Tag Archives: beauty

Beauty Blenders | Splurge, Spend or Steal? 

When it was first released The Original Beauty Blender caused quite the the stir on the beauty scene.  Developed by celebrity makeup artist Rea Ann Silva It revolutionised the way many of us beauty fans  applied our makeup. 

Priced at £16 it definitely falls into the investment purchase bracket. That will be why everyone and their mama has since launched their own budget ‘dupes’. 


In the interest of research I decided to test out some of these ‘dupes’ and see how they compare to the Original. 

I’ve always loved splurge, spend or steal posts so thought heck, lets base my comparison around this format. 

Well…. Can a cheaper Beauty Blender hold its own against the Original?  

Packaging and Appearance 

When comparing to the original it is very easy to spot the dupes. Packaging is very basic. Once outside of their packaging though they are all very similar but with some variation on shape. 


Pictured from left to right.

The Original Beauty Blender retails for £16 from Beauty Bay

Avon’s offering, the precision makeup sponge, retails from between £3.50 & £6.50 depending on their current offers. 

Primarks 2 pack of blender sponges retails for a mere £1.50 

Contents

The original beauty blender is latex free and so is Avon’s sponge. Avon’s website describes it has a latex free PU sponge. Primarks sponge contains latex, so not good if you have an allergy. 

Feel

Avon’s offering is closest in feel and texture to the original. Something about it is off though, it just doesn’t feel as smooth. 

Primarks version feels very dense in comparison and doesn’t feel anywhere near as nice as the original. 

Reaction to Water

If you are familiar with the original beauty blender you will know that when it is held  under water it absorbs the water and expands. 

Avon’s blender does exactly this. In fact it grew a fraction bigger than the original. Primark blender doesn’t expand at all. 

Performance 

To try to keep a fair test I used the same primer and foundation with each blender. This was Smashbox photo finish primer and Loreal Infallible foundation. I also tried to stick to just using 3 pumps of foundation. 


Pictured left to right

The original blender by far gives the best and most even coverage. I feel my foundation looks very natural a flawless in this picture. 

Avon’s blender absorbed more foundation than the original so gave a less even coverage. It also makes an odd hollow sound when you tap it against you face. This im guessing is because the sponges fibres are less compacted and smooth and would be why it absorbs more foundation.

Primarks blender I found quite hard and uncomfortable on the skin. I had to work much harder with it as it seemed to move the foundation around my face rather than blend it in. This is especially noticeable around my eyes. 

Ease of cleaning 

All three blenders actually performed fairly equal in terms of getting them clean. They have all stained a small amount.



My Verdict – You get what you pay for! 

Primark’s offering as far as I’m concerned is a complete dud. I don’t like it. It doesn’t perform the same as the Original and actually felt a bit uncomfortable to use. As far as I’m concerned this is being passed onto the kids as a painting sponge! 

I was plesenty surprised by how well the Avon sponge performed. If you have never tried the Original Beauty Blender because perhaps you feel that £16 for the original is too expensive then this is a very good dupe. 

If you like the original beauty blender and want to save you self a good £10 then Avon’s sponge is definitely a good buy. I don’t think you would be disappointed. 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out SchoolRunBeauty.com.

What do people really think about grey hair? 

In recent months it’s has become much more noticeable that I’m getting the odd grey hair. At 35 this was bound to happen sooner or later. 

Worried about this ageing me, I’ve been pondering what do do with my greys. Ignore it, pull them out or reach for the hair dye. 

I decided to do a little bit of research as I was curious to see what people really felt about grey hair. Particularly as 2016 saw granny hair being a big trend. For the record, I didn’t get the ‘grey hair trend’.

One 24hr twitter poll later I had a slightly better understanding. 

Almost 3/4 of the people who responded to the poll agreed that they weren’t actually that bothered about going grey as it happens to us all. That’s kind of good to know, I’m not suddenly past it! 
Interestingly though 100% of people agreed that society is more acceptable of men having grey hair. 


From a personal perspective I sit very much on the fence with my feelings about my hair turning grey. 

My hair is currently its natural colour. I grew out any colourant that was present and then had the remnants cut off. 

I would describe my hair as mid brown, it is actually a lot lighter than I remember after it being dyed a darker brown for so many years. In the past year I have had my first noticeable greys. They actually sit under my parting so are only really noticeable if I pull my hair back. 

The texture of these are different though and feel much coarser. 

I can deal with this for now but am unsure how to proceed with my hair when it becomes more noticeable. To be quite frank I can be very lazy when it comes to my hair. One of the main reasons I stopped colouring it in the first place was that I found it such a chore keeping on top of the roots. 

