My Top 5 Most-Used Foundations

I’ve used the term “foundation” loosely, here, because I mean it to incorporate other face bases such as tinted moisturiser, BB creams and complexion enhancers as well as the traditional high-coverage foundation. In truth, no BB creams or CC creams come anywhere near my top five face bases in terms of the most-used – it’s either a tinted moisturiser on days off or a fuller-coverage base on work days, when I’m on camera or at events or otherwise engaged outside of my house.

It’s taken me ages to put this video together because I really did monitor just how much I used each base – I test dozens of them and have a fair few that I use regularly, so it was actually quite difficult to narrow down my selection. But here we are. Enjoy – feel free to cheat and skip to the links beneath the video pane if you’re in a desperate hurry. You can also find more detailed reviews of most of the foundations by browsing the makeup category here.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, Wheat, 4.5, £27:

NARS Tinted Moisturiser, Alaska, £29.50:

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Vanilla, 52 , £10.99 – I bought from LookFantastic: more shades here:

Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation in Shade Fair, £33:

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet – shade 20, £33 at Boots:

Louise Young LY34 Brush:

Also wearing:

L’Oreal Paris Sexy Balm Shade 102, Gossip:

Dior Diorskin Nude Air Glow Shade 4, £39:


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Are The GlamGlow Face Masks Really Worth The Hype?

Maybe I’m just getting old, but increasingly I seem to be wearing my cynical hat and wondering when we all got caught up in the hype of ‘wonder products’ and their extortionate price tags. Although there are some truly wonderful innovations our there that really do make a difference, a lot of the time a product can be over hyped and over praised by those that won’t even truly benefit from the ingredients it has to offer. With so many beauty editors and influencers confessing to adore everything going, it’s hard to know whether or not the excitement is justified – or if you’d be better off saving your cash for something else entirely. GlamGlow is definitely one of those brands; I remember when it first launched and every beauty enthusiast was desperate to try this ground-breaking mud mask in an effort to revolutionist their skin. At the time I tried it and thought it was pleasant, but distinctively average, but a few years later (and with many more additions to the range) it was time to put Glam’s Glow to the test once again. Can these little pots of coloured goo really give you the skin you’ve always dreamed of?

Originally designed as a ten minute ‘professional facial in a jar’ for celebrities about to walk the red carper, this smoothing mask gently exfoliates the surface to leave behind a softer and more glowing complexion. It’s not exceptionally abrasive, but it does gently buff the skin to leave it feeling like its had a bit of a work out; but the key here is to use it before a big meeting or night out, rather than as a bathtime pamper. The results aren’t groundbreaking, but they are noticeable – however, they’re also achievable with your usual facial exfoliator and a good manual massage. (Just saying!)

Apparently this uses ‘the most advanced hydration active technologies’ (nope, me either!) to hydrate, restore, replenish and calm the skin. First up, it’s a lovely balm-like formula that’s a pleasure to apply (helped by the fact it smells amazing) and can be used for a 20-minute hit or even overnight for a more intense treatment (when it’s £39.00 a pot I’m totally down with not washing it down the drain.) I love a hydrating mask and this is definitely a good one, but you’d get the same impact via a hardworking moisturiser or night cream – this just makes the experience a little more pampering.

Developed to create luminous skin, this treatment contains Betulin, Betulinic Acid and Ellagic Acid to create an improved ‘colour balanced’ skin tone. It also includes three types of exfoliant to slough away dullness and drive the ingredients deeper into the skin, as well as (wait for it) diamond photoluminescence to increase the reflecting level of the skin and make it appear more radiant. When I tried this is actually made my face bright pink and slightly warm for an hour or so after – and I’m not sure that that was the look they were going for. In all honesty I didn’t see or feel much difference at all, so this one was completely lost on me.

