Saturday, 19 April 2014

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation

The Maybelline New York stand was calling to me upon a recent wander through the 'drugstore' make-up aisles of Boots. I had initially only gone looking for Maybelline's BROWdrama but good old Boots was kindly offering 3for2 on cosmetics - naturally, the offer was too good to pass up.

If you follow me on instagram you would have seen my lack of control in the 3for2 stakes, but for now I want to just focus on the foundation. Specifically, Maybelline's New SuperStay Better Skin foundation which is available at Boots for £8.99 - link - and other stockists now.


SuperStay Better Skin comes in a 30ml pump glass bottle in 8 different shades. Blessed as I am (groan!) with deathly pale skin, I went for their lightest shade 005 Light Beige. I am often a little sceptical of such a limited range of colours but I can just about get away with this shade. It's a little pink, however not so much that I end up with tell-tale tide marks around my jawline. If I was being really picky, then this shade would work best for me in the Summer and is probably too dark for the colder Seasons.

The initial selling points for me were the sun protection - this boasts a modest SPF 20, the all day wear claim - let's see if it stands up to Lancôme's Teint Idole 24h, and the fact that it is fragrance free.

But Maybelline are also claiming a lot of other benefits with this foundation... As well as being suitable for sensitive skin, non-comedogenic and dermatologically tested, Better Skin claims to reduces the appearance of the visible effects of stress. Now I accept that it will cover bumps, dullness and redness but Maybelline state that it 'visibly improves your skin every minute you're in it' - hmmm I will reserve judgement on that for now.

The formula is thick-ish, but not too thick that it doesn't blend well and one pump is enough to cover my whole face. I have applied this with a bog standard foundation brush and so far that has worked well. It feels hydrating on the skin and gives a fresh, even finish that isn't too heavy - I would happily put this in the medium coverage category.

As a very oily-skinned individual I can be quite picky about the feel of my foundations but this actually feels quite good on my skin. It isn't sticky once applied - which is often the first sign that a foundation isn't going to work for me - and it lasts longer than I initially expected it to. I have so far worn this over a primer, and set with a powder (I wouldn't wear foundation any other way I'm afraid) and it usually lasts for 4 hours before I feel like I need to blot and its staying power sits at around 8 hours. So not quite all-day wear but remember I am oily skinned.

In terms of improving the look of your skin every time you wear it I have to say I've not really noticed a difference. Proper skin care (and lifestyle choices) in my opinion is a much better way to achieve good skin but any added extras, however tiny they might be, can only help I guess.

In all quite a nice foundation that gives good coverage, feels great, and protects your skin with SPF. Have you tried Maybelline's SuperStay Better Skin yet?
Disclaimer - Ok, don't judge me, I'm a sucker for a good old 3for2! I therefore purchased this foundation along with a multitude of other makeup items that I probably didn't need. As always, I have reviewed it with 100% honesty and I have not been sponsored for this post.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

astrid & miyu March Secret Box

It's time again to take a look at the latest Secret Box from astrid & miyu. A new year has brought with it a new look for the brand and their packaging. 

Gone are the large cream boxes and instead we have a beautiful baby blue (Tiffany-esque) slimline box. The brand has redesigned it's logo and branding to a simple and sleek "A&M" ring motif which is stamped on the box, tissue paper and bags. Inside the box, the pouches have also had a makeover and are now a soft smooth cream micro fibre pouch and drawstring - much less clumsy that the previous canvas bags.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the packaging before, but now it's been updated I love it!

If you haven't heard of this before the Secret Box is a jewellery subscription service that I've been subscribing to for over a year now. The main things you need to know are:

  • Each box is £39 (with free UK and EU delivery) and once subscribed you can cancel at any time
  • Every 3 months you will receive a box filled with astrid & miyu jewellery worth twice the value
  • Items are handpicked for you based on your likes from a style survey completed on sign-up 
If that still doesn't make sense, then you can check out their website or my previous posts here.

After the last box's collaborations, astrid & miyu have continued to provide us with some little extras for this box too. I received a sample of Harmony Creme Balm from Premae Skincare, a sample of Moa thegreenbalm and some skin tattoos from Skin Feelings. If I'm honest I preferred the slightly more generous extras (Essie nail polish, Jelly Pong Pong eyeliner) but they are extras so I guess we can't complain. This box's theme was stacking and I received some beautiful rose gold rings to stack away with to my heart's content...

From left to right: 
Floating Leaf Rose Gold Midi ring In White £24  
The Rosy Delicate One In Blue Ring £29  
The Rosy Delicate One In Black Ring £29

At first when I opened the pouches, I felt a little disappointed that I had received so little - after previous boxes full of goodies, three small rings didn't feel like much. But then I took a closer look at what I had been given and became more and more pleased with my selection.

First up I noticed I had a matching pair of stackable rings, in particular The Rosy Delicate One In Blue Ring and The Rosy Delicate One In Black Ring. I'm a big fan of rose gold, so these little beauties were very welcome in my collection. They fit easily on my ring or middle finger and look great stacked together and with a couple of other rose gold rings that I own. If you're not keen on the blue or black stones these also come in a green, pink or pure (white) as well as yellow gold or silver if you prefer.

The Floating Leaf Rose Gold Midi ring In White was the hidden surprise for me though. I've seen midi rings around but until now had never considered buying any. After slipping this little beauty on though I fell in love... dainty rose gold delicate love. It oozes a kind of elegance that I don't often get with other rings, I am totally converted! Again, this design also comes with different stones (pink or blue) as well as yellow gold or silver.

This month's box has turned out to be good value for money - the contents are worth £82 in total and the box cost £39 - and I've found lots of occasions to wear the rings both alone and stacked together. I've already planned to expand my stacking collection and have added their Perfect One rings to my wishlist...

Have you been tempted by the A&M secret box yet?
Disclaimer - I have not been sponsored for this post and I purchased the Secret Box out of my own monies. For the terms and conditions or further information about astrid & miyu's Secret box then please check out their site here.
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