I also think very white or silvery looking hair can look quite stunning on the right person. 

When it came to peoples response to grey hair, using hair dye was the most popular response. Though I was actually surprised that leaving greys alone was a very close second. 


I’m not rushing out to dye my hair anytime soon. I also get enough fall out all ready that I’m not going to voluntarily pull out any extras.   For now I’m in the ‘leave it alone’ camp and am comfortable with that. If these results are accurate people aren’t actually that bothered by the odd grey hair anyway. 

Do you agree with this poll? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. 

Anne Semonin Express Radiance Eye Cubes | Product Review 

Today I have for you a product review. I’ve been having a play around with the Anne Semonin express radiance eye cubes. Some might say that this product is an expensive gimmick, I however quite like them. 


My misspent youth saw me have one too many late nights and regularly falling asleep drunk with my eye make up on? Yep I was a bit of a bad girl! 

Meanwhile my partner in crime bestie, no matter how drunk she was, would always remove her makeup. She has always had better skin than me. Hmmm….I wonder why that is? 

Eventually her good example did rub off on me. That and being freaked out by a story once told to me by a makeup artist.  Apparently every time you go to bed with your makeup on it ages you by 10 days. Bugger! 

Yes so I’m a changed women and and religiously remove my makeup of an evening, followed by a good cleanse and moisturise. 

Here’s the thing though…. very occasionally I revert back to that bad girl of my youth. Usually this is when I may have had one to many and had to put to bed by the husband. Yes the poor man has seen me in a few states. Trouble is now in my mid thirties that bad behaviour will show on my face the next morning. I end up looking a swollen puffy hot mess! Thank good for these stashed in my freezer then. 

Here is what the brand has to say about them; 

Anne Semonin’s Express Radiance Eye Cubes are perfect for soothing stressed, irritated eyes whilst firming and nourishing the delicate eye area.
These little ice cubes are made using  Marine Spring Water & Hyaluronic Acid to help provide hydration & condition the delicate eye area.  Ginkgo Biloba helps stimulate micro-circulation and Gourd Extract alleviates inflammation and puffiness. Bioflavonoids dramatically improve the appearance of dreaded dark circles so eyes instantly appear brighter, tighter & well rested.

I keep my ice cubes stored in the freezer so that the are good to go when I need one. Each cube is  in individually sealed in a capsule to keep them hygienic. Once removed from the capsule you pop it into the little bag provided and press this under each eye till it has melted. Im guessing the bag is to protect yourself from accidentally giving yourself an ice burn. 

This does feel very refreshing, especially if your eyes are feeling sore and tired. 

Now I’m not going to lie. At £45 for 6 that is an expensive price to pay for being naughty. These are for emergency use only! 

Expense aside, If you look at my before and after pictures these do work wonders. Yes I got away with my bad behaviour on this occasion didn’t I! 


As these are so expensive I am going to have a little experiment to see if I can make my own. If I’m successful I will share a little DIY 

Have you any tips for getting rid of puffy bags? 

Do share in the comment section. 

The July Libbie Club Deals 

It’s that time again, a new box of goodies has arrived from Libbie Club. 

This month included some really great body care products and if I’m honest a not so great make-up product. Alas You can’t win them all!


The products included were;

Cowshed wild cow invigorating body lotion £20 

Bean Body coffee bean scrub coconut £14.95

CID I-smoulder smokey eye pencil & shadow £16.65 rrp £18.50 

Each month Libbie club send out a box of products to its members to test at home and review on their website. What’s the catch you ask?

It’s quite simple really, I have to share the Libbie club offers on my social media accounts and if anyone makes a purchase through my Libbie Page I am then sent the next months box. 

I’ve discovered some firm favourites through Libbie club so frequently make repurchases through my page. This also counts as a sale towards next month box  so I don’t feel I have to be annoying and push loads of sales on people. 

Libbie clubs current deals include: 

£5 off £20 spend on bodycare using code BATH5

FREE BeeGood cleanser (my current go to evening cleanser FYI) with any purchase. 

There are loads of different products and offers available through my Libbie Page not just the products shown here, so it’s worth checking out. You can also see how I have rated the products.
If you wanted to join Libbie club there is a one off joining fee of £34.99. There is currently a £5 off joining fee code available at the moment. 

It is TWIT5. 

The Festival Beauty Survival Kit 

I love love love a summer music festival, I just don’t get the opportunity to go as often as I’d like. Crazy I know especially when I live in the same town that plays host to one of the countries biggest music festivals.