This was the mask I was most intrigued to try, but also most confused by. Was it a cleanser, a mask, a treatment or combination of all three? Power Mud aims to remove the build-up of cleansing product and excess grime, providing a more intense weekly power cleanse to those of us that use a lot of product; particularly handy for those who suffer with breakouts and dullness, this lightweight mud turns to an oil-balm when mixed with water. You leave it on the skin for ten minutes (presumably so it can ‘suck out’ all the bits of leftover product) and then wash off; it’s a very gentle and pleasant cleanse, but it’s also impossible to know if it’s really doing anything more than my usual cleanser.

Currently available in a limited edition Sonic Blue shade, this is apparently an ‘instant tightening and firming treatment that contains mega-targeted ingredients that work together to help skin’s contours feel firmer and look more defined.’ So in a nutshell it’s supposed to contour your skin, while tightening those saggy bits. The rather gloopy formula is quite tricky to apply (and gets everywhere FYI – my bathroom plughole is still blue!) but once it’s on it’s a comfortable way to pass ten or so minutes while it dries; you can either pull it off in one piece or massage away with a warm damp flannel (if you’ve a lot of facial fuzz I’d recommend the latter.) As for the results, my skin was definitely left smoother and a little plumper, but I can’t say there was any contouring or lifting going on. Because of the nature of the formula you get a lot more from this than the other masks, but I’m just not convinced this delivers on its promises.

So there you go; each one of the GlamGlow masks tried and tested for your pleasure. Although each of them are perfectly pleasant to use (and also smell amazing,) for me there wasn’t enough of a difference or immediate result to warrant the price tag. Most provide similar results to my usual facial exfoliators, night treatments and anti-ageing skincare – which probably also work out cheaper per use, knowing how much mask you need to slap on. None of them are horrendous, but none of them rock my world either. If you’re feeling the need to get spendy then by all means make a purchase, but if you’d rather invest in a great skincare regime you can enjoy every single day, then that’s probably a wise decision too.

Have you tried any of the GlamGlow masks? What did you think?

The GlamGlow masks are available online, priced £39.00 each for the 50g pot. (15g sample sizes are also available if you want to test before you invest!)


Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

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Let’s Catch Up!

I’ve been stuck in a rut with my content lately, I so desperately want to branch out and post about a few other topics every once in a while; food, lifestyle, personal, chatty general blog talk, heck maybe even fashion (because hello, I recently bought dungarees and they are my new faves) but every time I try I freeze up and write a post on my favourite cleansers or review a face mask instead.
This month is going to be a very busy one, though, so I thought I would just sit down and take a minute to say hello and natter about my life… if you’re interested!

1. We’re moving! We abruptly found out that our tenancy is up at the end of the month (we thought it was next month!) and have decided to jump ship instead of committing to another year here. We love, love, love this little flat, but it’s time to move out of the city centre to save a few pennies and maybe have a little more space. If we can find it. Time is of the essence now so we’re obsessively checking the listings every day for somewhere that’s 1.) within budget, 2.) allows a cat & 3.) doesn’t make you want to vom from all the yellow walls and brown, red or blue carpets. It’s very tricky.

2. I’m going to be travelling down to London this weekend for the Clean Cult event, will I see any of you there? It’s terrible timing now that we need to organise and pack our entire life up asap, but I can’t wait to see some fellow blogger babes, meet some new brands and have a little time in my favourite city (please let the weather be nice!).

3. I’ve been really enjoying experimenting with food lately and have been opting for more and more vegan/plant-based meals. I just want all of the veggies. The Keep It Vegan recipe book from my latest haul post has been fab and I’ve made a few recipes from it, as well as making up my own sometimes too. I also loved watching JessicaBeautician’s What I Eat In A Day videos last month which are always vegan and so creative! I have so many recipes noted down to try now! Those videos also took me into a huge spiral of other what I eat in a day vids and I’m seriously obsessed with them.

