Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Make-Up Alphabet: To BB or to CC

 As you'll know by now, any beauty posts on this blog are part of my journey of make-up discovery. In 5 months I've gone from make-up Neanderthal to cosmetic addict, but there are still some products out there that throw me, and this post is about one product in particular.

For the last couple of years an alphabetical trend has emerged in the beauty world - I'm talking about BB/CC creams. 

These abbreviations have been thrown around with the assumption that we're supposed to know what they mean. I'm not one to buy products if it requires any guess work as to what it does. I'd only just come to understand that BB stands for Blemish Balm and was ready to give it a go when CC creams came and stomped all over my new-found knowledge, bringing with them a wave of confusion. So what's the bloomin' difference?! 

BB creams are Blemish Balms and from what I can gather are basically foundations with added skincare benefits such as SPF or anti-oxidants. Slap-bang in the middle of foundation and tinted moisturizers in terms of consistency and coverage, they're good if you want to 'ditch the cake' (sorry Georgia, stole your line.)

CC creams on the other hand are Colour Correctors. Using 'light-diffusing particles' CC Creams address skin issues like redness, dullness or blotchiness.

So coverage-wise there isn't much difference, but whether you use a BB or a CC all depends on what effect you want it to have on your skin.

To help me understand, Clinique were kind enough to send me their latest CC creams so I could figure out what all the fuss is about.

Despite the difference in packaging, both of these products are the Moisture Surge CC Cream. They just differ slightly in texture and SPF. Whilst the compacts are SPF 25, the bottle is SPF 30 . Also, the bottle is of a more fluid consistency, whilst the compacts are thick and moussy, and obviously this has an effect on the ability to build up coverage.

The bottle is available in 9 shades, whilst the compact is available in 6, which is a little bit of a nuisance if you find a shade you like with the bottle, but want a different consistency.

Personally, I prefer the bottle because of its lightweight, liquid texture. When using liquids of any sort, I prefer a dewy finish to a matte one, otherwise my skin can look quite dry. The coverage on both was excellent. My skin is quite patchy anyway due to a mixture of old acne scars, dry patches and recent Summer tanning, so having a product that evens that all out is brilliant.

Clinique sent me these before I went on holiday, and I was using the Light compact as it matched my skin best, however when I returned, my skin had knocked me up to a medium, so luckily I could test both shades. They are a perfect match and blend with my tan instead of changing it.

The bottle is £28, and the compacts are £30. Now if you're looking for full-on coverage, I wouldn't recommend these. But if moderate coverage as well as the added skincare benefits are what you're after, I can assure you that you're in good hands with Clinique. I've had these products for two and a half months now and am still not close to running out so they will last you a good while. They're also versatile in the way you can use them, whether it's underneath foundation or mixed with moisturiser, or even alone, they'll do the job.  

So, do you BB or CC, or are you sticking with the good ol' foundation? 


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

St Kitts' Herbery Luxury Skincare Range

Previously committing to bath and body products, St Kitts’ Herbery have ventured down the road of skincare with some amazing results. This entire range focuses on two main ingredients : Neroli and Frankincense.

Having worked briefly as a Christmas temp at Lush, I am now fascinated by ingredients such as these and their properties. However, when a product or a range contains so many, it can be hard to figure out if it’s going to give you exactly what you’re looking for so I love the simplicity of the ingredients in this range.

St Kitts’ have chosen two of the most beneficial ingredients for facial skincare. Neroli stimulates cell activity and growth, helps to treat broken veins and capillaries, and works as an antiseptic and antibacterial. Frankincense on the other hand encourages the renewal of skin cells and works as a non-irritant and non-sensitising.  So this is a collection that in one way or another will suit everyone.

The entire skincare range consists of these 13 products:
Face Wash | Cleanser | Toner | Lip Balm | Eye Gel | Nourishing Oil | Face Lotion | Face Cream | Spot Treatment | Exfoliating Mask | Face Scrub |Facial Massage Oil

I tried samples of the Face Wash, Toner, Face Cream and Nourishing Oil, all of which can be bought together in the St Kitts’ SkincareBag.

Before I go onto review the individual products I’ll say one thing about the samples I tried: The scents are strong.  

With so many products at the moment smelling artificially of desserts and overpowering imitations of fruit, a collection of products made of natural herbal ingredients can be a bit of a shock to the nose at first. But for me, if it’s beneficial for my skin, I’m really not fussed what it smells like. In fact, the lack of artificiality in these products alone is enough to make me realise how good they really are.

Facial Wash
Also containing Aloe Vera, this is a very soothing and refreshing facial wash. There are so many nowadays that are bright colours or contain fluorescent beads and have fancy names that are plucked out of thin air, so it’s nice to get back to basics with an understated facial wash that that is packed full of natural ingredients . It’s easy to use and makes for a lovely start to the day.

A gentle spritz of this over your face helps firm the skin and close pores after cleansing. Along with the facial wash, you’re left with a perfect base that’s ready for moisturising. Also contains Aloe Vera.

Face Cream
I love nothing more than a dense, thick face cream, and that’s exactly what this is. I found I really didn’t need a lot, so even though the bottle isn’t that big, it will last me for quite some time. This kept my face dewy and moisturised all day, and along with my foundation, gave me a fresh, glowing look.  Also contains Borage, Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Lavender, Ginseng, Comfrey.

Nourishing Oil
Just a tiny little bit of this on top of the face cream in the morning helps lock in the moisture, so that you don’t need to worry about your skin going dry during the rest of the day. It helps to retain elasticity and fights wrinkles, so therefore it’s suitable for dry or ageing skin types. Also contains Sweet Almond, Avocado, Carrot, Lavender, Rosemary.

I’ve tried a lot of facial skincare in the time I’ve been doing product reviews, and this collection is the only one that has moisturised my skin thoroughly and lasted from morning till night.