My Cruelty Free Beauty Awards 2019!

Best Liquid Highlighter – The Body Shop Drops of Glow

This pearlised one is a little too light for me so I should have gotten the more golden option. Still a great product though!

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Runner up Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Filter. Shite as BB cream or sheer foundation but amazing as a highlighter.

Best Hair Dye – Manic Panic (Pretty Flamingo)

The choice of colours are amazing, the consistency is nice and thick so easy to apply and it’s really conditioning. It can last up to six months if you gently wash your hair every 7 – 14 days or it can be nearly washed out after around 5 washes with stronger shampoo.

Runner up – Nature Tint. Lasts forever but too runny and messy to apply easily.

Best Lipstick/Gloss/Balm – The Body Shop, Colour Crush Lipstick (Luanda Peony)

This glides on easily, has a very subtle and flattering shimmer, huge colour payoff and it moisturises!

Runner up – Charlotte Tilbury Lip Plumping Gloss. Works almost too well!

Best Hair and Body Care Brand – Yaoh! (Coconut and Lime)

Affordable, natural (everything is based around hemp seed oil), it smells heavenly and every product delivers results.

Runner up – Neal’s Yard Remedies. Natural and pampering but too pricey for me.

Best Nail Polish/Care Brand – Ciate (Nail Super Hero)

Affordable, an astounding range of colours, textures and finishes, and nail treatments which actually work.

Runner up – Barry M for very similar reasons.

Best Facial Skincare – The Body Shop (Vitamin C)

This Range is strongly scented of oranges, which I find really refreshing. It’s affordable as a little goes a long way and leaves skin clean, smooth and moisturised immediately and clearer and glowier after around five days.

Runner up – Murad (Age Reform). Incredibly effective and a similar price bracket to TBS these days so this was a tough decision!

Best Everyday Facial Oil – Superdrug own brand

I would describe this as a dry oil as it’s non-greasy and works perfectly under primer and foundation (or at least the one’s I use), or on it’s own for a naturally healthy appearance on any skin type.

Runner up – Weleda. Their facial oils are rich and really nourishing. They all have a very strong (natural) scent and take a while to sink in so best for an overnight treatment.

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I’ve covered all of the products and the brands that I have used in 2019. So if there is a category or product missing it’s because I didn’t need or use a new a one of those. Above are some products which I loved but didn’t quite make the ‘best of’.

Have you tried any of these?

🏅Chrissie🏅

 

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm review

In the early 2000’s tinted lip balms were drowned out by glosses which your hair stuck to, then moisturising lipsticks which were pampering but transferred onto everything  and recently matte and liquid lipsticks which are overwhelmingly drying, so I was delighted to see the return of tinted lip balms.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm is pricey at £8 (for a Balm) but I was desperate for a quick and simple way to get some moisture and colour onto my lips. The colour payoff is intense but at the same time fairly sheer, so you can still slap it on without being particularly precise and then build up the coverage.

This is a single firm swipe of Ripe Raspberry. It’s not a perfectly smooth line because it dragged a little, rather than gliding (and that was on my arm) so lips have to be super smooth before application. The staying power of this is so surprising, it outlasts all of my moisturising lipsticks by hours. The Shea Butter does mean it’s non-drying but it’s hardly moisturising and the addition of Vit E doesn’t seem to condition lips either. Much better as a gentle lip stain than a lip balm.

There are seven shades and a plain one; three shades look a little on the grey side (at least on the website) and three are increasingly bright shades of pink, starting with a nice dusky rose, which I’m going to buy next.

The colour payoff, the size, the slight drag when applying, sound so similar to ELF’s lip balm it would be interesting to compare the two.

Rating 3/5

🎄Chrissie🎄

 

Halloween Makeup To Get Creative With

Rather than put together a specific look, I decided to find, what I thought were the most versatile items. This way after Halloween you can subtly incorporate them into an evening look, using as much or as little as you want. Creative and budget friendly!

 

Glow Up – Orly

Cosmic Cowboy Face Jewels – Barry M

Glitter Flip Liquid Lipstick in Iconic – Ciate

18 Hit Wonders Eyeshadow Palette – E.L.F.

I’ve left off any prices and links as it depends on which country you live in or what your fave beauty halls or websites are. My fave UK places (apart from the brands own websites) are Superdrug, TK Maxx (online), Debenhams and Cult Beauty (online).

