Sampling Foundations #2 - Chanel Vitalumiere

This foundation sample is the Chanel Vitalumiere in the shade 50 (Naturel). When I went to get colour matched (during the Summer), there wasn't a foundation sample in the shade that I was matched to, so the sales assistant offered me one in a shade lighter so I could test out whether I liked the formula. I asked for a sample as I didn't want to spend £34 on a foundation, only to realise that I didn't like the colour/formula/finish etc.

This shade is actually perfect for my skin at the moment, as I'm not as tanned as I was during the Summer. I actually quite like the way the foundation applies and sits on my skin. I apply it so that it gives light-medium coverage, but it can be built up to provide full coverage. The foundation has a satin finish and contains spf 15, which is great because I don't like to apply separate sun protection. I am considering purchasing this foundation as my 'winter' foundation, but I'll be reviewing a lot more samples before I make up my mind.

Have you tried Chanel Vitalumiere before?


Beauty Boxes: March 2013 Birchbox

I've never subscribed to a monthly beauty box before. Mostly because I know that there might be some products in the selection which would not suit my skin type at all. I've previously ordered the Little Beauty Boxes from Latest In Beauty (as well as a few of their collection boxes), however the March Birchbox will be my first actual subscription beauty box. Birchbox (previously called JolieBox), costs £10 (plus £2.95) per month, which is pretty much the same as most subscription beauty boxes available.


So what actually arrived in my Birchbox? The March box contained:
Laura Gellar Beauty Inkwell Gel Liner - I'm excited to try this out as I find that gel liners work best for me when I want my liner to last from morning til night. It'll be interesting to see how this compares with my all-time favourite gel liner, the ELF studio cream liner (which doesn't budge at all!)
RMK Cleansing Balm - I've never tried a cleansing balm before so this will definitely be a new experience.
La Sultane de Saba Body Lotion With Argan Oil - I'm not too keen on body lotion samples, because I tend to stick to products that I love. I will be keeping this aside for when it gets warmer because during the winter, I prefer to use thicker products (like body butters and balms) on my skin.
Molton Brown Valbonne Fine Fragrance - I have a large collection of perfume samples, but another one won't hurt.
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream -  I previously got a sample of this in a Latest in Beauty box some time ago. The cream is really thick and you only need the tiniest amount. I've used it before as a cuticle conditioner, as it can be massaged in and the tiny tube is perfect to carry around in my bag (when I remember to put it in). Not sure if I would purchase the full size tub though.
Sanctuary Thermal Transformation Face Mask - I am in need of a good facial, particularly with wedding season coming up. This is a two step serum and clay mask which will hopefully improve my skin appearance.
There was also a lovely little tin of Lindor Chocolate Truffles included as the lifestyle extra. Perfect for a chocoholic like myself =)

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the products that I've received as it means I'll get to try new products that would never normally pick out for myself.

Will I stay subscribed? Yes and no. For the meantime, I'm staying subscribed, but I would like to try out other subscription beauty boxes, so I'm not sure when I'll be unsubscribing from Birchbox. For now, I'll be trying out the products from this box and waiting for next months box =)

Have you subscribed to any beauty boxes? Which ones would you recommend?


Bioderma launches in the UK

The well known French skincare brand Bioderma, has launched in the UK! An interesting fact is that their most popular product, the Sensibio H20 Micellar Solution (also known as Crealine H20), is sold every six seconds across the world. Alongside the well known Sensibio range (for sensitive skin), Bioderma is launching 4 other ranges, which include: Atoderm (dry/atopic skin), Sebium (oily/acne prone skin), Photoderm (advanced sun protection) and Hydrabio (dehydrated skin). Each of the ranges are specifically designed for particular skin concerns.

A small selection of the products that will be available

Some products from the Atoderm and Hydrabio ranges

The range that most interests me is the Atoderm range, which was specifically developed for those with eczema, atopic dermatitis and also very dry skin. This is because I have eczema around my ears and under my eyes, so finding skincare products that actually work for me are a real challenge. I've used a number of products before that work for a few months, but then my skin stops benefiting from them and sometimes this makes the eczema flare up more. The great thing about Bioderma, is that all the products have been developed by pharmacists and dermatologists, so you know that the products will work, as they have been designed for different skin types (not only the usual three: dry, combination and oily). The products are paraben and phthalate free, and have a biological basis, which allows them to mimic the natural skin response and restore its natural balance.

I tried the Atoderm Crème (Nourishing Cream) on the eczema under my eye at the lauch event (as it was quite dry and starting to flake). The eczema calmed down once I had applied it and it stayed moisturised for the rest of the night. I think with long term use of the Atoderm range, the eczema might actually clear up!

Bioderma products are available to purchase at Escentual and John Bell and Croydon Pharmacy at the present time. They will be working with leading independent pharmacies and dermatologists, in order to provide tailored information and advise customers on which products are best suited for their skin concerns.


Sampling Foundations #1

I've accumulated quite a collection of foundation samples over the past year or two, and I thought now would be a good time to try and use them up before the end of the year and I decide whether or not I want to purchase a full size foundation. I currently own 2 full size foundations, which are Benefit Hello Gorgeous Oxygen Wow (I'm So Glam Amber) and Bare Minerals Original (Golden Tan). The Benefit one is actually my Summer foundations, as it applies a little dark on my face (clearly I must have been quite tanned when I got colour matched), so I've been sticking with the Bare Minerals foundation during the winter. However, my skin is also very dry and dehydrated at the moment (thanks to central heating and cold weather), so the mineral foundation doesn't sit properly once applied and it just doesn't look good. So I'll be going through all my foundation samples to see which one suits my skin the most during the winter months.

Here's a picture of all the foundation samples that I am hoping to work through!

(please ignore the Benefit Primer samples - they are clearly not foundation!)

Anyone else find that they accumulate a lot of samples, but never actually get around to using them?


Recommended Small Businesses

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On Facebook and Twitter I 'like' and follow a lot of small businesses. From hijab companies to bespoke art, there are so many out there. So I thought I'd put together a blog page which has links to all the small businesses that I would like to promote. As I own a small business of my own, I think it's important to promote and support other businesses (whether they are similar or completely different).

There's a tab at the top of the page, called Links, which basically has the links to the businesses websites and facebook pages. If you own a business, or would recommend a business, then please feel free to comment/email/tweet me with the name and a link to the website or facebook page (or both) =)

Hope this is a useful page and I hope that it will continue to grow! =)