Min's Beauty Equipment: September 2014

Sunday, 28 September 2014

MoYou Nail Art Review

easy nail design
MoYou nail art ideas
MoYou nail art is a new innovative nail art form. MoYou doesn't use stickers, but creates their own stickers from the lacquer which is placed onto a chosen design on a nail art plate. This creates multiple options for nail art designs and it is a lot cheaper than buying stickers.

If you are looking for simple, easy nail art ideas or designs and you consider yourself a beginner, then MoYou nails may be your solution.

To be honest, I have not used MoYou myself, but I saw the guy stamping designs at the London Anti-ageing Show in May. He was very quick and he made it appear to be very easy. He caught me as I was walking past his stand at the exhibition and offered me to demonstrate how MoYou works. My nails had no polish on them, so I was a perfect target for demonstration. However, I wasn't a good candidate to buy their products as I don't look after my nails, simply due to lack of time, not lack of interest.


What comes in a MoYou box set?

  • Nail lacquer, £3.99.
  • Nail art plate, £4.99.
  • Nail art stamp and a scraper, from £3.99 to £7.99.
  • If you would like to have a box with your set, you have to buy the box separately as well, £8.99.


Nail art for beginners
MoYou nail art set

How to use MoYou nail art?

  1. Apply the MoYou nail lacquer on the design (picture) that you like.
  2. Remove excess lacquer with a scraper using a 45 degrees angle.
  3. Use the stamp to remove the nail art design using a rolling motion.
  4. Transfer the design from the stamp to your nail.
  5. Apply MoYou top coat for a longer lasting result.

Simple nail art ideas
Nail art plates and a scraper

How was the nail in the first picture done?

  1. First of all, plain white lacquer was used to make white design for the tip of my nail (5th column from the left on top of the page of the above design plate)
  2. Then black lacquer used to create a top coat with a patterned design.
  3. A transparent top coat applied for longer lasting results.


What do I like about MoYou?

  • Seems to be fairly straightforward to use. I am sure you need to practice a little bit before you become good at stamping your own nail stickers, but once you learn how to use the kit, it looks really easy.
  • Much cheaper than nail stickers.
  • Each plate has a few pictures, so gives you a few easy design ideas.


What do I NOT like?

Unfortunately, the nail art didn't last long, maybe a day or two before it started to come off. My hands do get soaked in water during the day quite a lot, but I would still expect my nail art to last longer than this to make the effort worthwhile.


Final word


In this blog post I have reviewed MoYou nail art. It is perfect for beginners nail artists as in minutes you can transfer multiple designs on to your nails.

Do you look after your nails? Do you colour them in one colour or use some other nail art form?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

More Glowing Skin With Clarisonic Face Wash Device MIA 2

One of the best facial cleansing devices
Clarisonic facial cleansing device Mia 2 
Recently I started using a facial cleansing device called Clarisonic MIA 2 from the company Clarisonic. It is a facial sonic cleansing, which means that it uses sound waves to cleanse face skin and prepare it for skincare regimen.

I am going to review the device myself and share my own experience and opinion about this cleansing system.

How does Clarisonic work?


Here is what their website says:
  • Mia 2 features two speeds, one-minute pulsing T-Timer® and comes with a protective travel case for on-the-go sonic cleansing, enabling you to have beautiful looking skin at home or on-the-go.
  • The Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Skin Cleansing System uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth skin. In just 60 seconds, the action removes more makeup and more dirt and sebum than cleansing with your hands alone. Removing more dirt and sebum from your pores also helps prepare for a better skin care regime.
  • Benefits & features highlights:
          - Removes more makeup than manual cleansing
          - Helps prepare skin for usual skin care regimen
          - Leaves skin feeling smoother and healthier
          - Tightens the appearance of visible pores
          - Helps remove sebum
          - Helps improve the appearance of skin tone and texture
          - Gentle cleansing process can be used up to twice a day for 1 min each time
          - Rechargeable
          - Waterproof

A few points from the User Guide


  • Clarisonic Mia 2 works for one minute once turned on. It beeps after 20 seconds of cleansing, then after another 20 seconds and once again when there is last 10 seconds left before it turns itself off. This way it gives you some idea of how long to use the product for various areas on your face. The instructions manual recommends to use the device for 20 seconds on your forehead, 20 seconds on your nose/chin and 10 seconds on each cheek.
  • Brush heads need to be replaced every three months as the bristles become fatigued and less effective over time. Once a week, remove the brush head from the handle and rinse with warm soapy water to remove any residue.
  • If the device is not used frequently, charge it every three months to maintain its charging capacity.
  • "Guarantee Period" means two years from the date of purchase of the product.