Still I’ve been to enough festivals and concerts over the years (V 2000 was my first) to have developed my own little beauty survival kit.

I’m talking stripped bare, only essentials allowed, nobody’s got time for carting round a huge bag. I thought given that festival season is upon us again it would be fun to share what beauty products make the cut.


Make-up I keep very basic, for various reasons.

  1. It usually rains so I don’t see the point of risking looking like a panda.
  2. Access to mirrors is limited anyway.
  3. I don’t want to risk loosing anything expensive or hard to replace.


Dead Sea Spa Magik BB cream £13.50 Holland & Barrett

This doubles as a moisturiser and provides a good level of complexion evening coverage. It also has an SPF which is essential when you know you are going to be spending all day in the sun.

Saturated Colour Multi Tasker Pencil Gingerbread – £3.50

This is such a handy little pencil. It can be used as an eyeliner, lip liner and as I’m a brunette used sparingly it works well as a brow pencil. If the shade gingerbread is to warm for you they do a lighter taupe shade called cookie dough.

Various Natural Collection products – All £1.99

The WaterGuard Mascara is very buidable and most importantly stays put. We’ve got any sudden rain showers covered, no panda eyes for me.!

The tinted lip balms are super moisturising, conveniently packaging to use straight from the tube and provide a hint of colour without the need for a mirror.

Lastly if my make-up is this minimal then I want to balance it out with some super bright nail polish. This shade of Hibiscus ticks that box and wears really well.

I got three days out of this mani before It started chipping.

The next couple of items are a convienient way of meeting those hygiene needs when your faced with a 2hr queue for a shower and stinky portaloos.

Im not a fan of face wipes. When it comes to festivals though I’m the first in line to be nabbing some. Those Face wipes are not just for your face either, nope in times of need you now have a wet flannel for those underarms, make-up remover and toilet roll. Ta dah!

A mini can of Batiste dry shampoo not only instantly freshening up your hair but Is also a great way of adding volume to it. Batiste comes in a range of pretty scents as well so is another way of combatting that dirty festival pong.

Talking of bad smells I like to keep a can of So..? Sexy in my bag. Priced from just £0.98 when on offer (which it frequently is in superdrug) this is a great inexpensive fragrance as an alternative to running the risk of losing your favourite perfume. It also doubles as an air freshener should you find yourself faced with a very stinky loo.

Last but not least don’t set foot inside a festival without some antibacterial handgel. I don’t need to explain this one!!

Is there anything you think I’m missing from my festival beauty survival kit? Let me know in the comments section.

*Post contains or samples.

Facemask Friday with Heaven Skincare Silver Bee Venom mask

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a Facemask Friday post. The reason for this will be made clear shortly. 

Way back in august I attended the #bigbloggersconference, organised by London meet-ups. If you fancy reading about that then I posted about it here. Whilst attending the brand exhibit as part of this event  I was very fortunate to be gifted the Silver Bee Venom mask £55 for 30ml alongside some other heaven skincare items by the lovely Deborah Mitchell, founder of Heaven Skincare

Considering the price tag attached to this Facemask I wanted to ensure I gave this a substantial testing period before I wrote a review about it. I know I’d be rather miffed if I read a review that wasn’t accurate just because the product was ‘gifted’ and the article rushed to publishing. 

Two months down the line I have had enough use of the facemask to form an opinion about the product and feel happy to share my honest opinion with my readers. 

First up let me tell you a little bit more about the Silver Bee Venom Facemask

 
The mask contains ABEETOXIN (bee venom) that works naturally to help control facial muscles providing a lifting, tightening and firming effect whilst actively reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

This claims to provide a natural and safe alternative to Botox Injections (sourced from toxic botulism). 

So what did I think about the facemask? 

From a packaging point of view it is stunning. The packaging is truely luxurious, it reminds me of a pearl encased in an icecube. It very is reassuringly weighty to hold in your hand. 

The mask itself is very rich and creamy and has a light floral scent. When worn on the skin it has a slight tingle though this is not uncomfortable in any way. 

You can actually use the mask daily as a moisturiser in the evening should you wish. I however have opted to use the more traditional mask method wearing it for about 15 minutes once a week before rinsing off. 

Now down to the nitty gritty. Does it work? 

I have definately noticed a marked improvement to the appearance of my forehead. I usually have a visible vertical crease between my brows from squinting (I really should stop being vain and wear my glasses more). This is no longer visible, as long as I continue to use the mask. 

When I skipped a week through laziness the effects had worn off and that tell take line started to reappear. 

