Beauty: No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation Review

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the effect air-conditioning has on my skin. Within a week of starting work it was dry, irritated and sensitive to everything. It meant none of my previously used foundations sat well, with the Max Factor being too heavy and the Bodyshop powder being too drying.

Much as I love an excuse to shop, having my skin suddenly look terrible was not an excuse I really wanted!

 photo No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation 3_zpslvwq2q8r.jpgAfter a few hours of countless of research, far too many testers and a ridiculous number of options discarded for their rather-lacking shade options, I picked up the No. 7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation. At £14.50 this certainly wasn’t the cheapest foundation, but is it worth it…? So far, I’m saying yes!

Despite it looking pretty boring, I actually quite like the compact plastic tube; it’s perfect for travelling and throwing in the bottom of your bag (unlike a lot of foundations)! However, the squeezy tube and thin formula means you are in danger of wasting a lot of foundation. Getting the right amount of product out takes a lot practice – unfortunately this has meant I’ve gotten through my first tube a bit too quickly for my liking!

 photo No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation 7_zpsyir0lhel.jpgThe water-based formula claims “life-proof foundation with up to 24 hours wear, for a super-natural, flawless complexion with a barely there feel“. The formula is meant to be suitable for all skin types – how much this is true I don’t know, but for me it hasn’t drawn attention to any dry patches I have suddenly developed, doesn’t settle into pores and sticks around all day.  The coverage is advertised as light/medium and buildable – I would say it’s definitely medium on me, with a second layer taking it up to full coverage. That said, my skin is pretty clear of blemishes right now. It stays put for a good work-day (including the sweaty broken-down tube – which happens far too often!), needing only a dab of powder if I’m heading out for a few post-office drinks. And the best thing? It blends into the skin like a dream. I have no patience for difficult-to-blend formulas, and this applies beautifully in less than thirty seconds.

 photo No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation 4_zpslrwbn3sw.jpg photo No7 Stay Perfect Superlight Foundation 5_zpsf6vkizch.jpgThe colour (lightest shade, Calico) matches me almost perfectly as it has a slight olive-undertone – strange I know, when I had my face done by a makeup artist she said my skin was one of the most difficult she’d ever had to match! This is by far the closest match I have got, though I have noticed that it can oxidise slightly and go a little over-dark = the one downside! Other than that, the Superlight foundation gives me a natural, radiant yet non-shiny finish which I love. Definitely worth the price!

What’s your current go-to foundation?


Beauty: Everyday Makeup

 photo 2014-05-02191028_zpsfcb2ad17.jpgOn a day-t0-day basis I like to keep my make-up simple and neutral. For one thing, it’s so much quicker (I like my sleep!) and I can do it easily, without thinking (or even looking!) and it will still look relatively decent…or so I hope!

I start by splashing my face with cold water (cleansing if my face feels dirty) and then moisturising. I posted about my skincare a while ago, but I’ve updated my routine since then so will have to do a new post at some point. I’ll then conceal with Seventeen Stay Time Concealer, concentrating my efforts under my eyes, and on any cheeky spots which may have appeared.

 photo 2014-05-02190834_zps183153c3.jpgMy current foundation of choice, at least for everyday, is Bodyshop’s Mineral Loose Powder in the lightest shade – its pretty much a perfect match for my pale skin, and blends effortlessly with their Kabuki Brush. I honestly don’t need to watch what I’m doing when applying this as it never looks caked on (I only apply a thin layer), it just looks lovely and natural whilst still offering what I feel is medium coverage. It also last all day, which is a bonus when you have lectures and exercise classes from 9-6!

For eye makeup, but everyday look is a sweep of a neutral creme shadow on my lids (current favourite = Bourjois Colour Edition in Petale de Glace) and a coat of mascara. My all-time favourite mascara is the Lash Definition from Natural Collection – for £1.99 it lasts all day, never clumps, and is far better than other high-street ones I’ve tried.

 photo 2014-05-02190940_zpsb9bc78c4.jpgThats it – a routine that takes five minutes maximum, and lasts most of the day. Whilst its nothing special, it just helps me feel a little more confident that going bare-faced, and at least I look presentable should I have to go out at short notice (I live in hope I’ll be whisked off to Paris on the Eurostar…)

What makeup do you wear everyday?

Review: Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Foundation

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I was sent this foundation to review in early December, on the condition that I wore it every day for at least three weeks before reviewing. Admittedly I’ve left it a lot longer than three weeks, but that was because I was kind of on the fence about this product!

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation is being marketed as a multi-tasking foundation, providing instant, flawless coverage for up to 13 hours. It claims to be long wearing and skin improving, and has impressive (especially for the price of £8.99) ingredients including Magnesium, Copper, Zinc and provitamin B5. I think the most intriguing addition is glycerin, an ingredient which should help to keep skin moisturised.  If the ingredients weren’t impressive enough, this foundation comes with some pretty big claims – “reducing the appearance of the visible effects of stress including bumps, dullness and redness, add brightness and give the skin a long lasting glow.”

