August Favourites / Market Research

favourite beauty products august

The August Favourites are in – but I have a burning question before you start devouring the various little beauty morsels I’ve prepared. It concerns video “thumbnails” (those little pictures that appear along with the title so that you know vaguely what you’re about to watch) and – more specifically – the types of thumbnail that grab your attention.

Now I’ve always assumed that people like to see me, preferably wearing a smarmy grin and grasping a product in my hand like a QVC presenter, but recently my confidence in this has wavered. Wouldn’t a still life photograph be more chic, more representative of the content people are about to see? I think to myself. Would a beautiful close-up picture of a Chanel lipstick be more enticing than yet another photo of my face, hair scraped back, skin looking moon-like against a dark grey background?

august favourites

Tell me, my ever-brilliant sounding board: which of the pictures on this page would make you more likely to click through and watch a video on “favourite products”? A photo of the products (top) or a photo of my face (above)? I’ve added a little voting app on the page, to make things easier:

Which thumbnail image would most convince you to click on today’s video?

And now that I’ve rinsed you for some valuable information and insight, it’s time for the August Favourites. Settle in and get ready to take a bit of a fancy to a new eye cream I’ve discovered…

 Chanel Longwear Nail Polish:

Colab Dry Shampoo at ASOS:

Sisley Eye Mask:

First Aid Beauty AM Eye Gel Cream:

Pai Rosehip Oil:

James Read H2O Mist:

Boots No7 Essentially Natural Foundation:

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5:

Lancome Teint Idole Cushion:

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© 2016 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be very clearly marked. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. Outward links to retailers will usually be affiliate links. Please see here for full “about” section and disclaimer.  A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.

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YSL La Laque Vault

YSL Vault

YSL Vault

Just supposing you have a cool £405 handy, YSL have pulled out the stops again with this year’s Vault. Inside, you’ll find 24 shades of YSL La Laque in what’s almost a life time supply box!

YSL Vault Contents

YSL Vault Contents

The YSL La Laque Vault has everything covered – everything! Even though I’m on a one-woman mission to reduce the amount of nail polish (smaller bottles please) I have (I mean, what happens to all the unused polish in the world – there must be a sea of it) to say that if I had this I’d be all kinds of glad.

It’s one of those crazy luxury buys that’s out of reach for most but oh, such a pleasure to look at! The YSL La Laque Vault is HERE.

The post YSL La Laque Vault appeared first on British Beauty Blogger.

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Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer Review

oil free face cream moisturiser review

Well this is an unusual one: a moisturiser that feels velvety to the touch but seems to melt into fresh-feeling perfection the moment it hits the skin. And then, despite this gorgeous fresh feel, manages to keep oiliness in check as well as hydrate. What is this marvel of a formulation? It’s Clinique’s Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer!

The Pep-Start HydroBlur almost didn’t make it onto my face, because for some reason I assumed that it was solely a mattifying product. Perhaps because it’s oil-free, or maybe because I spotted the word “matte” in the PR blurb, I don’t know. Luckily I’m a faffer and a potterer and I like to stick my fingers into jars and squeeze product out of tubes even if I know that the product’s unsuitable for my current skin conditions, because actually Pep-Start HydroBlur turned out to be quite the hydrating wonder cream. I mean it’s not rich – it wouldn’t sort out overly parched skin or the sort of dryness that makes you want to rub your face with a pack of lard – but it’s an excellent lightweight troubleshooter if you’re dehydrated.

oil free face cream moisturiser review

It’s a bit of a double whammy effort, too: great on the oil-less moisturisation front, but with a secret weapon in the form of the “blur” part. Now look, these blurring products – there’s only so much they can do. I mean, they’re clever and everything, and they do create a sort of soft-focus veil over the skin, but if you’ve blemishes then they’ll still be visible, so will redness and so will deep wrinkles. What they can do (and what HydroBlur seems to do very proficiently) is skim over fine lines a bit so that the skin just looks fresher and less knackered. The blurry part coupled with the excellent hydration part is a winning combo when it comes to plumping out and semi-disguising those crepey little creases. This makes Pep-Start a great day cream if you have oily or combination skin and want to look fresh-faced and moisturised rather than clogged-up and greasy; it’s also good if you just have “normal” skin, no oiliness, but want a light sorbet style moisturiser that will sit well beneath makeup.

Pep-Start HydroBlur actually works very well as a primer, if you like to keep your skincare and makeup steps minimal and fuss-free. It’s suggested that the product can be used throughout the day for “touch-ups” over makeup, but personally I think that this type of thing can be a bit of a disaster zone. What possible benefit could you get from disturbing your makeup by slathering a cream on over the top, no matter how lightweight? I’ve tried it, it’s not for me. If you’re getting oily then use a good powder – the Hourglass Ambient Lighting ones are amazing for keeping glow but deadening down any oily shine – I just wouldn’t faff about with creams and things that need patting in.

oil free face cream moisturiser review

The final masterstroke when it comes to Clinique’s Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer is the price – £24. Very, very reasonable I feel, especially as the texture of the product is so beautiful and the semi-matte finish so pleasing. And that hydration! It’s really rather excellent. If you’re after something to keep your oiliness in check but don’t want to look and feel as though you’ve just spent eight days in the Sahara then it’s absolutely worth a try.

