Sunday, 21 March 2010

Cosmetics reviews

I have a love-hate relationship with cosmetics.  

I love them because of they promise so much - luxury, pampering, self-indulgence & the possibility of looking like a better version of yourself.  On the other hand, there's an awful lot of bulls**t, the promotion of only a very few 'acceptable' ways to look and the promise of looking like an eighteen year old, which any sensible person over the age of nineteen knows is rubbish.

On that note, I'd like to share with you some of the beauty products I've tried recently and my experiences with them. I have notoriously difficult skin - dry, extremely sensitive to environment influences like central heating and prone to rosacea. My hair is similar but without the rosacea - dry and prone to frizz at the drop of a hat.

I'd like to start with Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect.
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This is an interesting one.  In 2007, BBC's Horizon programme, which is a very well respected science programme, claimed that the No. 7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum actually worked. This naturally sparked a buying frenzy and Protect and Perfect has been at the top of the best seller lists ever since.

So did it work for me?  

Unfortunately not.  The cleanser and the beauty serum felt harsh against my skin and both the day & night moisturizers made my face sting.  After a week, my cheeks were noticeably redder and felt inflamed.  I certainly didn't notice any reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.  
Rather worryingly, after about a month, I found that my skin was more sensitive to things like central heating.  I also don't like the fact that the range doesn't differentiate between skin types - ie. there's no special creams for oily skin, dry skin etc.  It's just one cream for all skin types and let's face it, dry skin needs are very different to oily skin needs.

However, I'm not going to dismiss Protect and Perfect out of hand though because my friend S swears by it and even I can see the difference in her complexion when she's not using it.  

After my (didn't) Protect and Perfect experience, I was looking for something to try and calm down my now inflamed looking complexion.  I don't have a lot of money at the moment to spend on cosmetics, so I was nosing round my local branch of Boots when I spotted this.

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Eau Thermale Avene's Gentle Milk Cleanser.  I bought the cleanser along with the Soothing Hydrating Serum. Immediately I noticed a difference, even after the first application.  The cleanser is very soothing and feels good on the skin.  My complexion looked far less ruddy and felt far less dehydrated.  After about a week, people were commenting on how healthy I looked and my skin felt far more supple and far less susceptible to environmental influences.  My rosacea has calmed down to the point where I just look like I have healthy, rosy cheeks.  Definitely a big yes from me.

I can't abide celebrity endorsed products so it's with a heavy heart that I have to tell you about this.

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It's James Brown's Richly Moisturizing Shampoo.  James Brown is Kate Moss's hairdresser and boy, does he let you know about it.  The shampoo is however (sadly!) excellent. In fact, I'd go as far as to say, it's the best shampoo I've ever used.  It's a little odd to use because you leave it on like a conditioner for three minutes and I keep forgetting that I then need to apply conditioner after that but no matter.  It leaves my hair soft, silky and most importantly of all, not frizzy!!  Absolute bonus in my books.  Just a shame he felt he had to go down the celebrity route because the product is good enough to stand on it's own merits.  

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Films, fashion and faux pas.

I just love the Oscars.  I love the films, the fashion, the personalities - the whole over-the-top glamourous splendour of it all.  The live broadcast is in the middle of the night here in Britain but I don't care.  I stay up all night wrapped in a blanket, eating popcorn and watching it all. 

This year's Oscars were a particularly good watch.  It's a shame that 'Mugabe and the White African' didn't make it through to the final short list for best documentary but they did incredibly well to get as far as they did. I was overjoyed to see a woman, Kathryn Bigelow finally winning Best Director.  The mean part of me was particularly pleased that she beat her ex-husband, James Cameron of the mighty Avatar / Titanic / Aliens etc fame to the post.  Bizarrely 'The Hurt Locker' hasn't been released in the UK yet but I certainly intend to see the film once it has been.  Not sure how it managed to win a BAFTA without being released here...

Sandra Bullock was another treat this year.  I thought her outfit was one of the best Oscars outfits ever.

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That gorgeous Marchesa gown would look even better on me, (in my dreams!) but no matter, she looked exquisite. The beautiful, delicate embroidery on the bodice and the shimmering, metallic fabric just took my breath away but I think that the final touch of genius was the fuchsia lips.  The obvious choice would have been a pillar box red but the pink made it fresh, youthful and modern.

Another surprise was Kristen Stewart.  Her habitual surly glare to camera really gets my goat, (smile, girl, do you know how many people would kill to be in your position?) but last Sunday she actually managed to not only crack a smile but finally lose the irritating rebellious teenager attitude.

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However, my favourite person of the evening was the incomparable Gabourey Sidibe.  

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I love the normalness of her.  Yes, she's made some slightly duff fashion choices here, (the colour does nothing for her complexion and that applique across the waist & on the neckline only serves to broaden her) but who hasn't made some bad sartorial choices? She's brimming with joy just to be at the Oscars and I love that. If I ever got to go to the Oscars, (yea right), I'd be the Gabourey of the show.

In the absence of any real faux pas this year, I'm going to leave you with my favourite from times gone by - Bjork from the 2001 Oscars in her infamous swan dress.

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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Let me introduce myself

I've been reading my old blog posts and I've realized that I may be coming across as a bit schizophrenic so let me introduce myself and clear a few things up.  

I live in south London.  I work as a freelance technician in the entertainment industry but when work is slow, (like now) I do temp work, mainly in offices.  I was married many years ago but we divorced so I'm single and dating.  I have a wonderful family who are, unfortunately, scattered all over the world and many dear friends who keep me sane.

There!  That's better. 


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