8 September 2012

Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask

So I'm really not sure where I sit with this one. This was my first foray into Dr Sebagh, tempted by the many rave reviews extolling the glow-giving virtues of the Deep Exfoliating Mask.

The mask is a thick creamy orange paste with a rather pungent smell. Lord knows what gives it that colour! I've been slowly working my way through the pot and used it five or six times - perhaps once a month or so. According to the instructions, "maximum effect will appear after 3 months of continual use one or twice a week." I haven't used it enough to test that theory, but I am a bit underwhelmed thus far.

The first time I used it was, thankfully, at night. I felt a fair bit of stinging, particularly where my skin was a bit drier such as around my nose - the instructions say some stinging is normal. However when I removed the mask I was horrified - my skin was red, fiery looking and blotchy - and stayed that way for a couple of hours. Had I used it in the morning before work I would have had to apply a very heavy face of make up to avoid scaring my colleagues (remember when Samantha has her chemical peel in SATC..?)

Perhaps foolishly I continued to use the mask (determined to get my money's worth!) and not every time has resulted in the red scary face.  And I do notice some improvements to my skin after use - it looks clearer, smoother and perhaps just a bit glowy. But not spectacularly good - and my skin also feels quite tight and somehow 'stripped' - though a bit of moisturiser solves that problem.

All in all, not a huge fan of this product and I'm not in a hurry to try any other items from the range. I won't be buying it again, because there are other masks that I get better results with, that don't feel (and look) as though I'm harming my skin. Would be interested to hear what others think of this line?

Dr Sebagh Exfoliating Mask costs £59 for 50ml. I purchased mine from Beauty Expert.

My blog has a new name!

Amina's Bazaar is now Measures of Beauty. I've been wanting to change the name of my blog for a while now to something that gives a clue as to the actual content!
I'm not sure that MOB is the one - but it's a decent interim, and maybe it'll be a keeper.
I'm also now posting as Ali rather than Amina.
Thanks for bearing with me!
Ali x

15 August 2012

Omorovicza Firming Body Oil

Earlier in the summer, I had the pleasure of experiencing an Omorovicza facial at Fenwick on New Bond Street, London. It was the one of the most unusual (and effective) facials I've had (imagine the feeling of dozens of pairs of tiny feet scampering over your face for several minutes!). Afterwards my skin felt much firmer - especially round the jawline where I'm conscious of some slight sagging of the skin. My face was glowing for a good couple of days; given that the cost of the 60-minute facial was redeemable against purchase, it was an absolute bargain imo.

I purchased the Rejuvenating Night Cream as part of the redemption offer, which costs £96 for 50 ml (the cost of the facial was £70 so essentially I got the night cream for a £26). I haven't used it much yet as while it feels amazing on the skin, I think it may be a bit rich for my combination skin until the weather turns a bit cooler. I did however use it as a facial aftersun during my holidays and felt my skin benefited.

However the purpose of this review is to share my thoughts on another Omorovicza product, the Firming Body Oil. I'm about 2/3 of the way through my bottle and already thinking about stocking up again - after an unsure start I'm really starting to see / feel the benefits and have become quite hooked.

It comes in a simple glass bottle and has a subtle, reassuring, almost aromatherapeutic scent. It doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy or feel like it's sitting on the skin surface. I wouldn't say it's the most moisturising of oils - I actually find myself using quite a lot of it to be able to fully cover my body (I apply to damp skin and then usually then lock it in with a layer of Kiehl's Creme de Corps which also makes it easier to spread over the skin). However I really think it has improved the condition of my skin. I've been using it 2 or 3 times a week for a few months and (bold claims coming up!) my skin looks firmer, healthier and more toned. It is also incredibly soft for a couple of days after use and feels much more nourished. I find it really comforting to apply - and, it doesn't break me out around the chest (problem area). Yes, I'm a fan!