Caroline Hirons and the Pixi Double Cleanse

new pixi double cleanse skincare

I suspect there’ll be some sort of online meltdown on the 10th January because – brace yourselves – that’s the day that Caroline Hirons’ first ever skincare product will go on sale. If you are an avid Hirons follower (to be honest, I don’t know of any other type – once you get started on her beauty blog you’re likely never to leave) then this news will no doubt make your heart beat that bit faster. Caroline’s sharp eye for great skincare formulations and her experience in the industry mean that whatever products she decides to create will be the stuff of beauty dreams.

new pixi double cleanse skincare

And the first, in collaboration with the increasingly popular (and really quite excellent) brand Pixi, is a stroke of genius: the Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse. Two cleansers, one pot, easy and fast-but-very-thorough cleansing with minimal fuss. If you’re reading the phrase Double Cleanse and thinking huh? then let me explain, because it’s probably something you do anyway without really putting a name to it. It is, quite simply, cleansing once (to remove makeup and break down dirt and so on) and then, after removing your cleanser with a flannel or what have you, cleansing again. (Albeit with a different cleanser, if we’re being strict about things, but I’m trying to keep things basic here!) Two cleanses. Double Cleanse.

If you don’t already do this, then humour me and do a little experiment; remove your foundation and what have you with a white flannel and one lot of cleanser. Balm, gel wash, cream cleanser, whatever you usually use. Now rinse the flannel clean and go back in for another cleanse. I can almost guarantee that there will still be crap coming off and that the second cleanse will finish things off nicely.

new pixi double cleanse skincare

But Caroline’s new Double Cleanse is more than just “cleansing twice” – there are two different formulations in one pot, created in this way because they have slightly different functions. One for makeup-melting, the other for a more sumptuous and nourishing cleansing experience. I managed to hunt Caroline down (she was dealing with a migraine, a broken boiler and two kids off sick but still picked up the phone!) to answer some Double Cleanse questions… Continue reading

Ballerina Beauty: Lighter Legs and Firmer Skin

royal ballet beauty

Oh, what a beautiful collaboration this is! I already adore l’Occitane’s Amande range with its perfect green and white packaging and its warm, comforting scents, but throw a bit of ballet into the mix and you have something quite gorgeous. l’Occitane have teamed up with The Royal Ballet to produce an exclusive drawstring bag that’s filled with three ballet dancer beauty essentials; the firming and sculpting Tonic Body Oil, a tube of Lighter Legs and the Smooth Hands hand cream.

L'Occitane Almond Beauty Pouch for the Royal Ballet

The Tonic Body Oil is an interesting one; it’s light enough that you can spritz it on from the glass bottle, but it still manages to behave like a far richer oil once it’s on the skin. You can really get quite a good massage going with it, which helps when you’re trying to improve the skin tone on areas like your thighs and hips and tummy. I never feel that there’s much point just slathering stuff on – you need to have a bit of a pummel to get the old circulation going! Anyway, I like that this oil is spray-on – very convenient – and I also like the heavy bottle, which feels luxe and expensive.

almond range

The Lighter Legs is another surprise; I always underestimate these leg cooler things that come out every summer, dismissing them as gimmicky. This one is supposed to relieve the feeling of tired legs and feet when you massage it in; it’s a light gel-cream that has a zingy, slightly tingly aspect to it that instantly cools your skin and makes your legs feel less heavy. Lighter Legs is an apt name, I think, it does work very well.

The last tube in the set is the hand cream, Smooth Hands. It’s lighter than l’Occitane’s classic hand cream, without any trace of greasiness at all, so ideal for use throughout the day. All of these bits and pieces would cost over £70 bought separately, but the Royal Ballet set, with its be-ribboned bag (that could make quite a nice shoe bag for your special ballet pumps?) costs £49. A nice gift for someone special, if you can bear to give it away, but also a good saving on the individual products if you’re a regular stocker-upper of the Almond range. Note that these body products don’t have quite the same scent as the original Almond Milk Concentrate, one of my absolute favourite beauty products of all time – the scents are lighter and fresher. But the Tonic Body Oil layered beneath the Milk Concentrate is just dreamy!

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for the ballet; it’s a magical, beautiful world that is so far removed from the reality of my daily life that I just find it fascinating. I only did ballet until I was about ten because I was useless at it, apparently – quite clumsy and gracelesssaid Miss Latham. I think. Don’t quote me on that. Anyway, I shall be imagining myself as a prima ballerina when I apply my Lighter Legs and my Body Tonic; hopefully the towel rail in the bathroom will survive my clomp-footed attempts at “pliés” and not fall off the wall. Again.

The Royal Ballet pouch is available online here.

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