Just Charlie G
EcoTools  Review

EcoTools, a brand I’ve heard plenty about not quite got round to trying, only because I’ve not been in need of any new brushes…or so I thought, turns out I was wrong. EVERYONE needs the Deluxe Concealer in their kit and the Sheer Finish Kabuki is pretty amazing too.

EcoTools  Review

Let me start by telling you why you NEED the concealer brush. As a regular sufferer of spots I’ve always applied concealer with a brush but found that if I then brush over it, it just wipes the concealer away. So I’ve always applied my concealer directly to the blemish with a brush and then blended, or patted the product in. I just thought was how it was supposed to be. It was an very efficient method and and so that’s how it was. Until now! With the EcoTools Deluxe concealer brush I can apply the concealer to the blemish and then softly blend it. The product isn’t immediately lifted away, it just blends seamlessly into the rest of the make up. No more messy unhygenic fingers (I always apply make up after washing my face so my fingers are clean, but you get my meaning!) and a flawless application. That and  the  £4.95 price tag make this brush an absolute must for anyone.

I have also been giving the Bamboo Finishing Kabuki Brush a little go too and whilst this isn’t a must have for everyone, I now use this daily and I highly recommend if you like a very light dusting of powder/blusher/bronzer.  I have drastically cut down on the amount of finishing powder I use, preferring only to add the merest touch to my nose, forehead and chin and this picks up just the right amount of powder (very little) so that my face isn’t obliterated of all natural glow and shine. Perfection. This one is super soft and both of the brushes have lovely light bamboo handles! Highly recommended.

I will definitely be getting the Buffing brush because my existing one (from ELF) is on it’s last legs and buffing is my favourite way to apply foundation.

Anyway, love these very much, and my recommended retailer is www.cocktailcosmetics.co.uk but they are also available in your local Boots!

*PR Samples*

If you’ve got a couple of beauty lovers left to buy for, I might have just the things for you. I was going to do two separate posts for these but since we’re now getting so close to Christmas I thought I’d better hurry things along and do them both in the one post.

Firstly we have this amazing brush kit. The Dream Team from bareMinerals. £39

The Dream Team from bareMinerals

Before I go on too much about this I should tell you I can’t find this in stock anywhere online but I think it’s well worth checking a bareMinerals counter near you as this is a brush kit well worth having.

The Dream Team from bareMinerals

The Dream Team from bareMinerals
I took mine away with me to a Christmas party and overnight stay at the week and the brushes were fabulous. Actually, despite not using much in the way of bareMinerals make up, I have quite a few brushes in my collection, all of which I use a lot, they are great quality. This kit contains two eye shadow brushes, a face or foundation brush, a blusher brush and an eye shadow brush, all perform exceptionally well. If you can find it, grab it (for yourself!).

The second gift I want to show you is The Best of  L’Occitane Collection.

The Best of  L'Occitane Collection

The Best of  L'Occitane Collection
Not only is this beautiful to look at but it’s full of beautiful products. And not just that it’s currently got a whopping £33 pounds off taking it from a hefty £93 to a much more affordable £60. It contains 250ml Almond Shower Oil, 250ml Cherry Blossom Shower Gel, 100ml Almond Milk Concentrate, 100ml Lavender Foaming Bath, 75ml Shea Butter Hand Cream, 30ml Shea Butter Foot Cream and 20ml Verbena Eau de Toilette. The contents are worth £84.50 so this is currently a great deal. You are essentially getting a couple of products free. Brilliant. You can get it here and you don’t even have to gift wrap it!

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

I feel very fortunate to have been able to try this out. At long last here is the new Liz Earle Signature Foundation (£21) and the foundation brush (£18).

Liz Earle Signature Foundation

 

Liz Earle Signature Foundation

The Signature Foundation is available in nine shades which cover most skin tones but I doubt if all are covered, but still, it’s not a bad colour range. It’s a beautiful texture which should give an smooth and radiant finish, without shine and it’s also buildable, something that’s quite important to me since my skin changes so much so often! One day I want a lighter coverage, the next I’ve broken out and need a heavier coverage. This does do a pretty good job on both counts.

I was sent shade 2, Ivory. It’s nearly perfect. Not quite, it’s a little too yellowy for my skintone but its not too much of a problem.