I would 100% buy this again, though I do also have my eye on the Dior Svelte Body Beautifying and Toning Oil and will be interested to see how the two compare. I'd also like to try the gold shimmer version of the Omorovicza oil whilst I still have a bit of summer colour.

Overall, if you're looking for a body oil that delivers firming / toning benefits as well as moisture  you could do worse than check this out. According to the website it can also be used to give hair a bit of a sheen though I haven't yet tried that.

£46 for 100ml.

22 June 2012

Dior Rouge Serum 640 - Soft Pink

I've had this Rouge Serum for a while (in fact, since the Rouge Serums were known as Serums de Rouge!) and whilst I don't wear it very often I thought I'd review it as I don't see the Serum de Rouge line getting a lot of love online and actually I think its a pretty good formula, especially containing as it does an SPF 20. It's a very soft formula and feels lovely to apply; once on the lips it feels quite moisturising. 

640 ('Soft pink') is a medium to light pink shade (on me it errs on the paler side).

I'm not sure this shade is the perfect match for me - when I'm pale it washes me out somewhat and I feel it clashes a bit with my yellow-toned skin. However I'm quite liking it at the moment having picked up a bit of colour (despite the factor 50!) on a recent holiday.

I also had this in a hot pink shade but I seem to have lost it, however I'm keen to try the peachier shades in the line as I think they'll work better with my skin and I do really like the formula. I'm not one for thicker feeling lipsticks that require care (or a lipbrush!) to apply; the fact that I can generously apply this without really needing a mirror really appeals. I'm not that fussed about the packaging - it's a bit fussy and dated, though the clicky pen is quite cool. 

Serum de Rouge costs £26.

19 June 2012

Nude Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum

I've recently used up a full size of the Nude Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum and thought I'd share my thoughts.

I started using this at the same time I started using my Clarisonic Mia. I noticed improvements to my skin almost straight away (it looked clearer and felt softer), but wasn't sure whether it was down to the serum or the Mia. However having used this serum on a more or less daily basis for the past six months (and stopped using the Mia a couple of months ago when the brush head needed replacing) I can confidently say that that my skin is visibly improved by this serum.

It's hard to pinpoint the effects exactly, but my skin just looks and feels 'better' than it did before I started using it. By better, I mean clearer and softer, as mentioned, but somehow healthier as well. I haven't noticed any fine lines lessening as such, but I would say my skin appears slightly more youthful. I apply the serum night only, sometimes layering it under a night cream but more often than not applying it on its own - smoothing a couple of drops over the face and a couple more on the neck. It can feel a bit sticky when first applied, but in the morning skin just feels soft and silky.

I would have repurchased this serum but I wanted to try the Trilogy Rosehip Oil having heard many good things about it's anti-ageing properties; I've just started to use the Rosehip Oil so will be interested to see how the two compare. However I can imagine returning to the Nude in future, having found it more effective than other highly-rated serums I've tried such as Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair and Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Complex. I'm keen to try the Nude Cleansing Oil and possibly the Replenishing Night Oil to layer over the top of the serum, but nothing else in the range appeals to me much and I wouldn't buy one of the moisturisers as they don't contain spf.

Advanced Cellular Renewal Serum costs £68 for 30ml - I purchased mine from Beauty Expert during a special offer. It is expensive, but lasts for a long time - over six months in my case - making it more than worth it in my opinion.

Have you tried the Nude serum or any other Nude products?

29 April 2012

A tale of two (Ren) scrubs

For several months now I've been using Ren's 'body scrubs' once or twice weekly (though they aren't technically called body scrubs they are essentially both designed to exfoliate). I first tried (and then repurchased) the Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm, and for the past couple of months I've been using the  Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on both.

Ren Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm - £20, 330mml
I love this scrub - it's one of the best I've tried. It smells fresh, it has a lovely consistency - like a thick textured paste - and most importantly, it's super effective! My skin feels amazingly soft after this and the feeling seems to last for a few days. It's not cheap but as the effects are so lasting it does go a fairly long way. 

Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish - £33, 330ml
I'm actually less keen on this one. The consistency is divine - very thick again but bound together with a luscious thick rose-scented oil. It feels amazing when you apply it, and I like the smell too, but for me that's where the love ends. It doesn't seem to exfoliate my skin as well as the salt scrub (the immediate and long-term effects are both much less marked) and - pet hate and a characteristic of other sugar scrubs I've tried - it leaves an oily film on my skin that actually feels a bit uncomfortable and not at all moisturising. In fact, I sometimes think my skin feels a bit drier after I've used this. People who like sugar scrubs (and roses) might like this a lot more and indeed it does get quite a lot of love but I'm just not sure how effective it is for my skin. Also, it's significantly more expensive than the salt balm. 

As these are quite expensive I tend to wait for special offers before purchasing and I will definitely repurchase the salt scrub - it's better than my go-to L'Oreal Exfotonic (and I like the fact that it's contains more natural ingredients). It's definitely up there with my other favourite Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub. I also love the packaging of both.

You can purchase Ren from beautyexpert.co.uk or from renskincare.co.uk.

28 April 2012

Becca Pasa Doble nail polish

I love this nail polish from Becca's Balearic Love collection. It's so unusual to see such a dark shade feature in a summer collection - and yet it is surprisingly summer-appropriate (just look at the promo pics - though obviously being a bronzed goddess and having the beautiful face of an equally bronzed god to show it off against helps!). It's a gorgeous shade. Really, it's almost black, but if you look very closely or sheer the polish out a bit (see third pic with one coat) it's deep plum.

This is the first Becca polish I've tried. They're very reasonably priced at £12 (this was even more of a bargain with a 25% VIP discount). The formula was good - fairly thick but easy to apply. The lasting power wasn't great, though I did do the manicure in a bit of a hurry and was using quite old Nails Inc base and top coats so I don't want to blame that entirely on the polish.

I'm looking forward to wearing this when our own weather turns a bit more Balearic!

12 April 2012

More Becca goodies...

I couldn't resist when Becca had another discount offer a few weeks ago - it is probably up there in my top three make up brands (along with Nars and one other that is more interchangeable!), so I took the opportunity to add a few more products to my collection. Here's what I bought... I hope to add some more detailed reviews of the individual products soon.

Luminous Skin Colour - Nude
I had wanted to try this legendary tinted moisturiser for a while. Having no idea what colour to go for I plumped for Nude which seemed like the safest option. It's... interesting. I'll review it in detail when I've used it a few more times - still getting to grips with it at the moment. What I would say is that it is incredibly sheer so not great coverage but it does give good glow. I'm just not sure yet whether it's too glowy for my combination (read 'shiny'!) skin and also whether this shade is quite right for me.

Eye Tint - Pewter
I read a few good reviews of this online and having two other Eye Tints (Vicuna and Baroque) which I love, I thought I'd give this darker, more dramatic looking shade a go. I have to admit that the first time I applied it I made a complete hash of it - it definitely requires a more careful application than the lighter shades. So I need to practice with this a bit more before I make up my mind on it.It is lovely swatched though.

Sheer Tint Lip Colour - Leticia
I am an absolute sucker for corals and peach so this 2010 addition to Becca's (fairly limited) lipstick range was a no brainer. I have to say it does not disappoint - I am in love with this lipstick. More pics soon!

Beach Tint - Guava
Another coral colour calling my name. At first swatch this seems slightly more liquidy than the other Beach Tints I own (Grapefruit and Fig) but the colour is everything I hoped it would be. It's a very soft shade and I think it could work well on fairer skins. It's the perfect compliment to Leticia lipstick.

Nail Colour - Pasa Doble
This blackish-plum polish was a bit of an impulse buy - I'd never tried a Becca nail colour before and I like the idea of darker shades in summer - plus I love anything Spanish. A quick swatch with two coats is below. Very dramatic!

