The Deep Sleep Super Double-Barrelled Mega-Spray

This Works Super Sleep Spray Review

Beauty brand This Works couldn’t improve on the knock-you-into-oblivion perfection that is the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, and so they made a slightly longer-lasting version, Sleep Plus Pillow Spray, that sort of refreshed its scent powers throughout the night to keep restless sleepers in an uninterrupted essential-oil-induced coma.

Obviously, they couldn’t improve on this improvement (there are only so many times you can add “plus” to a product and get away with it – why would anyone bother with the original otherwise?) and so they created a double-barrelled super mega-spray combining the two formulas, especially for the indecisive and/or cautious. (I’ll start with the original, dear, and work my way up to the plus – we wouldn’t want to snooze through the alarm!)

This Works Super Sleep Spray Review

One half of this new Super Sleep arsenal contains the original (and highly, highly effective) Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, the other contains the Plus. You can decide which level of unconsciousness you’d like to achieve and then spritz away to your heart’s content. Personally, I don’t find much difference between the two – the original knocks me out like I’ve been brained with a frying pan – but on speaking to the many friends and family who also use Deep Sleep, the Plus does appear to have extra potency.

Both sprays are natural and the original (£16 for a full bottle here) is marked as pregnancy safe. I can’t see why the other wouldn’t be, but use with caution if you get a fright about things like that. The Plus releases more scent during the night as you move on the pillow, so maybe it’s a concern about overdosing on sleep vibes…

You can find the new Super Sleep mega-duo at Lookfantastic here for £15.

If you’re a heavy user of the Deep Sleep spray then I’ve just seen that they do a massive 250ml bottle (rather than the standard size 75ml) and this costs £30. On a price-per-ml basis it should be over fifty pounds, so it’s very good value – find it online here.

 

Clinique Superbalanced Foundation Review

clinique superbalanced foundation review

Goodness, I’ve really tried with this foundation, but this review is, I should warn you, something of a mixed bag. I’ve seen so many glowing reviews of Clinique’s Superbalanced Makeup online and so, when I first “dug in” (literally, see below for full explanation) I was expecting it to be love at first use. But it wasn’t. In fact, I was so completely underwhelmed by this foundation that I thought that I was doing something wrong with it. Perhaps my moisturiser was too rich? Not rich enough? Maybe the new serum I was trying out was doing funny things to the foundation formula? I wasn’t applying it correctly?

clinique superbalanced foundation review

I can tell you that I’ve now tried Superbalanced with a light moisturiser beneath it, an oil-free moisturiser, no moisturiser, an oily-skin primer and a dry-skin primer and each time I’ve come to the same conclusion: Superbalanced and I do not quite see eye to eye.

It’s bloody lucky, really, that it even got a try in the first place because it’s packaged in the most frustrating way that could ever have been conceived: a glass bottle with no pump, pipette or any sensible way whatsoever of getting the product out onto the back of your hand. It seems to have taken inspiration from the classic glass ketchup bottle, which, as we all know, is one of the world’s epic design fails. Because why would anyone want to wait for hours for their ketchup to come out onto the plate? Or have to stick a knife into the mouth of the bottle to loosen the sauce, only for about seventeen-billion kilos of the stuff to come flying out?

I had to do the equivalent of the knife thing with this foundation – although in this case it was the handle of a makeup brush. Dig-dig, and then wipe a blob of Superbalanced onto the back of my hand.

Now let’s talk about the Superbalanced formula: in theory (and seemingly, for most people, in reality) it’s an excellent, buildable foundation in a good shade range that hydrates where needed and absorbs oil in the places that get a bit greasy. Perfect – if you’ve combination skin (which I tend to have, a lot of the time) then you should be able to say goodbye to makeup slippages in the T-Zone and those horrible bits on your chin where the foundation sticks to your dry and flaky patches. In theory.

But this isn’t what happened on my skin at all. On my skin I just sort of had a uniform, slightly waxy-finished coverage that looked a bit patchy on my chin and nose. The thing is I know that I’m being incredibly harsh here, because I zoom right in on my camera and then I absolutely obsess over the finish in my magnifying mirror, and I know that no normal person is ever going to look at my face that closely…but I feel as though if I’m going to zoom in for one foundation then I need to do it for all of them. So I do. That’s what I do for each and every foundation review that I put up.

Browse all foundation reviews…

I don’t like writing about products that have disappointed me – I find it rather stressful, if truth be known – but I invested a whole eight days’ worth of makeup testing on Superbalanced, and so it wouldn’t be particularly time-efficient for me not to write about it! I would love to know if anyone else doesn’t get on with it – perhaps I’m the only one? I mean, everyone loved that Hourglass foundation stick that cost the same as a small house, but I really didn’t. So perhaps I’m totally pedantic, or have weird skin – let me know.

Here are my before and afters:

foundation review

foundation review

From a nice normal distance, I think that Superbalanced looks lovely. Natural, even, not too “mask-like”. You’d maybe expect it to have a matte finish, what with the oil-control business, but actually I think it’s on the glowy side. It looks fresh and youthful, you can find a good colour match, the texture is light and easy to apply.

clinique superbalanced foundation review

But it’s when I zoom in that you can see my problem with it – I find that it “sits” on the skin rather than being a second skin. I can see it sitting in my pores, failing to blend seamlessly on the nose and chin.

clinique superbalanced foundation review

The word “waxy” comes to mind when I observe the finish close-up. It actually does start to look better after an hour or so, almost as though the makeup begins to melt into the skin, but as I have loads of foundations that don’t need time to do this, I’m always going to plump for those…

So why, I hear you ask, did I persevere with Superbalanced for eight whole days? Firstly, as I’ve explained, most reviews online have been unblemished, which made me question my own results. Secondly, as I’ve also said, my feelings on this are a bit of a mixed bag. The finish from a normal distance is fine and I’ve even had a few comments from people saying that my skin looked nice, which is always a motivation for giving something another try.