Liz Earle Signature Foundation

On my skin it looks absolutely lovely on application, very natural, and I find myself reaching for it quite often…

Liz Earle Signature Foundation

But I find it doesn’t wear too well on me over the course of the day. I find it goes quite patchy and because the colour isn’t quite right I feel the patches are fairly obvious. If you enlarge the next picture to actual size I think you’ll see what I mean, my forehead is patchy, my cheeks are patchy, my top lip is patchy…

Liz Earle Signature Foundation

Such a shame. I think the foundation really looks good on my skin and it feels beautiful. I’m fairly sure this is just my tricky skin making my life difficult as usual as I’ve read great reviews on it. I like it and I want to love it, but I think it’s just not right for me sadly.

I must just say a couple of things… I love this swatch chart with all of Liz Earle’s colour cosmetics on it…

..but don’t use it to actually try and guess what colour you actually are… as you see, shade 2 on my hand bears no resemblance to the colour chart. That said the descriptions on the Liz Earle site are actually good and pretty useful so instead of looking at the pictures, read the colour descriptions.

Liz Earle Signature Foundation

Anyway, this isn’t for me sadly, it just doesn’t last well enough and the bottle I have isn’t quite the right shade. But I have no doubt that this will be holy grail stuff for a lot of people.

As for the foundation brush, the traditional foundation brush shape isn’t my preferred method of application, I prefer a flat top brush to buff in, but I have used this for review purposes and find it to be pretty good, with a range of my foundations actually. I still prefer a flat top to buff in, but this works very well, doesn’t leave me streaky, doesn’t seem to waste too much product either. Jolly good!

You can buy online at http://uk.lizearle.com as usual, or of course visit your nearest counter which I’d recommend when buying foundation.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Fancy some quality pink things that are not only excellent quality, but that when you purchase, a donation is given to Breast Cancer Awareness Research? Well then look no further. Japonesque are on the case with a range of lovely pink things for the month of October. For every item purchased £1 will be donated.

First the Pink Go Curl Pocket Eyelash Curler. £10 from HQ Hair.

Japonesque Pink Go Curl Pocket Eyelash Curler

Japonesque Pink Go Curl Pocket Eyelash Curler
I am not exaggerating to say you need this in your life. It is INSANELY good. My Shu eyelash curlers were rubbish compared to this little bit of kit. All you do is flip the lever on the back down and curl, and slotted into the bottom is a spare. I never used to curl my lashes as my lashes are fairly curly anyway, but now I get mega curl.

Next you can  get hold of the Touche-Up Tube Set. £16 from HQHair.com.

Japonesque Touch-Up Tube Set

Perfect little handbag kit containing a selection of brushes for on the go touch ups!

The final thing I have to show you is the Pink Manicure Kit. £20 from John Lewis (although I can’t see it there yet).

Japonesque Pink Manicure Kit

Pink Manicure Kit

Pink Manicure Kit

A serious bit of kit. Folds open and includes scissors, tweezers, a tool to file and push back cuticles, clippers and cuticle nippers. Looks super stylish and the tools are great quality. I have no stopped using my professional kit on myself, keeping that solely for clients, this is now my personal kit! Very good.

In addition there’s there’s the fab Pink Brow kit I’ve previously reviewed here and a Heated Mini Lash Curler. Fab stuff.

As ever, Japonesque products, be sure to purchase in October to make sure your donations are taken!

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Japonesque Safari Chic

I do love a good brush and I’m a big fan of Japonesque tools in particular. I use my travel brushes every single day without fail and they perform exceedingly well in addition to being great value for money.

I wasn’t sure they could be beaten really in that price range, but of course they could, by animal print brushes by Japonesque. They look absolutely amazing and of course perform just how you would expect Japonesque brushes to perform, most excellently.
Japonesque Safari Chic

Looking at the Safari Chic Bronzer Brush first.
Japonesque Safari Chic

Japonesque Safari Chic
It’s a thing of great beauty. It’s incredibly stroke-ably soft and perfect for all powder applications, not just bronzers, but also mineral foundation, blushers, face powder and so on. It picks up just the right amount of product and the synthetic bristles blend it perfectly.

Then the other item in the Safari Chic range is this little brush kit.
Japonesque Safari Chic

Japonesque Safari Chic

Japonesque Safari Chic

Okay, so what we have here in your handy little carry case is a powder brush, a shadow brush and a crease brush. Now they are all lovely brushes, as above, they are all super soft, they all blend perfectly and pick up just the right amount of product but the eye brushes are massive! I wonder if they are so large so they can incorporate the design or if there is another reason for them being so large, but that doesn’t really matter. The shadow brush lays down colour perfectly, but the crease brush is a little too large for my crease, it is however a dream of a brush for blending, it doesn’t lift colour away, it just seamlessly blends product so I’m happy.

