to wear as they don’t allow makeup to apply well over the top. The one that I’ve found that works the best is the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Perfecting Primer. There are quite a few negative reviews online for this product (although mostly great ones) and I genuinely think that the negative reviews are down to those who don’t know how to apply it properly. I take a pea-sized amount in my hands and warm it up before applying it to my t-zone area. It allows makeup to easily smooth onto the skin and looks flawless. It’s expensive, but definitely worth it.

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STEP 2 // FOUNDATION
I wanted to do a mini-review of the newly re-packaged Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation in this post. With an expanded range of shades, I can finally find this in the right shade for me (Yay! I’m shade 05 Porcelain). I have to admit, I was excited to try this foundation as I’ve never used Vichy foundations before, however I’d heard great things and I love their skincare. The thing that impressed me most was the pigmentation and coverage, I hardly have to use any of this product to get a full-face-full-coverage look with it, great for helping the product to last. The shade match on me is ever so slightly too yellow, but once I’ve got the rest of my makeup on (bronzer, contour, blush etc.) it’s not noticeable. One thing I have noticed with it though, is that it really does make my skin look FLAWLESS. It’s not cakey in the slightest and the high coverage means you don’t need a concealer – I even tried this when I had a major acne breakout on my chin and the foundation did all the work in covering it. And as for the lasting power? It stayed looking fresh for around 8 whole hours which is a miracle for me. Overall, a really fab foundation – one that definitely rivals my favourite Estée Lauder Double Wear.

STEP 3 // POWDER
I always powder my face, no matter what makeup look I’m doing, where I’m going or the weather. I tend not to re-purchase the same powder over-and-over as there are so so many different ones out there to try, and if I’m honest I don’t believe that I’ll ever find a miracle powder. The one that I’m currently using (and really liking) though, is the KIKO Soft Light Powder. It’s nice and light (as the name would suggest, duh) and does a good job of keeping my face shine-free for a few hours.

STEP 4 // SETTING SPRAY

If I want to give my face that extra chance of staying out for the day, I’ll use a setting spray. I’ve been using the Urban Decay De-Slick setting spray for a couple of months now and I’ve been really impressed with it. 

What are your favourite long-wearing products?

To see my favourite foundations for oily skin, click here.

*PR sample from Escentual.