As you drive to our home, there is a roundabout with a set of flats to the right of it. In the window of one of the flats is a proper dressing table, the kind that you imagine every lady from the 50s had in her boudoir. One day I shall have just such a dressing table, but for now I content myself with a mirror on the top of my chest of drawers in the bedroom. I have a cup and saucer which I use to store jewellery and bottles of perfume (in their boxes of course) lined up across the back. One drawer is devoted to cosmetics and beauty potions...nail polish, bubble bath, makeup, hair flowers, false eyelashes...it does me very nicely for now, and I really enjoy putting my face on for the day.
I have a basic routine, and then sometimes, particularly if we are going out I like to take a bit longer. Last weekend, I curled my hair with hotsticks and brushed it out to give me a kind of 40s set, pinned in a hair flower, painted my lips bright red, and finished with a puff of perfume. I love the ritual of it all. Bliss!
I am always on the lookout for new products or potions to add to my arsenal, and whilst I enjoy having one or two luxury products, I don't think that cost is necessarily an indicator of quality. For example, I have a Chanel lipstick which bleeds everywhere, even if I use a lip primer first, and the best eyeliner I have ever used is Collection 2000! Recently I have tried out a few new products, so here are some thoughts on them...
Benefit's B.Right Skincare Range
Now, I really wanted to like this range, as I do love Benefit, and the aim of this range is to give bright, luminous skin, which is for me the holy grail of skincare. The packaging is really cute, and I particularly like the way the bottle lids are decorated to make them look like corks. I was even lucky enough to get a free sample of the range. It came in a beautiful box which opened to reveal a tube of cleanser, a bottle of moisturiser and a tiny jar of eye cream. Each was a minature version of the full sized product, and it was lovely that they had made the effort to reproduce the range in minature rather than just put the products into sachets. So at this point I was feeling really well disposed to the set...but I just could not get on with it. The cleanser was so-so, it smelt nice but I didn't really feel any big change in my skin. The tube was quite hard to squeeze too...hopefully that isn't the same in the normal sized version. The moisturiser was the most disappointing...it made my hands feel so sticky I had to wash them afterwards, which really isn't what I want in a moisturiser. The eye cream wasn't sticky, but I don't really think it did anything for me. So overall, I was left a bit sticky, and not particularly glowing. I am distinctly underwhelmed, and think alas it is a case of style over substance. However I have at least one friend who has bought the entire range and raves about it, and at one point much of the range was sold out, so clearly it does suit some people's skin, just not mine!
OPI Start to Finish
I am really lucky as I have strong nails that grow quickly, even when they receive little attention from me. I have never been one to wear gloves for washing up or even to remember to use handcream regularly. I usually find myself disappointed with manicures in spas or salons, as I have not yet had one that did not leave me thinking I could have done better myself! Although, when my nails are longer, I do like getting them shaped by someone else, but the price of a manicure isn't really justified for that! My favourite nail colour is red, and I have a great many in my collection, from cheap budget lines to higher end lines. I have scarlet, burgundy, wine, robin, cherry, almost every shade of red you could imagine. One of the things I canot bear is chipped nail polish, and if I do have chipped polish myself, it tends to be because I have been doing some kind of work without protecting my nails, or more likely, have been feeling down and neglecting myself a bit. One of my favourite nail polish ranges is OPI as I love the shades, the quirky names and find that they last for ages before they chip. So you can imagine that I was eager to try out their Start To Finish product, which is a base coat and top coat in one that strengthens. Now this is definitely a product work investing in. It really protects your polish, so the colour lasts for ages without chipping qhich is a definite plus. Also, it gives even cheap polish a really expensive sheen. I am currently wearing 'Double Decker Red' by Rimmel which cost about £2 but have had lots of comments on it, and several friends have asked if it is OPI.
Benefit That Gal
Face primers are one of those things that are easy to dismiss as superfluous, but when you have tried a really good one, you realise they are worth their weight in gold. For me, a good face primer almost acts as 'soft focus' on the skin, smoothing out your complexion and making a great base for your foundation. That Gal goes one better, and gives you a bit of a glow so you could, in a hurry, or on a day when you don't fancy doing full make up, skip the foundation and just wear the primer. The first primer I ever tried was Estee Lauder Idealist, and I have to say it was amazing. It makes your skin feel like velvet, but is really expensive. I bought some for when I got married, but have not been able to justify the price tag since. Avon do something called Magicx which I have tried and found very close to Idealist but at a much better price. However, since we have moved, I have not found a new Avon Lady, so I have been trying out That Gal. It is really different to the other two, both of which are a creamy coloured creamy textured thick liquid. This is pink in colour and far lighter in texture. While I like the glow it gives me, and feel I look better with it on than off, nobody else has commented on my complexion, whereas I had plenty of comments when I was using Idealist or Magicx. To be honest, I would class it more as a skin brightener than a primer. While I am happy using it for now, I don't think it quite justifies the price tag, and I will be looking for a more traditional primer next time. I do have Mac's Prep and Prime for lips which I find to be really good, so I shall either save up for the face primer from that range, or find an Avon lady!