Absolutely wonderful brushes. Both items are available from HQ Hair now and the Brush set is £28 and the Bronzer brush is £19.50. Well worth it if you’re looking for new tools.

Look out for a post coming soon about Japonesque’s Breast Cancer Awareness  promotion. Pink products for a great cause.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in POP

I’m so lucky! I recently won the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in POP and the Waterbrush from  the lovely Lou’s blog giveaway. A fantastic blog and if you haven’t already, you should really check it out.

I was super excited about this for two reasons, one because it’s always fab to win something and two, because I’ve been wanting to try one of Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Blush’s for ages now!

POP is a limited edition shade created to raise awareness and funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, so a very worthy cause indeed.

A beautiful pink shade with a silver sparkle.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in POP

The colour is buildable but you only need a very small amount. What you see above is enough for just over one cheek. It’s very easy to overdo as well.

I have to say that using this and the brush has taken quite a lot of practice for me to get right! I’ve put too much on, far too little, blended it out too far, not blended enough… but I’ve got it just about right now I think. Personally, I’ve found the blusher easier to apply with my finger tips. The brush is fab but I love it with more creamy blushers, it works extremely well with Mac Cremeblend brushes. Lets not forget the brush was designed to work with the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush so I think you can safely say it’s just me that prefers to use fingers, I just find the watery texture easier to work with my fingers, whereas I love a brush to work with thicker textures.

It’s a gorgeous colour a really lovely shade but I feel that in real life it’s a bit more obvious than my pictures show, the last one gives the best representation of the colour. It’s gorgeous and the shimmer is subtle but gives life and glow to your skin.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in POP
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in POP

Gorgeous.

So a huge huge thank you to Lou and if you’d like to get the blusher and brush for yourself then you can find them over at www.escentual.com.

Japonesque Travel Flat Eyeliner Brush

When I did my post about Japonesque Travel Brushes, I didn’t have the Flat Travel Eyeliner Brush so I’m doing a quick post on this one now.

As with all the other brushes, this has now become my go to eye liner brush. I don’t find the short handles a problem for me and in fact although I know they are travel sized brushes, it doesn’t really register with me.

There really isn’t a huge amount I can say about this brush. It does a perfect job, the bristles are stiff enough for me to be able to “push” product right into my lashes which is perfect as often when I use a liquid or pencil liner I find there’s a slight gap between the lashes and the line I’ve drawn but I can use this brush to get really close and fill the gap.

Also brilliant for tucking up under your lower lashes and getting in there too. The line I get is perfectly smooth too, of course you can smudge it out but for me this is what I was looking for when it comes to lining with powder. Love it!

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

You may remember a short while ago I talked about the St Tropez Festival Gift Set. Although the offer is now finished, the products are still available individually I believe and I was able to review them.

St. Tropez Festival Set

So lets talk about the Gradual Tan, Every Day Perfect Legs first. This is a pump bottle containing two products. The first is a gradual tan product and the second is a wash off instant bronzer.

Now I am milk white. In fact, not so far removed from the colour of that white bottle in the picture. I also do not have good history with tanners gradual or otherwise. They are either too orange, too streaky, whatever, I’ve never found one that that works for me. This was my first experience of St. Tropez and I had high hopes as I view it as a premium tanning brand. I also, generally speaking, prefer a gradual tanner since if I cock it up its less obvious!I really like the idea of being able to top up with the wash off stuff too. So how was it? Well, it doesn’t smell repugnant, I detected only the faintest whiff and it wasn’t unpleasant. However, I might as well just cut to the chase and say from the off, for me it was a total fail. The colour is fabulous, but try as I might I simply couldn’t avoid streaks. I had patches on my feet, patches on my thighs, patches slap bang in the middle of my calf….you get the picture.

I am positive this isn’t the fault of the product, but a user error. Yes I exfoliated my legs to within an inch of their lives but it seems that tanning and I are simply not meant to be. I just can’t do it! I used this daily for two weeks. Thankfully, the weather was grim and I had no cause to get my legs out and show the world the patchy mess. I’m a bit gutted to be honest, I really thought this was going to be foolproof for me because I’m going bare legged to a wedding in October, but at this rate I’m going to be white. So incredibly white. I might just have to pay someone to do it for me…

Also included in the Festival Kit is a Bronzer and Brush.

