Sunday, 30 March 2014

March Favourites

It only feels like yesterday that I was putting together my February favourites and yet here we are again, another month gone. Where does the time go? Anyway, here are a few things I've been obsessing over recently.

I raved about the La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector recently, which as well as being an every day staple in my skincare routine also takes the award for longest product name ever, but I also picked up the Effaclar Duo+ and am equally impressed. This blogger fave is working wonders on my old acne scars and combined with the targeted corrector is helping to prevent current blemishes leaving new marks. Just like the targeted corrector it has a lovely fresh scent, is easily absorbed and wearable under makeup. I use this more as a treatment with a separate moisturiser on top as it's not enough for my combo/dry skin but it isn't overly drying in itself and would probably be fine alone on oilier skins.

There's been a huge stir about the new Revlon ColourBurst Balms and that was a bandwagon I was quite happy to jump onto! I prefer the glossier lacquer balms as I think the colours are just a bit more flattering on me, especially with my new found love of a bold lip, and my absolute favourites are Provocateur (bright reddish pink) and Enticing (darker red with a hint of brown). Staying power is reasonable, especially Provocateur which fades to a pretty stain, and they have a delicate minty fresh scent.

I'm actually on my second bottle of Lush Tea Tree Water and that in itself is a sign of approval as I'm not generally one for the repurchasing unless I really like something. This is light, refreshing and offers the antibacterial benefits of tea tree without being drying or stinky. I like to spritz it onto a cotton pad and gently wipe across my face, focussing on any pesky blemishes. It's also nice to hold the pad against any particularly irritated blemishes for a minute or two to help take the heat out of them.

I have to confess I'd never tried a fixing spray before but I saw Sineadycady use the MUA Pro Base Fixing Mist on a video a while back and figured it was worth a try for only a fiver. I've used it for a couple of weeks now to try and give me makeup some extra sticking power at the office and it's done a pretty good job. My foundation and concealer stay looking fresher for longer and my blush doesn't disappear quite so rapidly. A fiver well spent me thinks!

And a few other things I love but I've already bored you enough singing their praises:
Bourjois 123 Perfect CC is my current go to base giving me even skin, decent coverage and just a hint of the glowies.
S&G Endless Glove has officially taken over from Hand Food as my favourite hand cream.
Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm is doing something fab for my hair and I like it!

What's got your beauty senses tingling this month?

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Humble Facecloth

There are all manner of weird and wonderful tools for applying our various skincare lotions and potions these days - muslin cloths, exfoliating brushes, even solid jade rollers - but why are we shelling out loads when there's a pretty nifty multitasking bit of kit available for mere pennies? I'm talking about the humble facecloth!

How much easier, quicker and less messy is it to wash cleanser off with a cloth rather than by splashing water in the general direction of your face? Or, in my case, around the entire bathroom!  Plus if exfoliation is high on your list of skin priorities but you can't handle a harsh manual exfoliator then a facecloth is perfect for a little every day polishing - soft enough not to irritate but those little cotton loops provide a gentle exfoliating action while you simply wash your cleanser off.  

Want to open your pores for a really refreshing, deep clean? Forget your elaborate steaming techniques and simply take one facecloth, soak with very warm (not hot) water, wring it out, drape elegantly onto face and relax as it cools. Now cleanse your skin and see how much fresher and cleaner it feels, not to mention how zen and chilled you feel.

Now I'm sure skincare purists will argue any facecloth for skincare use should be made of strictly undyed natural cotton allowed to grow freely in a field bathed in sunshine and carefully hand picked by unfeasibly happy people whistling a jaunty tune. Nice idea, but back in the real world Primark do a huge range of funky coloured ones to match any bathroom for the princely sum of £1.50 for 3. Just make sure to wash coloured ones first to remove any loose dye (40°C, no fabric softener).

I'm really quite fond of facecloths. You can keep your jewel encrusted spiky roller thingies - sometimes the simple things are best. Don't you think?