Pros or features that I like


Easy to travel with Clarisonic device
Convenient Clarisonic Mia 2 travel case

  • Waterproof.
  • It doesn't use batteries, but has a charger.
  • The charger is very slick and lasts very long before Clarisonic Mia 2 needs to be recharged again. It connects magnetically to the base. See the picture below. I have been using the device once, sometimes twice a day, since taking it out of the box and I have only charged the sonic cleansing system one time, i.e. before the first use. I have had it for three weeks now.
  • It doesn't splash during use.
  • It has a very convenient travel case. See the picture on the right.
Magnetic charger of electronic device for face wash
Convenient charging system keeps the batteries life for a few weeks

Cons


  • It has a lovely travel case, but Clarisonic Mia 2 is a rather heavy product, therefore, I would most likely leave it at home anyway.
  • Price may be too high for some folks. It costs £125, so some people find it expensive.

My results. So, is Clarisonic facial system worth the hype?


One week after using Clarisonic product I met one of my friends for the first time after four years of not seeing each other and some of the first words that she said were: "Wow, your skin looks amazing! I can't stop looking at you! What do you do with it?" Ok, I am not saying that it's Clarisonic that is fully responsible for my skin looking well, but I noticed an improvement in my skin's appearance myself since I started using it. It somehow made my skin more glowing. Also, by removing all the dirt, make-up and sebum from the skin surface the device made skincare products more effective which I think resulted in a better looking skin.

Regardless of what the device manufacturers state about the reduced pore size, I have not noticed any difference so far, but I have noticed that the skin looks cleaner and less dirty, including less blackheads.

I get some spots on a regular basis every month, which I haven't had so far since starting to use the device. I still have a week to go before I can say that Clarisonic Mia 2 has helped me cure the spots, so I don't dare to claim that just yet. Nevertheless, I haven't had any spots this month, so who knows maybe it is helping me control acne? I will update the post with respect to my pimples at some point if I don't forget.

The pictures on the right show how my skin has changed on the forehead since using the sonic cleansing system. The before and after pictures show that my skin became more shiny which helps reflect light and create more definition on my face. My face looks less flat, which I like.


Clarisonic Mia 2 Cleansing system before and after
Before (left picture) and after (on the right) using Clarisonic Mia 2 sonic skin cleansing system

A few tips or warnings from my experience


I have a very thin skin on my nose. It often gets red, especially in winter, and it has a shiny appearance which I find very hard to cover up with make-up as make-up simply does not stay there for long. The skin on my nose has become even shinier and it became more red even though the weather has been very warm recently. So, if you can identify yourself as having skin or patches of the skin that resemble my red and shiny nose, do avoid the problematic area as I think Clarisonic made my problem more severe. This is my first advice.

Also, I kind of feel that my skin is becoming more sensitive to touch, therefore, I would recommend to not overdo with brushing. It may be better to use the product less frequently or once instead of twice a day just to avoid sensitising your skin.

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review on YouTube



Final Word


Do you use any facial washing system? If so, what is it?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Best Liquid Foundation

In this blog post I will talk about the best liquid foundations. I will take a little bit different approach to a lot of other sites when discussing the best formulation. I'll talk more about the things to consider when buying a new product to cover up your face, the best formulation for acne prone skin, dry, oily or combination skin. Also, I will mention the reasons why I don't want to name any specific brands as being good or bad. At the end I will give you two awesome tips that may save you a lot of money that you spend on foundations and/or concealers.

The best foundation brands -  read the article
A few foundations and concealers I found on my shelf
So, what is the best liquid foundation? Whether it's liquid, mineral or powder, the best foundation is the one that melts into your skin and makes it look totally natural and flawless. It needs to match your skin colour and type and the most important thing of all is that YOU like it.

Everyone is different and everyone has a different taste, skin structure and opinion. This is the reason why I don't want to brand any foundations or concealers as being good or bad. I visited a lot of blogs, watched a lot of YouTube videos and I heard a lot of good things about Rimmel Match Perfection foundation in Light Porcelain colour before writing a review about it on my own blog. Unfortunately, I had a different opinion to a lot of other bloggers. Although the colour was the closest match to my skin tone, it didn't live up to my expectations: it made me look like a vampire as it was too light, also, it was too thin to my liking. Another product that I read a lot of good things about was argan oil. When tested on my hair, I hardly saw any difference between my hair with this Moroccan thing on or without. So, it didn't work for my locks.