St. Tropez Festival Set

This is gorgeous. It has a very subtle shimmer in it, but I notice on the St Tropez website there is also a matte version. The shimmer doesn’t bother me though, it’s barely there. This is a soft colour, and I find it buildable so you can add as much colour as you like. Be careful if you try it on your face…it’s easy to overdo. I really like this and have used it a lot since I got it. It is actually designed to enhance your tan, so after using the tanning products on your legs you can dust this over to maximise the effect. A very nice product.

While I’m talking about St Tropez, they have been very involved with London Fashion Week preparing skin for House of Holland, Louise Goldin and others and as such they’ve created a London Fashion Week Portal Here featuring pictures and details of products used to achieve looks, along with exclusive interviews with designers. A couple of areas are yet to be updated but it’s really nice to have a look around if that’s your thing, so please go and have a nosey!

So tell me guys, since I am a total tanning incompetant… how much is it to have it done for you these days?

Max Factor have recently released a range of accessories including make up brushes, tweezers, nail files, eyelash curlers, that kind of thing. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a selection of the products.

Max Factor AccessoriesMax Factor Accessories

First of all I love the design, the metal items are matt black and the brushes are super shiney and tactile. They all look very stylish.

Powder Brush £14
This is my favourite of all the items, big, soft. fluffy, picks up a decent amount of powders and distributes it lightly and evenly with no shedding.

Eyeshadow Brush £6
Neat little brush, perfect for putting a wash of colour over the whole lid, picks up a lot of product so you have to tap or blow off the excess. Again, no shedding, brilliant for the price!

Lip Brush £6
Love this, metal brush, does the job perfectly. I find lip brushes are the worst for shedding usually, there is nothing worse than brush hairs stuck in your lipstick, but that problem ususally rears its ugly head after a fairly long time, so watch this space!

Tweezers £8.50
Another stylish product, they do a good job of gripping and pulling out the hairs. I must confess I struggled a little short fine hairs, but then I always do.

Eyelash Curlers £8.50
Unfortunately the only product I simply couldn’t get on with at all. In short the curved bit you put your eyelashes in is too long for me. I don’t have small eyes or anything but the whole thing won’t fit in my eye socket, therefore I can barelyget it anywhere near the tips of my lashes and I have long lashes! If I do manage to wedge it in and clamp half my lashes, the other end pinches my skin as it closes. I can’t recommend this particular product at all unfortunately. Never had this problem with lash curlers before!

There are 6 more products in the range, brushes, nail clippers and a nail file. Overall, I’d say this range is kind to your purse and well worth checking out. It’s a basic range, there are only two different eyeshadow brushes, but if you are starting out a brush collection or just want to fill yours out, theses are definitely worth looking at. Except the lash curlers, unless you have very large eye sockets!

Please excuse the formatting of this post, I have NO clue what happened!

Not so long ago I was asked to try Sheer Cover Cosmetics and I readily agreed.

Sheer Cover make mineral cosmetics developed from Green Rooibos Tea and the range contains no oils, perfumes, dyes or talc and has an SPF of 15.

According to the information I received Sheer Cover is a 4- step system which allows your skin to radiate and gives you a natural luminosity, while providing excellent coverage.  Sheer Cover® goes beyond just covering up flaws, it’s designed to deflect light away from imperfections allowing you to  camouflage the look of dark circles, scars, sun damage, birthmarks, pores and fine lines. Sounds great!

I received the Introductory Kit containing lots of goodies which I will go through and review individually.The Kit retails at £29.99.

Sheer Cover CosmeticsSheer Cover Cosmetics

Firstly lets have a look at the Sheer Colour Compact.

Sheer Cover CosmeticsSheer Cover Cosmetics

This retails on it’s own for £7.95, two lipglosses, one lip colour, three highlighters and a cream eyeliner. The glosses are ok, nothing special but a pretty hint of colour, the lip colour isn’t for me at all, just the wrong shade. However, I do really like the highlighters, especially French Vanilla, very pretty on the brow bone. I also really like the liner. No transfer to my lids and great pigmentation. I don’t think they are worth buying the whole palette for though. the liner can be bought individually, full size for £14.95. A bit pricey, but still a nice product. Ignore the applicator included!

Next, the brushes! Highlighter brush, concealer brush and foundation brush. They look lovely, I love the clear plastic handles, very satisfying! The highlighter brush, is ok, I’ve been using it for precise highlighting and it’s ok. The concealer brush is pretty good, I use it every day, I have a different brush I use for under eye shadows but I use this one for covering blemishes and its more than adequate. The foundation brush is terrible though. It doesn’t do a good job of applying the foundation and it feels a bit horrible. I was staggered to learn it sells for £16.95. I use my kabuki to much better effect!