So it’s not as though I hate this makeup, it’s not a lost cause, I just have enough niggles with it for me not to want to use it again. On the eighth day of testing I actually cleansed my face at 11am and put something else on! A different Clinique foundation, as it happened – review coming up. It’s a good one, as are most of Clinique’s face bases. They do face bases really well, they know skin, they create brilliantly natural finishes…but this one, for me, is a no-go.

Clinique Superbalanced is £23 here.

The post Clinique Superbalanced Foundation Review appeared first on A Model Recommends.


© 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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Palpitations: The Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar

liberty beauty advent calendar 2016

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write about any more beauty advent calendars – I could keep going for weeks, and by that time they will have all sold out and I’ll have calendar fatigue and I won’t have had time to write about anything like skincare or foundation or avocados (don’t ask, see Sunday) and all of the washing will be piled up in the linen cupboard and I won’t have had a shower…

liberty beauty advent calendar 2016

But then this arrived from Liberty and I almost burst a blood vessel with excitement: the 2016 Beauty Advent Calendar featuring Liberty print drawers. Liberty print drawers!

liberty beauty advent calendar 2016

Have you ever seen anything so delicious? Twenty-five Liberty print drawers, adorned with coppery numbers, each filled with a beauty gift hiding in its own little nest of shredded paper.

liberty beauty advent calendar 2016

I really don’t want to do too many spoilers on this one, because it’s so utterly delectable, but I’ve photographed two of the products just to give you an idea of the treats you’d have in store if a Liberty calendar was on its way to you… There’s a great mix of niche brands and better-known ones – Diptyque and Eve Lom, for example – but I can honestly say that there isn’t a single disappointment.

You can see a full list of the contents here…

liberty beauty advent calendar 2016Apparently the equivalent product value is over £500 – these valuations always seems unlikely when there are a lot of minis included, but the minis tend to be incredibly expensive serums and face creams and they always seems to bump the value up somewhat. 30ml of an ESPA face product, for example, is about twenty quid’s worth. The 20ml Dr Sebagh Serum Repair is actually a full size version worth £69. So it all adds up!

liberty beauty advent calendar 2016

Whoever designed this calendar deserves some sort of medal for services to the beauty world. I’m just in awe. It’s a shame it’s cardboard and not wood (though wood would be ridiculously heavy, I admit!) because I would absolutely one hundred percent hang this on my bathroom wall and use it as a beauty cabinet. Imagine! Lipsticks, hair grips, all of those sharpeners and mini tweezers and nail scissors that you can never find!

You can buy the Liberty Advent Calendar online here – it’s £165. I think it may only be available to ship to UK customers, but things could have changed… At any rate, take a look at the contents list before you buy if you’re in any doubt as to whether it’ll be up your street!

The Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar

The post Palpitations: The Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar appeared first on A Model Recommends.


© 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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Makeup Treasure: The Modern Mercury Highlighter

estee lauder modern mercury victoria beckham

In my original review post and video review of the Victoria Beckham makeup collection for Estee Lauder I mentioned that my top pick, if you were going to buy one item, would probably be the Modern Mercury HighlighterSort of risky to recommend it, really, as it was virtually the only product in the line that I hadn’t managed to try, but I felt safe in the knowledge that if it was a faithful reproduction of the original Illuminating Gelée, released in 2011, it would be a definite crowd-pleaser. A proper piece of makeup treasure.

estee lauder modern mercury victoria beckham

And – thank goodness – it’s every bit as lovely as the first edition. More so, in fact, with its luxurious ribbed leather compact and sleek looks. I wish that I still had my original Illuminating Powder Gelée so that I could compare old and new; the 2011 release seemed to have much more of a shiny finish in the pan than the VB version, so I do wonder whether the formulas are identical, but the tone, from what I can tell, looks the same. A soft, minky sort of shade that is a little bit darker and warmer than the traditional “whack it on the cheekbones” sort of highlighter. I think that it’s ever so slightly easier to work with if you have a deeper skintone than an extremely fair one – it needs a very light touch on fair skin, I feel. It’s almost the shade of a very pale-dusky blusher, though obviously far shinier.

Saying that: I’m quite fair myself at the moment and have been whacking this highlighter on left right and centre! So don’t be frightened by it if you’re used to those pale, cool-toned illuminating powders – I’d say that Modern Mercury is universally flattering, you just need to adjust your application to suit. I use a smallish brush to get an accurate application on the cheekbones (you don’t want it all over your face, unless you want to pass as a robot) or I dab with fingertips onto the bridge of my nose, cupid’s bow, under the eyebrows to give them a lift…

Ten Face Highlighters for Under £10…

If you missed the Modern Mercury collection the first time around (you can watch my review video here) and love that high-polish sort of skin glow, then you might want to snap up this Victoria Beckham version. At £48, it’s about fifty-eight-thousand times more expensive than the original, which is an irritation – but (as I said in my VB round-up) you’re paying for the luxury element and the branding. Whether Beckham is your cup of tea is another matter!

The Victoria Beckham x Estée Lauder Collection Review…

You can find a few highlighters left at Harrods online here – they seem to be out of stock at Estée Lauder, though it’s always worth checking.

The post Makeup Treasure: The Modern Mercury Highlighter appeared first on A Model Recommends.


© 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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