Giveaway!!

I’m so delighted to be holding my first competition on Blush and Banter! After reviewing some of the products from Bielenda, the lovely ladies at Primavera Beauty have kindly given me a bunch of gorgeous face masks and some lip treats too. All to giveaway to a Blush and Banter reader! The giveaway includes a full set of Bielenda’s face masks, the Cherry Lip Balm and the Peach Lip Butter that I loved so much. A great way of testing the products for yourself! 

The competition will run for one week, so the winner will be announced on Blush and Banter’s Facebook page next Friday, September 5th.

Just answer the following question – you can do this in the blog comments box below, or on Facebook. And then like Blush and Banter on Facebook! Easy.

Question: Bielenda have a bunch of different skincare lines to suit all skin types. Name one of the skincare lines offered by Bielenda. Hint: see blog post here

Giveaway Bielenda

Advertisements

Face Masks by Bielenda

photo 1 photo 3

 

Every so often I love a beauty night in – doing my nails, putting a face mask on, and an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. I know, I just admitted that. But a girl needs her own time! A face mask is the ideal way to relax, while treating your skin at the same time, and I’m always on the look out for a new one to try.

Bielenda have a huge range of different facial masks and professional formula sachets to choose from. Each one comes in a handy sachet (some with a two-step facial mask instruction) and are priced at a very affordable €2.50 per sachet.

One of the face masks I really loved was a Cucumber & Lime Deep cleansing face mask, which is aimed at combination skin. But I love the cucumber and lime mixture, so it was a clear favourite for me from the outset. This mask comes in two steps – the first being a mask you apply and leave for ten minutes, the second being a moisturising mask you apply and leave on. You’re recommended to use the mask two to three times a week, and one sachet will easily have enough product to last the week, as you don’t need to layer it on.

Another face mask I really liked, was an Ultra Moisturising Hydrogel Face Mask. Clear in colour, the mask was easily applied and had an aloe-vera type sensation on the skin. The scent was gorgeous and my skin really felt great afterwards. With so many different types of face masks available, and something to suit all skin types, I’m working my way through them as we speak! Let me know if you try them – and what you think!

Caring Peach Lip Butter

A quick mention for one of my favourite products from the Bielenda line so far: the Caring Peach Lip Butter. At just €2.99, this butter has been in my handbag from the moment I got it. It’s really moisturising but light in texture, and smells absolutely gorgeous. Again it’s peach, and although I seem to have a habit of comparing beauty products to food, I have to tell you that this particular one is like Petits Filous for your smackers. Just gorgeous!

20140826_201015 20140826_201036

Find Bielenda on Facebook here

New: Precious Peach Oil

I have quite fine hair that can get greasy quickly if I use products that are too heavy, so I normally shy away from oils for my hair and elixirs. But I wanted to give Bielenda’s Precious Peach Oil a chance and an honest review, so went against the grain on this occasion.

The Precious Peach Oil 3in1 is a multi-purpose product for your body, face and hair. What it says on the tin is that its nourishing ingredients visibly revitalise and regenerates your skin and improves its elasticity and hydration while it also restores and brightens the condition of hair as well as your body. Because I knew oils don’t always bode well with my hair, I stuck with applying it just to the ends, which need the most conditioning, and left it in all night, before washing it out the next morning. I have to say my hair felt really soft and sleek after washing it, and it didn’t get greasy the next day as I had expected it to.

20140826_200957

I also used it a number of times in recent weeks on my face after cleansing and the following morning, again after leaving it on over night, I could really feel the softness in my skin. What I will say is that there is a good bit of residue from this product, as not all of it soaks into the skin. But this happens with almost any facial oil I have tried so I wasn’t surprised. It is an oil after all. If you have oily skin, this product would be ideal. But if, like me, you have normal skin most of the time, I would recommend using it only a couple of times a week. I was afraid the excess oil would cause my skin to break out, but I’m happy to say I had no issues with that at all.

Finally, you can also use the Precious Peach Oil on your body, so I used it on areas of my skin that need the most moisturising – namely my elbows, knees and the backs of my arms. Again, it took a while for the oil to soak in, so I made sure I applied it before going to bed so I could benefit from it the whole night through.

What I loved about this product was that it was multi-functional and you can benefit from it in more ways than one, unlike a lot of oils you can buy, which focus on specific areas. I also loved its smell, I’m a huge fan of peach as a flavour and fragrance – and for anyone who grew up in the nineties, it might remind you of a fizzy cola lolly – no lie!