Do I agree with all these claims? Well I have to admit that after using this foundation for around 5 weeks (the last fortnight it has not been applied every day) my skin is in very good condition, quite possibly the best it has been in a long, long time. The majority of the red patches on my cheeks have faded, everywhere feels plump, I’m definitely less spotty, and my pores seem slightly reduced. That’s not to say my skin looks great though, simply better than before!

One thing I will add though is that after a week of wearing this everyday I seemed to go through a purging stage, with a couple of really nasty spots appearing on my forehead. I can’t say I loved that reaction to the foundation, but it was over pretty quickly! Other downsides include a glass bottle (I’m clumsy so this worries me!), but I forgive Maybelline totally as it has a pump.

Now, the actual look of the foundation. I received the shade ‘Warm Beige’ which actually is very pale (although still a little dark for me) but perfect in terms of undertone. I’m neither pink nor yellow, so this suits me well. The one review currently on Boots suggests that Ivory is the palest shade, and is very dark, so I would suggest trying Warm Beige (which is a ridiculous name for a pale shade…) if you are struggling. Though obviously the best option is to go into store and actually swatch for yourself!

In terms of its finish, when applied well (and that is key here) I love the foundation. Its like my skin, but perfectly. I’d say it offers medium-to-full coverage, with a natural ‘real skin’ finish. A little bit glowy, but not shiny, definitely not matte though! I really do like the finish, it covers redness and blemishes seamlessly, and feels comfortable on the skin. It also seems to last rather well (though not 13 hours!) without primer or powder, which is a massive bonus.

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But here is the problem – I hate applying it. Its quite a thick foundation, so you have to be quick blending it. Or it won’t blend at all. I’ve tried blending with fingers, but that really didn’t work for me. Foundation brush is better, but still difficult. I find that making sure I have properly exfoliated and moisturised is a definite help, but this will show up any dry patches. The most guaranteed good application I have found it mixing with a spot of moisturiser, but this kind-of defeats the point of a high-coverage foundation! I’m considering ordered a buffing brush (something similar to Real Techniques) to see if that helps, but at the moment I’m concentrating on ridding my skin of dry patches first!

So, would I say I like this foundation? Definitely. As long as it applies nicely (which to be fair it does probably 80% of the time) it looks great and lasts all day.

Would I say this is my Holy Grail foundation? No, the application issues make me feel I could find better.

Would I repurchase? Possibly, depending on which other pale foundations I discover.

Would I recommend? Yes, but not for dry skin. Its also the best budget foundation I have tried – at £8.99 it really is a bargain!

So, if you have normal-oily skin, redness and blemishes, and on a tight budget, then I’d definitely recommend trying this foundation. I’d avoid if you have dry skin though. And I have to say I’ve changed my mind about Maybelline foundations (their Dream Matte mousse put me off almost permanently in my early teens!) and I was pleasantly surprised.

What’s your favourite foundation at the moment?

Brand vs Budget: BB Creams

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I’m not the hugest fan of heavy foundations, mainly because I don’t have the skill to apply them, they always look cakey, often show up my dry patches, and it just takes far too much time. Tinted moisturisers were my base of choice as a young teenager, but I quickly realised they were actually far too dark for my skin. Luckily for me it was seemingly on trend in my school at the time to look as though you’d bathed in Tango…

Over the last few years BB creams have taken beauty shelves by storm (more recently CC creams, which I haven’t ventured into yet) and luckily for me they seem to be available in slightly more forgiving colours. Today I compare Garnier’s BB cream (which if I remember rightly was one of the first to hit UK ‘drugstores’) with Aldi’s cheaper version. My review of the Aldi offering may be in vain; I bought it in a reduced basket for 1.99, and have only seen in on rare occasions since, so I have to accept it may be discontinued.

The Garnier one comes in at £9.99 (when not on offer) and is in a small and rather annoying tube – the plastic is rather stiff, and it is near on impossible to (1) get a small amount out, and (2) get anything out when you’ve used around 75% of the tube. So not only is it more expensive, but it seems ridiculously wasteful too. Aldi’s version is obviously making use of cheaper packaging, but I prefer it, and the matte look of the tube actually appears relatively high-end.

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In terms of colour, it was really hard to show the real difference. In all my photos the Garnier appeared to be the lighter shade, but I’ve found that totally untrue, with the Aldi one blending in to my (very) pale skin far better. Coverage and lasting-time is, on me, better with the Aldi version, and my forehead doesn’t turn into an oil slick like it does wearing Garnier.

Texture wise, Aldi’s BB cream is nicer to wear, it feels lighter. I can feel the Garnier sitting on my skin, it’s thicker and harder to blend, and it feels oily virtually straight away.

Now onto breakouts. I wouldn’t class my skin as sensitive, but it hates foundations and anything of that type. Neither of these BB creams were an exception. They didn’t cause a big reaction, no cystic pimples, but just a few more spots, a few more inflamed pores. If anything the Garnier one was slightly worse, possibly due to the slightly oily texture.

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If I’m honest, neither of these products blew me away. Maybe its just be, but I’d still much rather stick with an illuminating moisturiser, with concealer and a translucent powder when necessary. Any more of a base is just wasting valuable sleeping time! Forced to choose between the two, I’d definitely choose the Aldi version, simply due to its rather wonderful colour match and improved ease of application. Budget wins!