That's Bat Duck sitting atop my facecloths. I have no idea where I got him but he stands guard over my bathroom seeing off evil doers and generally making me giggle childishly. Everyone should have a Bat Duck!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Change is a coming!

Handlebars & Hairspray is changing to Shining August!

I started this here blog a few months ago mainly to see whether I'd enjoy writing one as much as I enjoy reading them and now that I'm getting into the general blogging groove of posting regularly and coming up with ideas I'm really enjoying it! So much so I want to keep it going and work harder on building it up into more than just my quiet corner of the interweb, but there is one itsy bitsy snagette - I didn't exactly choose my blog name wisely, did I? It's a bit of a mouthful, easy to mis-type and doesn't work for Twitter or Instagram. Way to make things difficult for myself!

So, it's time for a change to something I like and which works a bit better. Shining August is just a combination of my birthday month and what the sun is supposed to be doing that month. No deep and special meaning but I quite like the way it goes together. I'll be changing both my Twitter and Instagram handles to @ShiningAugust too.

At the same time as implementing the new name I'm setting up a custom domain name to match so it will take a little time for everything to catch up but there will be a redirect in place and if you follow on Bloglovin' they're on the case doing all the techy link changing behind the scenes. All I ask is that you please bear with me for a few days and then normal service will be resumed!

The change will happen on 31st March and for that week I'll be posting simultaneously to both the old and new names so I promise you won't miss a thing.

Thank you for your understanding and I really hope you'll take this little blog change journey with me. In the meantime if there are any other changes you would like to see then please leave me a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Endless Glove (aka Soap & Glory does it again...)

Just when I though nothing could beat Soap & Glory Hand Food for scrumptious smelling, totally moisturised mitts along came Endless Glove 2 in 1 Mask & Hand Cream and proved me wrong. Not only is this a divine smelling, incredibly moisturising, non-greasy hand lotion but when paired with a pair of cotton gloves and a little snooze time it's a moisturising mask for your hands!

Now don't get me wrong, I will always be a loyal Hand Food girl but I must admit Endless Glove has stolen my heart at the moment. It contains all sorts of hand loving ingredients such as macadamia and grapeseed oils, pomegranate and Shea butters and an impressive sounding Eight Oil Aqua Wrap. You don't come across those every day, now do you?

I haven't tried the mask option yet but in the general hand lotion stakes the moisturising action does last a bit longer than Hand Food. The formula is a touch thicker too but is still easily absorbed with no greasy finger marks once it sinks in. The Fruitigo scent is just amazing - fresher and more fruity than the original S&G scent used in Hand Food with yuzu, orange oil, green fig and jungle pomelo essence. Now, reading that made me wonder, what exactly is a "yuzu"? I pictured it being a some sort of exotic coloured berry but according to Wiki it's an East Asian citrus fruit thought to be a hybrid of a sour mandarin and an ichang papeda. Oooo-kay! Well it smells good and I'm happy with that!

Have you tried Endless Glove? Or a yuzu for that matter?!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector

There are many words one could use to describe La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector, "mouthful" being just one of them. I'll settle for two though - pure genius!

I've seen a fair bit of press recently for the newly reformulated Effaclar Duo+, which apparently is da bomb for da blemishes (innit), but I must admit in all my blemish prone years this is a range that has never really pinged my radar. More fool me! Anyway, curiosity piqued and Boots 3 for 2 coinciding nicely with payday, I thought I'd investigate. I happened to be in the market for a new on the spot treatment as my beloved Clinique gel was leaving my skin a bit flaky so rather than opt for the much touted Duo+ I got the targeted corrector instead, which is actually the one product in the range I haven't seen blogged of late.

To me a good on the spot treatment should relieve irritation, soothe skin and of course get rid of the spot being targeted. It's an added plus if it can be used under makeup for daytime blemish blitzing too. The Effaclar corrector (that name is just too long to keep typing) is, if you'll pardon the pun, spot on in all respects. It soothed a particularly irritated patch on my jawline in minutes and has noticeably taken down one of those super sore, under the skin monster lumps after only 2 applications. It then continues, after 3 or 4 applications, to destroy the spot in much the same way you might destroy a plastic cup by running over it with a monster truck - completely and absolutely (but in a much gentler way). Added bonus it helps prevent those horrible red marks spots can leave, and which are a complete pain in the bum to conceal. 