Best of all, it’s priced at €6.90, so even if you’re tempted into trying it yourself, it won’t break the bank!  www.primaverabeauty.ie 

New: CC Cream by Bielenda

I had a brief fling with BB creams when they first came out, but while I initially loved them, I have to admit that it wasn’t long before I made my way back to my every day foundations. They just didn’t cut it with the Irish winter weather! So when CC creams came on the scene, I wasn’t in a crazy rush to try them out because I really wasn’t sure how different they would be. Recently however, I was asked to try out Colour Control products by Bielenda (more info about this here) and was happy to see they were really wearable.

 

Rather than substituting for your foundation or tinted moisturiser, Bielenda’s CC cream Face Perfector works at reducing redness and concealing any imperfections, and is the ideal product for priming your face ahead of applying your daily mask.

 

It works by combining the properties of a beauty cream and a skin concealer – meaning it covers imperfections and works at evening out your skin tone, which all helps in achieving that ‘flawless’ make-up look we all strive so much for.

 

I was really surprised when I first tried the cream, as I wasn’t expecting the cream to be green, and initially the consistency felt quite thick. Don’t be fooled by that though, as once you massage it into your skin, the cream really absorbs in, it doesn’t leave any oily residue behind (and doesn’t block pores!) and leaves your skin feeling fresh and looking healthier. I didn’t use a primer on the day I first tried this cream, as I wanted to see how it would benefit my make-up. My skin looked fresher, and it provided a really good base for my foundation because it does seem like your skin tone has been evened out. This always helps when it comes to getting a natural coverage.

 

I also tired this CC cream on one of my non make-up days (i.e. a day when I didn’t have to face the world – at all) and I was pleasantly surprised at how much brighter my skin looked. Of course we all have these mad notions that some day we’ll apply a miracle cream and never need to wear foundation again. In the real world, this just doesn’t happen! But anything that will brighten my face, even the slightest bit, and make my skin appear healthier, wins brownie points in my book.

 

Bielenda Color Control, CC Cream Face Perfector 10in1, €8.50

 

 

A similar idea surrounds Bielenda’s CC Cream Body Perfector, which I also tried over the last few weeks. Again it combines the elements of both a concealer and a body balm, improving skin tone and concealing imperfections on the skin, while also softening the skin and moisturising like any other body cream.

This cream was ideal over the last few weeks, before the not-so-fancy weather set in, as I’m not a huge fan of wearing skin-coloured tights at all, but this CC cream was the perfect replacement. It even features illuminating micropigments which reflect the light and adds a glow or radiance to your skin.

It’s perfect for throwing on when you’re wearing a dress or short skirt, or for applying on your hands or neck to conceal any imperfections, or again just to even out your skin tone. I applied without any fake tan and it gave me a natural, healthy looking glow, ideal for this time of year. It takes a few minutes to completely absorb, so I’d recommend applying before you do your hair or makeup and let it dry before getting dressed.

 

Bielenda CC Body Perfector, €9.50

Bielenda: The newest skincare brand to launch in Ireland

I’m always on the lookout for good skincare products, whether they’re new on the beauty scene or already considered holy grail products by someone else. So when I received some samples of a new skincare line due to be launched in Ireland soon, I was excited to try something new and intrigued too as I had not come across the brand before.

Bielenda is a new skincare brand set to launch in Ireland this month. With both a professional product line, as well as a retail line, Bielenda is already considered successful in other EU countries as well as a few far flung places such as the Far East and the States.

Eco and Animal Friendly

What I particularly like about the brand, and what I know a lot of people find so important these days, is that the products are NOT tested on animals, they’re eco-friendly and they’re made using natural ingredients.

Bielenda Pic

Sounds good so far, right?

The whole idea of Bielenda is that the safe and skin-friendly beauty care can be “all encompassing”. By this they mean all of the above:

– Contains eco-friendly active ingredients

– Products are not tested on animals, but by renowned experts in dermatology

– They aim to minimise their impact on the environment. This means they distribute their products in eco-friendly recycable packaging and they remain environmentally aware at each and every stage of manufacture and distribution.  

A Polish brand, Bielenda is already available in the UK, other EU countries including France, Canada, USA and United Arab Emirates, and now, Ireland.

Suitable for all skin types

This is the next reason I was excited about the brand’s arrival en Irlande.

While Bielenda Professional will be only available in beauty salons, spas and beauty schools, the retail brand is ours for the taking. And they’ve a skincare line to suit each and every skin type…

Dry & Sensitive – Cotton

Dry & Very Dry – Black Olive

Dry & Dehydrated – Avacado

Sensitive & Allergic – Aloe

Thin, delicate and skin with dilated capillaries – Chestnut

Very mature & Dry – Argan Oil

Mixed & Oily – Cucumber and lime

Tired, dull & stressed – Carotene

Normal & Mixed – Pomegranate

Bielenda also offer a tanning range, a men’s range ‘Only For Men’, and pregnancy-safe skincare too. Having already won an Instyle beauty award and an award with the French Cosmopolitan magazine, Bielenda is certainly one to check out.