Although I do love Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup foundation and I think that Rimmel Match Perfection is far from amazing, the combination of the two gives me outstanding result. Why? The mentioned Estee Lauder cosmetics comes in a big bottle and it lasts me a long time. When I bought this foundation my skin was a bit darker. Now the product colour does not match my skin tone anymore. Rimmel in light porcelain colour is too light for me and I look like a geisha after putting it on my face. So, my first advice: don't be scared to mix and match foundations, even concealers to achieve your perfect colour.

Also, Estee Lauder has thicker consistency and Rimmel has very thin one, so mixing them up has another advantage, i.e., it achieves the consistency that is perfect for ME. I emphasise ME, because it's only my personal preference. I am sure things that you like might be different, so DO experiment to find out what works for you.

Adding some oil into your foundation is another awesome tip that I have. Oil makes your skin glow. If you have oily, combination or, in certain cases, acne prone skin, then this may not work for you as your skin may get too greasy, but for skin that is on the dry side, this may work perfectly well. All you need to do is add a tiny drop of oil on a palm together with foundation, it can be argan oil for face or anything else that you like. Mix it all up with a finger or in any other way that you like and apply on your face.

Foundation tricks
Mix a few foundations to achieve the right shade, consistency, add some oil for a glowing skin
You will often hear that you must invest into a good foundation and it is not the product to save money on. From having tried a lot of various foundations and concealers on my own skin, I discovered that often expensive foundations are good, but they can also be rubbish and vice versa. Cheap ones can also be very good or bad, so don't be led into thinking that if you spend a lot of money on foundation you will necessarily get a good product. With expensive or designer brands you may have a better chance at getting a good product, because you often get to try out the liquid or any other formulation on your skin before you buy, which is the luxury that you often don't get with a drugstore brand. Boots, Superdrug and most other drugstore type cosmetics shops don't have descent mirrors, nor wipes for multiple application and testing foundation on your skin.

I have given you my foundation and liquid concealer tricks and I mentioned to you why I don't like to recommend specific brands. Now it's time to talk about the things you need to consider when buying your perfect makeup. So, read before you buy; here is a list of the things that you must bear in mind when choosing the products for covering up your face:
  • skin colour
  • your skin type (oily, dry, sensitive, normal)
  • what type of coverage you would like (light, medium, heavy)
  • whether you want SPF in your foundation or not
For oily skin, you may want to look for words such as "oil free", "oil control", "mattifying" on the bottle. For dry skin, look for moisturising foundations with "hydrating" or "moisture-rich" wording on the bottle.

To those who don't know, full coverage makeup provides a flawless, opaque coverage. It hides discolouration, blemishes, acne spots, scars, evens out skin tone and tends to be heavier than a regular coverage foundation. Some people like to keep it for special occasions or events as it can get a bit cakey.

Although I don't want to say that one brand is better that the other, I have compiled a brief list of foundations that I found to have good reviews on Amazon or Boots websites. You may want to go and check them out for yourself. I compiled this list a couple of months ago, so it's not fully up-to-date, but I think it still reflects reality.


Some of the best drugstore foundations:


  • Max Factor Pan Stick Foundation has a lot of good reviews on Amazon. It has rich creamy texture which creates a perfect dewy canvas for a great everyday look. It sells for £6.86.
  • Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation. It comes in six shades, SPF 20, average 4.3 star rating on Boots out of 764 comments. Price £11.99.
  • No7 Stay Perfect Foundation has an average 4 star rating out of 139 on Boots website. Suits all skin types, comes in 17 colours, has SPF 15, costs £14.50.
  • Revlon Photo Ready Makeup has SPF 20, comes in eight colours, full coverage, four stars on Boots from 109 reviews. Costs £12.99.
  • Revlon ColorStay Makeup with SoftFlex Combination / oily skin with oil-free formula that helps control shine. Provides medium to full coverage with SPF 6, 4.5 stars from 193 reviews, comes in nine shades, price £12.45 on Boots
  • Revlon ColorStay Makeup Normal/dry skin. Medium to full coverage, 12 shades, SPF 15, four stars from 98 customer on Boots, £12.49.
  • Visible Lift Serum Inside Instant Foundation by L'Oreal Paris, £6.95. Full coverage.
  • Maybelline Cocoa Dream Satin Liquid Air Whipped Foundation £4.89


Some of the best high end cosmetics:


  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup comes in 29 shades, it has SPF 10 and has an average review of five stars out of 216 customers on Boots. I personally love this foundation.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation. Comes in 16 shades, average review is five stars out of 36 comments on Boots. Price £29.
  • Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H has SPF 15, comes in 12 shades, 4.5 stars out of 26 reviews on Boots. Price £28.50.