Since this is a cream formula which sinks in quickly, isn't at all drying and doesn't leave any residue, stickiness or weird greasy patches on the skin it can be used day and night without interfering with makeup. I usually apply it between serums and moisturiser, giving it a few seconds to really sink in. I've even applied a tiny dab on top of makeup when a particularly nasty beastie has popped up during the day and it hasn't done any damage that couldn't be fixed with a dab of concealer. As if all that wasn't enough the absolute icing on the cake is that it even smells nice - fresh and mildly citrusy with not a hint of pungent tea tree to advertise to the world that you're in spot fighting mode.

This is without doubt the best blemish zapper I've ever tried and is now a permanent fixture in my skincare stable. I'm so impressed with it I've just picked up the Duo+ too. Take that, evil scars and blemishes!

Have you tried any of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar range?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC

The whole double letter cream thing pretty much passed me by. I tried the Garnier oil free BB version and hated it (rubbish coverage, too dark, left me looking greasy) so pretty much avoided anything similar, but I was tempted to try the new Bourjois 123 Perfect Colour Correcting Cream as it promised to be something a little different.

Containing three coloured pigments to battle multiple skin woes (white for dark spots, apricot for fatigue and green for redness) and offering SPF 15 and 24hr hydration in an oil free base this sounds like a pretty impressive offering, and it is.

Although coverage is medium at best it's not meant to conceal everything (that's what concealer is for, duh!). The coloured pigments do even out my various skin tone issues, mainly redness and purplish scarring, rather well and leave my skin looking more awake and just the right side of glowing to be luminous without looking greasy. The formula is lovely and hydrating, which my dry skin appreciates, but also light weight so it shouldn't sit too heavily on oily skins. Staying power is also pretty respectable lasting pretty much all day with only one blot around lunchtime.

This is definitely one to apply with the makeup brushes God gave you (i.e. your fingers) as I found my Real Techniques expert face brush absorbed some of the product making application look a little patchy. My one complaint is that the shade range is pretty poor with only 4 to choose from. As always I went for the lightest (31 Ivory) and it's still ever so slightly dark for my pale winter complexion but this is a problem I have with all Bourjois bases and to be fair as it's not heavy or full coverage it's still perfectly wearable.

A quick word should also go to the accompanying 123 Perfect CC Eye Concealer. This is a hydrating(ish) and highlighting offering which comes in a clicky tube with a nice hygienic plastic applicator. A little goes a long way with this and it does brighten nicely but it's quite sheer so I tend to use it either as a second concealer or apply a second coat on the darkest areas of my eyes (usually the inner corner). Sadly I do find it settles into my lines a little, although at the moment my undereyes are so dry and dehydrated I suspect even the most hydrating concealer in the world probably would!

There is a third 123 Perfect product, a proper foundation, which I'm rather tempted to try...

Have you tried any of Bourjois' 123 Perfect products? Any recommendations for a super hydrating eye cream?!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

What's on my nails #11

It's spring, it's sunny and I am in the mood for something super bright and super girly! So, hot pink and glitter it is courtesy of Bourjois 10 Day Anti Chip in shade 15 (discontinued in Boots but widely available on the interweb) and Butter London's Lovely Jubbly.

In my humble little opinion Bourjois make some of the best polish on the high street, and certainly the best brushes. The colour of this little beauty speaks for itself and while it doesn't quite make 10 whole days in pristine condition it is one of the better lasting polishes in my collection. 

What can I say about Lovely Jubbly? It's absolutely packed with little flecks of magenta, red, blue and gold glitter and is so packed in fact that one coat gives plenty of coverage for an accent. This truly is one of those glitters you could build up to full coverage if you wanted, although it would be a nightmare to take off! 

Watch out for more pink things on this here blog very soon...