I’ve even tried a few myself over the last few weeks, so keep an eye out for my reviews on the blog this week, as well as a Q&A session with a Bielenda skincare specialist. In the meantime, check out the brand’s Irish distributor: Primavera Beauty.

www.primaverabeauty.ie

Space NK Lust List

There was some serious excitement in the beautysphere recently with the grand opening of Ireland’s first standalone Space NK store. If you’re a beauty nerd or follow any beauty blogs at all, you’ll already be aware of the importance of this big news, but for those of you who are not, I’ll briefly explain:

Space NK isn’t just any old make up store; it’s an emporium and home to some of the most luxurious beauty brands in the world. It’s British, has stores in London and New York, and was founded by Nicky Kinnaird (hence the NK) just over 20 years ago.

The store (apothecary – ‘scuse me!) features make-up, skincare and hair care brands, some of which we’ve never really had the pleasure of sampling on the back of our hands before. Some of the tempting brands to lust over include Sunday Riley (a major beauty go-to on runways around the world), Eve Lom, By Terry, Lipstick Queen, Hourglass, Sarah Chapman and Oribe.

It took an overwhelming amount of willpower not to blow all my life savings on a spree on my first visit and indulged instead on simply exploring all the brands and making a lust list instead…

 

 

Ambient Lightning Blush by Hourglass
I’m familiar with the brand only because of what I’ve read on other blogs and can’t wait to try Hourglass. I particularly love the look of this lightweight blusher which comes in six shades. This one here is ‘Diffused Heat’.

UK200012034_HOURGLASS

Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser by Aurelia
I didn’t know this brand at all before Space NK arrived but I did receive a sample of this moisturiser and absolutely love it. Hence its place on my lust list! The luxurious cream is whipped, with a mousse-type texture to it, and it gives skin a gorgeous glow while hydrating dull skin.

UK200011829_AURELIA

Cheek to Cheek by By Terry
So this one is for the days when I’m not in the mood for a powder blush. I’m a big fan of cream blush as it is, but I’m dying to try Cheek by Cheek. It’s a brand new syrup blusher that’s made from 100% water. It gives baby soft pink cheeks and a subtle satin finish. Want!

UK200012650_BYTERRY

Anti-feathering lip pencil by Laura Mercier
I’ve been meaning to get a nude-coloured lip pencil for a while and love the look of this lip pencil in ‘Naked’ by Laura Mercier. Designed to outline and enhance the natural shape of your lip, the nude-coloured pencil is ideal for wearing everyday, and can be used simply with a lipgloss.

UK200006074_LAURA_MERC

Skinny Liquid Eyeliner by Eyeko
Eyeliner is one of those cult beauty products I know I will never live without and I’ve heard great things about this particular one by Eyeko. It is designed with an easy-to-control pen and a preservative-free formula and it promises a long lasting finish. I can’t wait to add this one to my make-up kit!

BB_Eyeko_Landing_Hero_770x300_120111

What I did buy:

It’s not the type of place where you can easily leave empty handed, there’s just too much that I want. So I did treat myself to one particular product I’ve been eyeing up; eye do by eyeko. Eyeko is a brand that is fronted by Alexa Chung, so you know it’s cool. This isn’t just a mascara, but a treatment for your lashes too. It’s water resistant (but easily removed with eye make-up remover) and contains lash-enhancing botanicals too.
It features an over-sized mascara brush which creates clump-free volume and the carbon black colour adds depth and long-lasting colour.
It also has a unique tube-style packaging, which means less wastage.
It’s my new favourite mascara and for €25, a purchase that won’t break the bank!

photo 3

Visit http://uk.spacenk.com/ for more information on the brands available. Space NK is located opposite BT2 on Dublin’s Grafton Street. You’ll come out with an empty wallet but I promise it will be worth it. And you’ll look amazing too.

 

Choosing the right SPF

We know the weather might not be quite in sync with our calenders at the moment, but we’re embracing the summer anyway and are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that the sunshine will, eventually, prevail. But whether you have a holiday in the sunshine already booked or just plan on winging it here in Ireland, it’s more important than ever to wear sun protection every day.

You will have heard by now that SPF has become a product that we should be including into our daily beauty regime year round, and many of our make-up products contain a small amount of PDF already. But wearing a high factor SPF underneath your make-up, whether you’re out in the open air or even just driving, is crucial to keeping your skin safe. The sun’s sneaky rays, whether we see them or not, can penetrate skin even on cloudy days and wearing SPF can protect from skin cancer, as well as helping us look younger for longer. It’s one of the best kept anti-ageing secrets and one you’re bound to benefit from using.