Butter Lip Balm Spf 25
Another impulse buy - I was intrigued to see what a lip balm with a high spf would be like as usually when I go on holiday I buy one of the specialist lip products that protect your lips by leaving a thick white coat on them! This is lovely - it makes the lips look soft and plumped and somehow manages to have the spf without being white and opaque. A couple of reservations; I like vanilla but I find the vanilla scent of this a bit strong. And the consistency is such (it is indeed quite buttery) that I can image it melting quite easily in warmer weather... time will tell.

And lastly, a couple of brushes.

Small Polishing Make up Brush #56
I saw this being used on one of the Zuneta videos to buff cream blusher under the cheekbones, and was interested to try this method of application, as normally I apply cream blusher on the apples or on the cheekbones and (lightly) around the temples. I was surprised that the bristles were a lot less stiff than I thought they'd be so actually I found application of cream blush with this quite difficult. Again, I just need to practice a bit with this and would be interested to hear from anyone else who has this and how they use it. Although its recommended for buffing cream blush to the apples of the cheeks, at the minute I am preferring to pat on my cream blush with the Becca Cream Blush / Bronzer Brush (truly a great brush!).

Eye Colour Blender Brush #35
This was a gift with purchase. I haven't tried it yet and will be interested to see how it compares with my only other eyeshadow blending brush the MAC 217.

So there we have it. Some lovely products to try out over the next few weeks and having done a quick face of the day with the Guava Beach Tint and Leticia Sheer Tint Lip Colour this morning I am loving them already. Will report on my other purchases in due course! Next on my Becca hit list is the Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector - I have and love the Pearl shade but think I need something warmer for the summer months.

10 April 2012

YSL Vernis a Levres 06 - Camel Croisiere

Here it is, my first foray into the legendary 'glossy stains' by YSL (official title Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres). I ended up, by mistake, with the shade 06 Camel Croisiere which is to my eye a kind of tomato orange / red as opposed to anything like camel, if indeed the name is referring to camel as a shade. Croisiere apparently means cruise, so camel cruise? Who knows - maybe they're trying to conjure up some sort of desert adventure. In which case I can see where they were going, kind of..

I digress. Either way its a very nice, wearable colour and despite my initial reservations (the shade I actually requested was 07 Corail Aquatique but the make up lady gave me this one by mistake - must remember to check next time) this is really kind of growing on me. I also love the faintly seventies vibe both of this particular shade and of the finish.

And a slightly startled looking shot to demonstrate the lasting power post dinner and wine!

Everything I've read about these is true - they are super long lasting (see last photo), pigmented and fairly true to the colour in the tubes (though they do darken and deepen in intensity with more than one coat - in the above pictures I'm wearing two). They fade to leave a nice stain on the lips and the consistency is great - not too sticky, not too glossy - a happy medium somewhere in between. They do a fantastic job of plumping the lips. And they smell lovely too.

This product is making me love a glossy lip again and I cannot wait to try more colours.

9 April 2012

Nars satin lipstick - Niagara

I am so in love with Nars  lipsticks at the moment. Barbarella and Dolce Vita (both sheer lipsticks) are possibly two of my favourite lipsticks of all time (must review them soon) but a few weeks ago I purchased my first of Nars' 'satin' lipsticks, Niagara, a beautiful coral pink.

I have to confess that when writing this review I thought Niagara was one of Nars' sheer lipsticks - I actually find the formula quite similar though there probably is more depth of colour with the satin formula. I do find the satin formula to be very light and easy to apply, like the sheers, and also easy to apply, and while neither are hugely longlasting this isn't an issue for me.

Overall, I love this shade and can't wait to start experimenting with a few different looks - I'm thinking it will look great with bronzed skin in summer and also like it with a soft pink cheek as pictured here.