Happy creating! V- -V

Glow Oil Lip + Cheek by Milk Makeup

I’ve been on a never ending quest to find a blusher that doesn’t look too powdery/flat or too sparkly, just something that gives a sheer pinky glow. Glow Oil Lip + Cheek by Milk Makeup £12 is my latest and last attempt.

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It’s rather small for the price but it is portable and I think that’s the idea. I was very disappointed to find it comes unnecessarily packaged in a plastic box, rather than cardboard.

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I picked ‘glimmer’ as it looked the right shade for my skin tone online and it does give a sexy flush of realistic colour. However, there’s subtle shimmer or ‘glimmer’ and then there’s full on sparkle with glitter…

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As I’m not a small child going to a party, I will not be wearing this glittery nonsense on my cheeks. How a brand can even pretend that this gives a sheer, natural glow, I do not know! It does look pretty fantastic on lips though, especially when mixed with lip balm or another lip oil. It’s non sticky, unlike a lot of glosses and it’s not particularly drying either. It also looks good arched over green or blue eyes (along with eyeliner and mascara) as the glitter ensures you don’t get mistaken for just having hayfever.

Rating 2/5

I’m going back to applying a moisturising lipstick with my fingers for blush in future.

Chrissie

 

 

The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick

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I bought The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick (£8.00) in Luanda Peony as I wanted a neutral pink. I was also attracted to this particular lipstick as all of the reviews said how moisturising it was. A few reviews also suggested it wasn’t highly pigmented and I liked the idea of just a wash of colour for daytime.

It turns out that this isn’t a dusky pink but rather a deep cherry pink shade, which is very pigmented and bright! It is very flattering if you have green (or blue) eyes, so I’m good with that. Another thing which surprised me was the subtle shimmery effect. It doesn’t highlight any unevenness or look too frosted and 80’s so don’t let the word ‘shimmer’ put you off.

I do find the Marula oil content to be moisturising and it does glide on easily, with an even colour pay-off, even when my lips are dry in places. It was still visible after four pints which, for a normal bullet lipstick, was impressive. I am so glad this has a really subtle rose scent and doesn’t smell or taste like kids sweets like some lipsticks I’ve owned – urgh!

The packaging has a simple twist up bullet with a lid that clicks on and a clear base so you can actually see the colour you are buying.

  • Community Trade agreed
  • Buav (leaping bunny) approved.

 

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation V’s e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (£16/30 ml)

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Pro’s

Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Reasonably priced

SPF 15

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains English Rose Water and Aloe Vera

Con’s

Way too matte. Doesn’t give a ‘fresh’ or ‘natural’ finish.

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation (£9/14ml)

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Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Very reasonably priced

SPF 25

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains Vitamin A, C, & E, Grape Seed Oil, Pomegranate Oil, and Goji Berry

Con’s 

Almost too matte. Sadly, it doesn’t make skin look ‘radiant or dewy’.

The winner

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

It has ten more SPF than The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation; works out slightly cheaper and contains more active ingredients for healthy skin. It changes over three hours of wear to look a little less matte, which I’m very glad about.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference

 

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How to stop eyelashes clumping or looking spiky

If you have medium-to long eyelashes that are fairly straight, don’t use a mascara with added fibres or a thick formula. Curl and separate your lashes, then use a mascara which glides on easily and brush straight up (no wiggling from side-to-side). Apply no more than three coats and let them dry in between.

How to keep track of the makeup & skincare you own

So most skincare and makeup will have a little picture of a jar with a number on saying how many months your product will last for once opened but who can remember when they actually opened it? I write it on a little piece of paper and stick it on the jar with clear tape. I store everything in a wide, open basket with 3 smaller basket inserts to separate everyday skincare from pampering skincare and replacements (which I’ve stocked up on before the first product runs) so I can see everything I have with one glance.

For makeup I have an everyday-makeup pouch and a huge vinyl makeup bag, divided into sections which I store my going-out-makeup in. Again it’s easy to see what I have so I don’t keep buying the same stuff by mistake every few months! I store my makeup brushes in a sparkly pencil case because I’m allergic to dust so I can’t have them sitting about in the open, even though they are pretty pastel unicorn ones.

The order you should use your everyday skincare in

Get the most out of your products by knowing which order to apply them in so they compliment, rather than block each other.