Before going on holiday recently, I spent ages trying to decide what SPF to invest in. I wanted one that wouldn’t be too creamy to pair with foundation, but one that wouldn’t block my pores either. It turns out there are plenty of face-friendly SPFs out there and so to help you make up your own mind, I gathered together some information on some of my favourite brands.

Let me know how you get on – and if you’ve discovered a great SPF that works for you, please share!

 

Solar Defense Booster SPF50 

Ideal for using as part of a daily routine,Dermalogica’s Solar Defense Booster can be applied directly to the skin and blends easily with any moisturiser or foundation. It completely absorbs into the skin, leaving no residue – there’s nothing worse than a shiny face on holiday or an oily base for your make up! The Defense Booster also contains anti-oxidant vitamins, which help defend the skin from damaging UV rays and free radicals. (€48.90 for 50ml)

 

Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF50

Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF50

Oil Free Matte SPF30

If you don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to doing your make up in the mornings, a multi-step skincare routine is not always possible before running out the door to work. Dermalogica however have a range of new multi-tasking moisturisers to help offer a solution. Oil Free Matte SPF30, Ultra Sensitive Tint SPF30 and Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 all contain UV smart booster technology meaning you get your moisturiser and the all essential SPF protection in one.

The Oil Free Matte SPF30 (€49.40) is specifically formualted to control factors that contribute to adult acne and works to mattify skin and prevent shine on oily and breakout-prone skin.

Dermalogica Oil=free matte SPF30

Dermalogica Oil=free matte SPF30

 

Clinique Sun with Solarsmart 

UVA rays can cause deeper damage than UVB rays. But what’s the difference? UVA rays age the skin while UVB rays burn it. While not all sun screens protect against both, Clinique’s Sun With Solarsmart offers defense against both and comes in a range of different options. I tried the SPF30 Protection Stick recently, and really like it. It didn’t leave an oily residue and was really easy to apply. It was handy too for throwing into my hand bag and reapplying when I was out and about in the sun. (€21.50)

Clinique Sun with Solar Smart Range

Clinique Sun with Solar Smart Range

 

Capital Soleil BB Cream by Vichy

For the ultimate combination of SPF and easy-care, try the new Capital Soleil BB Cream (€16.50) with super high SPF50+ which offers great protection as well as radiance-boosting colour. It comes in two formulas: Tinted dry touch fluid, perfect for combination to oily skin, and Tinted velvety cream, for normal to dry skin.

Capital Soleil BB Cream SPF 50

Capital Soleil BB Cream SPF 50

Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF30 (30ml) by Shiseido 

This sunscreen is ideal for using daily offering hydration as well as protection against external aggressors such as UV-rays, dryness and air pollution. It’s also feather-light so perfect for wearing all year round. It can be used on both face and body and can be washed off easily. (€36)

Urban Environment UV Protection Cream

Urban Environment UV Protection Cream

 

Beauty Road Test: Luxury Eye Cream

The Product: La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex

La Prairie is one luxury brand I had been looking forward to trying for a long time. Being a luxury brand, the products don’t come cheap, so it’s usually a counter you bypass when shopping. But there’s usually a reason for the hefty price tag.

laprairie

La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex is a Swiss beauty product that is said to be the perfect pick-me-up for the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes. It’s a lightweight, rapidly penetrating gel that acts as a mini eye lift.

It instantly firms, nourishes and re-energises the eye zone, improving its tone and texture, minimising fine lines and wrinkles while brightening and hydrating the delicate tissue and soothing away any signs of stress and fatigue.

What it says on the tin: The lightweight emulsion contains precious caviar extract which is praised for its firming and toning action. Concentrated firming agents restore vitality and elasticity to the skin and helps renew youthful radiance effectively smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This gel is said to help under-eye puffiness so if you’re predisposed to having dark circles or puffiness, it could help improve the skin condition. It also works as an anti-ageing cream which will visibly minimise fine lines and wrinkles.

My verdict: The transparent gel is really easy to apply and rapidly absorbs into the skin. Each night I used a small amount of the gel around the eye area and used a light tapping motion (as advised) to apply it, and in the morning, my skin was soft, hydrated and felt really refreshed. After just a few days, my worn-out eyes looked revived and de-puffed and I could really notice a difference.

laprairie 2

Pros: While applying it first thing in the morning helps the skin around the eye zone to stay hydrated throughout the day, it also works to help increase the staying power of makeup.

Cons: At a RRP of €118, it it doesn’t come cheap, but if you can afford to splurge on a mini luxury gift (or hint at a potential Christmas gift), it will be well worth your while. And hey, it is La Prairie after all. Can you expect anything less from a self-touted “mini eyelift”?

One last tip… if you use it sparingly, it can last a long time meaning you can invest once a year and still benefit!