In this article I have briefly named things that every lady should consider before buying a liquid foundation, I shared my two tips on how to turn makeup that is not great into something that may be brilliant for your skin. Also, although I don't want to recommend any specific cosmetics, I named a few brands that have descent foundations based on reviews by many happy customers.

If you enjoyed reading this, please share the article on your social media channels, subscribe to my e-mail notifications and don't forget to check out what else I've got for you on my blog.

For those who prefer watching, I have a youtube video for you to check out:



What is your favourite foundation? Do you like full coverage, medium or light formulations?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Juice Yourself to Better Skin and Health: Orange, Pineapple and Lemon Juice

Orange, pineapple, lemon, Manuka active honey and ice juice
'Cold War' juice by Jason Vale, review
A few years ago I bought Phillips juicer which proved to be a very energising purchase. I have been using it at least once a week for the last few years and the juicer still works perfectly well. The sharp bits that do the fruit and vegetables' cutting are a bit less sharp, but still fine.

So, why did I decide to talk about the juicer? The reason for this is that it came together with Jason Vale's book called 'the Juice Master', which has over 100 delicious juice and smoothie recipes, together with my purchase. I have been using this book quite a lot. I must have made at least 20 various juices or smoothies from this book, a lot of them many times. The problem is that I don't always remember which ones I made and which ones were yummy or not. I decided to blog about the juices that I made, so that the pictures and description of what I felt when drinking the juice serve me as my personal diary about the healthy concoctions that I drank. They will remind me of whether they were good or not so good in terms of taste, appearance and quantity. Hopefully, some of you will find my posts inspiring and decide to try out a recipe or two from the same book.

Orange, pineapple, lemon and honey juice
Oranges, pineapple and lemon are the main ingredients  in the 'Cold War' juice


My review of the 'Cold War' juice


'Cold War' is the juice made of orange, pineapple, lemon, Manuka honey and some ice cubes. Look at the picture for the recipe. I made a triple amount as I had to share the juice with my kids and my husband.

Juice with orange, pineapple, lemon and honey recipe
The recipe of the juice
The fruit gave me three generous glasses of juice. At first, I tried the juice without honey, but it was too sour. It tasted good and refreshing after I added the remaining Manuka ingredient. My husband and the kids drank the fruity drink with pleasure.

What's in it for you?


  • Lots of vitamin C, which is not only a natural antibiotic, but also helps dissolve mucus and fight against free radicals that damages your skin and may cause heart disease.
  • Manuka honey has powerful antibacterial properties, but you can make the juice with different type of honey. The juice will taste good anyway.

My verdict: I will make this drink again.



Do you ever make your own juice? Which juice is your favourite?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Review of Eternity Moisturiser by Xenca

Today I am going to review Eternity moisturiser by Xenca. I have had it for a few months now and, unlike some products that I received from other companies, I have been using this moisturiser every day, at least once a day. I have not run out of it yet as it comes in a fantastic 100ml bottle. Thanks, Xenca, for this amazing product! It is my new favourite moisturiser.

Eternity moisturiser by Xenca
Eternity Moisturiser by Xenca

Why do I like it so much?


  • Very light and non-greasy.
  • Perfect base for make-up.
  • My skin looks fully moisturised and clean, fine lines seem to have become a lot less noticeable.
  • Free from parabens, petrochemicals, glycols and synthetic fragrances.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Does not clog pores.
  • Massive bottle, low price for the size and quality: 100ml costs £27.95.
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee.
  • It is packed with natural skin-soothing ingredients that work very well on skin. The cream contains rose hip, wheat germ oils, extracts of aloe vera and rose geranium, as well as vitamins A, E and B1, this light, non-greasy cream allows your skin to feel soothed, healed and moisturised.
  • You must try to know what I mean. 

Cons


  • The only con is the SPF. Eternity by Xenca doesn't contain any sun protection, so in summer months you may want to apply sun cream on top of the moisturiser. It will be absolutely perfect for me for winter as I am less fussy about SPF in the cold months.


I will finish my review here and I hope that some of you will try out this moisturiser at some point.

Which moisturiser is your favourite?