Exfoliate: My skin is not great at goodbyes and likes to cling onto old skin, rather than letting it invisibly float off over the day like it should. To give it some help I use a gentle Glycolic Acid to weaken the bonds between dead skin and new skin. I have a weaker treatment that I can leave on and a stronger one which I leave on for ten minutes and then gently wipe off with a face cloth and then rinse my face. I found that no matter how many face scrubs I tried with the gentlest, tiniest granules my face would become bright red and my skin still didn’t feel smooth.

Serum then Moisturiser: Now skin is able to absorb the lovely things you are giving it. I use Hyloronic acid (which sucks in moisture like a sponge), swiftly followed by a light moisturiser. If you just use hyloronic acid on it’s own in a dry attmosphere, without using moisturiser after, there is a chance it can pull moisture from the deeper layers of your skin up to the suffice. You want to keep that moisture where it is and help it absorb MORE moisture.

Facial Oil: Sometimes there is a difference between dehydrated and dry. I can apply moisturiser and sometimes my skin sucks it up immediately or sometimes it just sits there but either-way, my skin still feels a little dry and looks dull, like matte paper. This is when I realise it needs oil. Another clue is when you’ve moisturised but your skin gets oily in the afternoon or evening. It new it was dry and wildly over compensated – oops! I tend to apply a light layer of oil all over my face – even around my T-zone (sounds crazy but give it a go) and on my collar bone – because that just looks nice!

Layering makeup and textures to get the best look for your skin

I’ve found you can have too much of a good thing – such as similar textures – and prefer to strike a balance by using a mattifying moisturiser with a lightweight foundation or a lightweight moisturiser and then a mattyfying foundation. Applying all mattes and powders or all liquids and shine can look OTT, in both directions so to avoid this, I love liquid highlighters and cream blush with matte foundation. Alternatively, a powder highlighter and blush when I’m using a very light BB cream or foundation to help it stay put. I’ve tried the Korean ‘glass’ skincare look and it did look amazing…For around 60 minutes before the makeup slid off and the shine – so much shine – stayed with a vengeance. I really do think that layering combinations of textures can give the most realistic, long wearing and flattering look.

Get ideas from makeup tutorials but never ignore your own eye/lip/face shape.

If I follow the usual Western eye shadow looks, all my eye makeup disappears into the folds of my eyes and I have giant highlighted brow bones. If I use ones for hooded eyes, then my eyes look rounder and you can see the eyeshadow but it doesn’t look like me and I think it’s actually playing down one of my best features! Now I follow normal smokey eye tutorials but I just extend the makeup up AND out, making sure to highlight where my inner corners curve inward to compliment the natural cat like shape.

If I applied blusher all over the apples of my cheeks I would look like a scary doll, no matter how subtly I applied it. I tend not to bring it inward too much and sweep it up and outward instead.

If I applied contour directly under my crazily-high cheek bones it would make the rest of my face beneath look way too long. I tend to lower it ever-so-slightly and then blend it out the lower down it gets.

Essentially, get all of the tips and ideas you want from others but do what works for YOUR face, after all, you know it best.

Give your skin the chance to do stuff for it’s self

I’m sure everyone has been in that vicious circle of using products that are too harsh and strip your skin – then your skin produces oil to try and balance i’s self – so you use tonner or cleanser and it dries out for a while and then the oil starts again. You should aim for balancing your skin, correcting it (gently) only if it really needs it. If you keep throwing all of these products at your face how will it know when it needs to act and how to regulate it’s self? It’s best to try and stick to a routine (ironically difficult for a beauty blogger who reviews everything) and every six months just to let it be for several days so it acts naturally and then possibly reassess what it needs.

Perfect example: My lips have always lacked natural oils and look dry and even cracked on a regular basis. Turns out it’s a reaction to allergies and central heating. As a kid I was slicked in thick lip balm; as a teen in kiwi lip balm from The Body Shop; in my twenties in Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss; in my thirties I’m using natural oils such as Almond and Hemp. The problem steadily got worse and worse however, until my bloke said “Stop using lip stuff so much. Try to anticipate when they might need it so you apply it before they are dry, otherwise let your skin sort it’s self out.” That was so difficult for a lip product obsessive like me. So I accepted looking like the walking dead and after five days it actually worked! My lips where naturally smoother and looked plump and hydrated.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you’ve discovered yourself!

Chrissie

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

What the brand says….