This isn’t a permant fix then, but with prolonged use of the facemask you will continue to see it’s effects. 

Is it worth the money? 

It pains me to say this, as I don’t like pushing pricey products on people but I do actually think this is worth the £55 price tag. When you consider how much Botox injections are and that you will get a good 5/6 uses out of the mask (used how I have) then yes it’s worth it. 

Put it this way I’m going to have to start saving my pocket money to replace this when it runs out as I will miss it. 

Have you tried this face mask before, what was your experience? 

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Makeup Revolution Newt-rals vs Neutrals Palette 

Now that autumn is well and truely upon us I’m feeling the need to switch up my makeup.

The changing colours of autumn from summer tones to deeper rich berries gold and burnt oranges filter into my makeup choices.

The recently released New-trails vs Neutrals eyeshadow palette £6.99 from Makeup Revolution has nailed Autumn.

It contains a beautiful selection of burnt orange and berry tones in a selection of 16 matte and shimmer shades. All of which have a buttery texture that blend well and are easy to work with. Bonus marks also go to Makeup revolution for including a pretty decent double ended eyeshadow brush.

 

In order as they appear inside palette

 

I don’t think my swatches actually do the the pigmentation of the palette justice. These were actually swatched very lightly but still show the shades off beautifully.

For me the palettes strength lies in it’s versitilty. You could use this all through out autumn and winter and create a multitude of different looks from natural to high impact without having to reach for anything else, unless you fancy some green that is.

I have included some pictures of some of the different ways I have used this palette.

 

For me my relationship with this palette has been love at first use. It has made it’s way to my upcoming holiday packing list as I know I won’t be need anything else with me.

Priced at £6.99 it really is great value for money. If you we’re to purchase just make-up item this Autumn I highly recommend it be this, you won’t be left disappointed.

Thanks for stopping by Schoolrunbeauty.com, don’t forget you can follow me on bloglovin to keep up to date with my latest posts.

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Lush’s Halloween & Christmas Launch Evening

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Halloween and Christmas blogger event at my local lush store. The Lush Christmas launch has to be my favourite time of year at Lush. The products are so exciting, even returning old favourites have had little tweaks to them. Expect lots of colour, glitter and even products with sounds elements. Yes you can have a bath inspired by the sound of a crackling fire!

As ever the team at Lush were super knowledgeable about every single product launched, no crib sheets either! There enthusiasm and passion for Lush products is clearly evident.

So let’s have a peek at some of those goodies.

My top Bubble bar picks include Holly Golightly, Peeping Santa and Five Gold Rings. 

Holly Golightly Bubble Bar

 

This is a fairly grown up sent. Containing Patchouli, Lime, Cinnamon Leaf and orange oil this really does smell of Chrismas. Expect a gorgously intense green bath with some added sparkle.

Peeping Santa Bubble Bar

Do you like the scent of strawberries? This little cutie packs a punch and is super nourishing thanks to the layer of Shea butter.  Can we just take a moment to appriciate how amazing the colour it will turn the bath water.


Five Gold Rings is Inspired by the classic christmas carol 12 days of christmas. I love the idea of this bubble bar as you can actually get 5 baths out of one product if you use one ring per bath.

This is a visually pleasing product with a lovely light vanilla and tonka fragrance. 
Next up my top bath bomb picks are;  Cinders, Father Christmas and Lord of Misrule.

Cinders Bath Bomb

Remember I eluded to a a crackling fireside inspired bath? Well this bath bomb may be small but it don’t let that dissolution you.

Expect a visually spectacular orange coloured bath that actually smokes and crackles. Oh and it has a pretty fab hot fruit punch scent as well.

Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb

This bath bomb is just beautiful, check this little demo out below. Fans or Lord of Misrule show gel will love this one.


I had this bath bomb as a christmas gift from my son last year. It has a lovely sweet but not too sweet scent and provided a gorgous coloured bath. I won’t ruin this one for you as it’s not what you expect.

Father Christmas Bath Bomb

My Top picks from the rest include Sants’s Belly shower jelly, Snakes & Ladders fun, Old Father Time soap and the daddy of Chrismas selection boxes 12 Days of Christmas which includes a selection of 12 of the christmas limited edition products.

Santa’s Belly Shower Jelly

Love apple scents and red wine? This one is for you. Oh and how cute are those stars.

Snakes & Ladders Fun

Lovers of play dough will love this. it doubles up as soap and shampoo and not to mention some modelling fun. We have has snowman fun in the past and the black section made a big mess so I would definately opt for this one over that.