Next up the Extra Length Mascara. It’s not very good sadly, definitely one to avoid. It adds colour but no length or volume.

Sheer Cover Cosmetics

Next – the concealer! Excuse the big ding in it, I caught it with my finger nail 🙁

Sheer Cover Cosmetics

Love this, it’s a great colour match for me, covers blemishes with ease, blends well, works with the mineral foundation and I’ve used it every day since I got it, regardless of which foundation I’m wearing! In no way is it worth the £19.95 it costs though. Yes, you did read that right. It’s good but for that I expect diamond particles or something.

The cleanser and the moisturiser are ok but not great enough to draw me from my usual brands. I understand there is a primer too, I’d have been better off with that I think.

So lastly, the main draw, the foundation. You get two shades, in my case Bisque and Nude with the idea being you mix to get your perfect shade, If you choose to buy the products individually, you just get one shade and it costs £24.95 for 4g.

Sheer Cover Cosmetics

I found (once I switched to my own kabuki brush) that it applied easily. Coverage was excellent and it gives me a lovely glow.

Sheer Cover CosmeticsSheer Cover Cosmetics

(face also features Sheer Cover lipgloss and mascara). I really truly like this stuff, in particular, I love the glowy effect, or perhaps dewy is more correct.

Ok so to summarise, I think it’s all, bar the mascara and foundation brush, very nice. I really like the foundation and the concealer BUT it’s incredibly over priced if you buy the products individually, I wouldn’t recommend to anyone at those prices. Sorry Sheer Cover. I want to love it and recommend it but I simply can’t, it’s extortionate, even if the products are nice. Now at this point I will remind you that the introductory kit is £29.95 which I do think is bargainous but there’s a catch, in buying the kit, you are tied into a payment plan I don’t really understand so I can’t recommend that either. Shame.

Nice products, wrong prices.

When I was first contacted about Sheer Cover I was sent two kits with the wrong colour foundations for me which I farmed out for guest reviews. I’m still waiting for one but I’m delighted to share with you a review from Paula at Sweet Cheeks Beauty Blog

A few weeks ago i offered to review some Sheer Cover mineral foundation as i have wanted to try this for ages now so when i saw it on this lovely blog i jumped at the chance.

Sooo i got sent the foundation samples and the brush applicator which you use to mix the powders to your correct colour match and then you pour it into the bottom of the brush and pop it in your bag to take with you (Very Handy).
Sheer Cover CosmeticsSheer Cover Cosmetics
The colours i got where Buff and Latte, when i mixed these together they where the perfect match for when im not tanned im a MAC NC35!
Sheer Cover Cosmetics
So anyway this week i have been using the foundation and heres what i think:
Now first off i like to have a medium coverage and am always wearing liquid foundation which sometimes i feel too covered, so was super eager to try something that was going to be good for my skin for a change BUT Hmmmm i could not seem to get on with this foundation at all for an everyday usage :/ i felt like i had no coverage at all and that by the end of the day i looked in a way Rough lol
Dont get me wrong it felt super nice and soft on my skin and felt like my skin could breath which was a nice change, but for my job where im running up and down the stairs in the hotel it didn’t hold up at all 🙁
I was super gutted as i wanted this to be soooo good for me and for me to have found a new healthy foundation but there is just no way i could wear this everyday! 🙁 i just didn’t look right.
However…….. i did find that it was excellent for keeping in my bag and using it as a midday touch up for when i got the usual shiny patches when i used my usual liquid foundation and also to lightly set my foundation after applying.
It is a lovely finely milled powder which when applied is lovely and soft and would be perfect for those who are blessed enough to not need make up and can pull off that natural look, but for somebody who likes to feel covered – its just not for you 🙂
on the picture of the swatch on my hand you can see that the foundation does give a lovely luminous finish to it and does cover quite nicely just not enough for me.
I really feel bad for giving a not so good review of this product but i cant do a false review on something im not 100% liking or loving and feel that you lovelies who read this and are thinking of trying it out but like a decent coverage deserve to know before you buy it will not give you the coverage your after.
And like i mentioned this isn’t a totally dissing review i do LOVE it for a touch up midday as it just lifts my face and freshes my make up.
I kept it in my bag all week and have used it none stop when im at work, i have had no breakouts from it and will continue to use it until its all gone.

I would lastly like to say that this is just my opininon and you never know you may actually like it 🙂 xx