4. Penny is going on a little adventure to stay with my mum for a few weeks whilst we move and have viewings in our current place. We’re not technically supposed to have a pet here but we’ve never once had an inspection in the two years we’ve lived here, and about 50% of the building has a pet anyway. We don’t want to suddenly get in trouble for it and lose our deposit though so it has to be done. It’s going to break my heart to leave her for so long, especially as she doesn’t get on with my mums’ cat, Lyla, and cat fights are a daily occurrence. I hope she will forgive us when she comes back.

5. I have pink hair! Have I mentioned that before? I think maybe I did 😉 I haven’t gotten around to taking any pictures of it really, except for a couple on snapchat here and there but I love it. Why is pink not a natural hair colour?

6. On my ever long quest for clear skin I had yet another appointment at the doctors a couple of weeks ago as I was suffering with a bad breakout and was at a low point – again – and, aside from being a totally horrible experience with a doctor who dismissed my concerns about taking more antibiotics, didn’t seem to listen to my problems, and rushed us through the appointment – I did get what I wanted! Which was a referral to see a dermatologist. Hopefully I won’t have to wait much longer now to get my appointment with them and I can see what they think of my skin.

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New In: Rare Indigo & The Petal

Have you ever seen any balm as beautiful as Rare Indigo? The answer is probably no.

The May Beauty Heroes Box (which is now SOLD OUT! … but stay tuned until the end of the post for more info on how and where to get this balm with money off) arrived very early this month, which was a lovely surprise! Inside the box was the beautiful full-size Mahalo Skincare Rare Indigo worth $110/£88 and a deluxe 15ml sample of the newest launch The Petal Mask worth about $17. So that’s a $127 of product for $39, amazing!

The Rare Indigo balm is perhaps one of the loveliest moisturising beauty balms I’ve ever used, it’s early days into our relationship, but I think we might be in it for the long run, guys. What makes this balm so different is its hemp seed oil base – my skin loves hemp oil, and it gives the balm a beautifully light and silky texture that sinks into skin instead of sitting on the top feeling greasy. Also, I have to admit my skin twin Lisa totally made me crave this balm, anything she uses on her face I want to use on my face too, simple.
The balm is also free of ingredients that are too rich and can clog pores/cause breakouts such as shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax! But the balm is still very, very moisturising and is perfectly suitable for dry skin types as well as oily. Oils and butters like murumuru, babassu and marula can be found, a little exotic and luxurious, no? plus that all so important indigo infusion that give the balm it’s incredible purple hue.

The Petal is deceptively small and cute but seriously mighty, 28 active ingredients come together to create this jelly-like pink mask that smells like roses, honey, and vanilla. I have only used this once so haven’t much of an opinion yet, but it feels lovely and calming on the skin – even if seeing yourself with a pink face is quite strange! The texture is really unique, creamy but not runny, it’s very thick and I found I needed a few drops of water to make it spreadable across skin. Honey, rose petals, clay, silver hydrosol, hibiscus and jasmine are just a few of those 28 ingredients here. I can’t way to try it a few more times and will report back with a verdict.

Beauty Heroes is currently sold out of the May Mahalo box, and if you would like to be put on to the waitlist ready to subscribe for next month’s box you can do so here. Subscriptions are no longer month-to-month which is quite a drawback, as you do have to pay for 3 months upfront to subscribe. I asked Beauty Heroes if you have to pay shipping on top of this when you subsribe as an international customer but they didn’t respond so I can’t let you know, sorry!
The value is still incredible (the 3 month subscription cost is still cheaper than the value of this one box!) but I know for a lot of people that initial cost, without knowing the contents of the boxes will be a big turn off, but just know I have never once seen a box that wasn’t absolutely amazing 😉

If you really want to try the Mahalo Rare Indigo balm, or The Petal mask in the UK/Europe I would recommend Alyaka as they have a fabulous Mahalo sample kit which includes the whole product range for £22, the cost of that can then be deducted from a full size purchase! OR you can skip the sample and use the code “ANNABEL15” to receive 15% off of your order across the whole site (not including sample kits or May Lindstrom)

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