Old Father Time Soap

I love both of these soaps and would love to have the whole round. It’s not just a bit of soap they’re a work of art. They both smell fab aswell.

 

12 days of christmas

I would love to own this bit I couldn’t warrant spending £49.95 on it myself, but if you can and know a Lush fan this would make an amazing gift

This is just a small selection of the christmas products recently launched at Lush. To feature them all on the blog would probably bore you to death so if you want to see more then pop in to you local Lush store if you get the chance.

I was lucky to receive a couple of products to take home which I will feature in review posts over thecoming  weeks so keep you eyes peeled for those.

Fow now I owe a huge thanks to the team at Lush for having me.

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Payday shopping trip Part 2 – Latest Poundshop beauty finds

Hi Guys, 

I’m back with part two of my shopping trip. This time I want to share with the the great beauty bargains currently to be had in my local poundshop. I find it’s always worth having a quick nose just in case they have something fab on other.  

 Like thrifting though, sometimes there is nothing to be had, other times there are some amazing finds. Fortunately this trip resulted in the later. 

So what did I get?

Montagne Jeunesse facemask twin pack. I love this particular brand of facemask, and would happily pay full price. 2 for £1 feels like a bit of a steal. 

  
The ones include here are, Prickly Pear Peel off and Apricot Scrub. 

Be prepared for weird Instagram selfies in the future, I can’t help sharing with the world how daft I look wearing different face masks (cringe).

Bourjois Lady in Black Lashes

  
These are such pretty little corner lashes, I’m praying to the eyelash gods that I don’t mess these ones up. Still they are so cheap and I wouldn’t be too upset if I did. 

If the little gems aren’t you thing, there were some other cool lashes to pick from, they even had the paperself collaboration ones. 

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Nail Polish – Misty Jade

I seem to have a bit of a thing for green nails at the moment. Maybe because I’m on the hunt for the ultimate pastel green shade? 

  I have high hops for this one, ans shall be busting it out for a road test later today. 

Radox Muscle Soak I have been in the look out for some bath salts to give a little whirl for a while. I didn’t want to spend loads of money though.  

 These muscle soak ones from Radox seem ideal at the moment as I’m spending a lot of time in the gym. The thought of a nice hot steaming herbal bath almost makes it worth while going to the gym just so I can use these. 

Lastly we have a hair mask from Herbal Esscence. I have tried the Bee Strong variety in the past, which was lovely. So I’m excited to give this Smooth & Soft one a try.  

 

I’ve only given it a sniff so far, but the mandarin scent smells yum. 

So, that’s my latest poundshop beauty finds, I think there are some pretty great bargains to be had at the moment. This all can to £5’s. They do seem to be lacking in makeup bargains at the moment, but definitely make up for it in the bath and body section. 

Have you tried any of these products before? What did you think? 

Rave review – Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze

Now I may live in Towie land, but I am not a girl that has embraced fake tanning.

Lets just say early experiences were not good.  Spray tans have resulted in me looking like an Oompa Loompa, despite asking for a natural glow. Whilst DIY application left me with streaky bits or orange hands.

Yes not good, so I consequently I have given any form of tanning a wide berth, embracing my pale natural self.

Check out these pasty pins from my before pictures.

IMG_4192

This was untill I tried Cocoa Brown’s Gentle Bronze, £5.99. A moisturising lotion that with continued use develops into a beautiful natural looking tan.

cocoa brown gentle bronze  I have to thank Scarlett, from Scarlettlondon.com, for introducing me to this awesome product. This was included in a goody bag at the last blogger bash she hosted. I’m not going to lie, I looked at it and imediately thought ‘not for me’. She assured me how good it was though and that she used it herself.

I didn’t actually try it straight away, it took a positive review and photographic evidence, from Chloe at BranzenRouge to convince me to try it. I’m so glad that I did, because I love it. So much so that I’m nearly out, and need to pick up another tube.

This is so easy to use, builds to a very natural looking healthy glow, and doesn’t have that nasty fake tan smell.

IMG_4475

I use a tanning mitt for application, as I just find it helps to keep my hands clean and improve overall finish of application.

IMG_4472 You can also use the gentle bronze on your face as it is oil free and non comedogenic. In laymans terms, it won’t cause break outs. Result!

The only negative I can think of is that I gone through the bottle rather quickly. I recon I would need to purchase this 1-2 times a month to maintain my tan. not such a biggie though as it is only £5.99 a bottle.

I am definately going to be repurchasing this on payday.

Have you tried anything from Cocoa Brown before? I’d love to here your thoughts below.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