‘The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin. 

Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.’

What I want this for…

As you probably know, I have uneven skin texture thanks to having bad skin into my early twenties and I easily get bags (from dehydration/gluten indulgence) so big they carve two lines into my cheeks. I’m proud of how clear and fairly even toned my complexion is these days but I still need a hand with the overall texture and a little redness sometimes. I like CC and BB creams but find they can either be too pale, making me go from tomato red to an eerie green-yellow or they are too transparent and shiny. I chose Flawless Filter as it offers medium coverage, is available in a surprising amount of shades, and then there’s the whole ‘flawless filter’ part.

Before purchasing Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter £30 I read a lot of reviews; a huge amount said it very good but a few said it was awful but unlike me, they had dry skin.

The packaging…

I love the recyclable glass bottle but would prefer a pump rather than the doe foot applicator as it totally fails at applying this type of product and leaves a massive amount in the bottom, which you’d have to tip onto the back of your hand like 1990’s foundations.

The bigger problem with it…

Above; before using the product, makeup free in dim afternoon sunlight. Not too bad but not great either. Much worse, in fact when there’s a lot of contrasting light and shadow.

Here’s me wearing the product. Talk about unflattering – contrasting light! I’ve taken the photo in the same dull afternoon light but it’s still managed to highlight all of my pores, lines and the orange peel effect on my cheeks and even eye bags. Thanks for that Tilbury. I can see how it might work on me in blindingly bright California sunshine but even then, as soon as I went indoors it wouldn’t.

My conclusion….

I have to say the coverage is surprisingly good and the realistic skin tone shades meant that number 3 Light/Medium was perfect for me – not usually an easy thing.

If you have smooth skin but slight redness or dark circles this could be great for medium coverage and added radiance.

If you are older but have been lucky in the genes lottery this might be incredibly flattering for you.

If you are like me you really want avoid it, unless you want to use it as a very expensive highlighter.

On days where I’m very red, I use a full coverage foundation from ELF and I’ve started mixing a teeny-tiny bit Flawless Filter in with it, so my skin doesn’t look as matte and flat with just the foundation. I also use it very sparingly as a realistic looking highlighter on my cheek bones, collar bone and down the front of my shins.

Rating 2/3

🖤Chrissie🖤

Zombie Halloween Look Using Everyday Makeup

 

Braaains…

Fringe (bangs) – Dry shampoo and styling putty. I ran out of dry shampoo but would have like to apply more so it looked grey.

Face – Green eyeshadow, mixed with a too-pale foundation and a silvery highlighter to give my face a pale but eerie glow. Used my fingernail to gently score out bits of makeup around my nose, mouth and chin for an uneven look. This refused to show up on my camera as well as it did in real life so I had to add a green filter.

Eyes – Dark green eyeliner randomly applied, blended up to my eyebrows.  Green liquid eyeshadow applied thickly to eyes and smeared down my cheeks like slimy sludge (bottom picture).

Lips – A nude-brown lipstick with foundation lightly dabbed over the top.

Chrissie V—-V

Ciate Dewy Stix

Ciate Dewy Stix £22 are available in three shades: Glow a champaign coloured iridescent glow, Gleam Gold hue of duo chrome pearls and Lustre a rose gold shade.

I chose Gleam Gold as it was medium toned (most flattering for my skin tone) and I only wanted a slightly warm highlighted look, rather than a blush or pale highlight. I love the colour and the almost gel-like texture of this product. The screw up packaging with it’s metallic finish and little stars is equally adorable and practical. It glides on easily and only a small amount is needed for an obvious effect.

Unfortunately I think the effect is way too obvious and I would describe this product as ‘sparkly’ rather than ‘dewy’. It does not make me look like I am naturally glowy and radiant; it makes me look like I have put a pale golden eyeshadow on my face! I now realise that ‘Glow’ may have created a more suitable look but I didn’t want anything too pale. It’s a shame Ciate didn’t just make ‘Glow’ in all three shades.

However, ‘Gleam’ is perfect for a party, a night out clubbing or for an obvious  ethreal/supernatural look but a tad cringe for everyday wear.

Maybe it’s my fault and I should have gone the kind of liquid highlighter that states it’s subtle enough to mix with foundation but I was really sold on the words ‘dewy’ ‘balm’ and ‘minimal shimmer’ stated on the Ciate website.

Rating 2/5

Chrissie