Sunday, March 18, 2012

How the West Gets BB Creams So Wrong!

uk beauty blog bb cream

I'm a massive fan of BB Creams and you'd have to have been living under a rock to not have noticed the mass influx of 'western' bb creams for sale in the UK. No.7, 17, Estee Lauder and Too Faced are just some of the brands who've released BB Creams recently but they all get it WRONG.

First of all let's explore exactly what BB Cream is and where it originated. BB Cream stands for Blemish or Beblesh Balm and it originated in Germany. It was created to regenerate the skin of laser surgery patients. Korean cosmetics companies heard about it and adapted the formula and started selling it in the Korean beauty market. It became popular thanks to a host of Korean actresses who attributed their flawless skin to their use of BB Cream. Korean BB Creams are a mix of skin care and makeup.

The original (Korean) BB Creams do the following:

Gives the wearer perfect coverage without clogging the pores on the face
Hides pigmentation, acne, discolourisation of the face and other facial blemishes
Heals the skin.
Soften, refines & smooths the skin on the face.
Aids skin regeneration
Has anti-ageing properties
Protects against sun damage

To put things simply a genuine BB Cream is a foundation, concealer and anti-ageing moisturiser all rolled into one. It should provide full coverage while allowing your skin to breathe and regenerate itself. Western BB creams hardly fulfil any of the functions of the original. I've tried the 17, No.7, Garnier, Estee Lauder & the Too Faced BB Creams and to put it simply they are nothing like the genuine article. These brands jump on the BB bandwagon without it seems any idea of what a BB Cream actually is. These brands use the popularity of BB Creams to sell a product that isn't even a BB Cream. These below par imitations aren't much more than a tinted moisturiser with primer added. It really makes my blood boil and since when are there only two or three skin tones? Despite Korean's light skin tones I find it easier finding a shade that suits me from Korean brands.

Yes most Western versions contain SPF but that is about all they get right and while I'm ranting let me say this. BB does not stand for Beauty Balm!

Come on Western brands get with the program and please someone develop a genuine BB Cream. One that is equal or better to your Korean counterparts. I'm not holding my breath though. It seems for the time being I'll be sticking to my favourite Missha and Skin Food BB Creams!


Illamasqua Skin Base - Review, Photos & Swatches

uk beauty blog illamasqua skin base

uk beauty blog illamasqua skin base

uk beauty blog illamasqua skin base

uk beauty blog illamasqua skin base

uk beauty blog illamasqua skin base

Anyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter will have heard of my battle to find a good Western BB cream. Most western versions are nothing more than tinted moisturiser with primer added and this is in stark contrast to the Korean version which provides full coverage while letting your skin breathe and leaves me with flawless looking skin.

I recently tried out Estee Lauder's version but like the rest it was disappointing. So when someone on Twitter suggested to me that Illamasqua's skin base was the nearest you'll get to a proper BB cream I rushed to the Carnaby Street store to pick one up. I love the staff at the Illamasqua store, they are all super friendly and immensely helpful. I wasn't sure which shade I'd need so the lovely girl there swatched it on my skin to find a good match.

Skin Base isn't actually a BB Cream but it is pretty damn close to one. It is inspired by BB Cream's but those lovely folk at Illamasqua tell me they made some changes to accomodate the huge spectrum of shades they offer. Most western BB creams come in 3 shades only which isn't ideal for those of us whose skin is a different shade to any of the colours offered. The Illamasqua offering comes in a whopping 19 shades! Wow that is quite a selection. It also smoothes, softens and conditions the skin just like their Korean counterpart.

So what did I think of it?

I LOVED IT! I seriously can't convey quite how much I love this product. It is exactly the product I've spent 6 months looking for. Being mixed race I have areas of my face that are lighter than other areas. This product evened out my skin tone brilliantly. I also have acne on my right cheek and it did a brilliant job of disguising them. The colour match was perfect - no tide lines here!

It lasted all day long without fading and I couldn't be happier. It is superior in so many ways to my MAC foundation and provided much better coverage. I could gush all day about how much of a miracle product Skin Base is but I don't want to bore you to death. The only negative is the price. At £25 it isn't cheap but I'd say it is well worth the price tag. A little goes a long way with this product so it will last for ages.

Have any of you tried Skin Base? What are your thoughts?

Available from Illamasqua Online or Instore.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rimmel Lasting Finish Nail Polish in Disco Ball

uk beauty blog rimmel nail polish

uk beauty blog rimmel nail polish

uk beauty blog rimmel nail polish

uk beauty blog rimmel nail polish

I'm a sucker for a glitter filled polish and this one is a beauty. A clear polish filled with different sized flecks of silver, lilac, blue and gold glitter. I'm wearing it on its own here but it would look just as pretty worn over another colour. It dries super fast and only one coat is needed. I'll be wearing this polish alot. I've been wearing it for two days now and it still hasn't chipped. Not bad for a £2.99 nail polish!

Available from Boots priced £2.99

Friday, March 16, 2012

Illamasqua Lipstick - Scandal

uk beauty blog illamasqua scandal

uk beauty blog illamasqua scandal

uk beauty blog illamasqua scandal

uk beauty blog illamasqua scandal

uk beauty blog illamasqua scandal

I'm noticing a trend in my choice of lip colours. All my recent choices have been very pink! I can't help it i'm a sucker for barbie like lips.  The latest addition to my aresenal of pink lippies is Illamasqua's Scandal. I was lucky that when I went into the store they were having a 20% off everything sale (except the human fundamentalism range - dammit!). this colour instantly caught my eye. I have never tried Illamasqua lipsticks before so I figured what the heck let's give it a try.

MAC is usually my lipstick of choice but after trying out Illamasqua that is likely to change. Now I know matte lipsticks aren't everyone's cup of tea but I love them and this lipstick is very matte. I find that matte lippies wear better and last longer (at least on my full lips). I also love how pigmented this lipstick is. Sheer ones aren't my thing because they don't look bright enough as my lips are quite dark. I managed to wear this lipstick for quite a few hours without it fading and this time also included a trip to KFC where I gorged on the Big Daddy meal (yes I'm a pig) so it lasted through eating and drinking. It applies easily and evenly. Uneven application is a problem I often come across with cheaper lipsticks. I'm super impressed with Illamasqua lipsticks and I don't really have any complaints. some may find the colour too pigmented and I would avoid it if subtle colour is your thing. The packaging isn't anything special but it does the job and doesn't look cheap.MAC you've been replaced. I'm in love. This lippie is likely to be my go to lipstick.

What do you think. Would you wear this colour. Are you a fan of matte lipsticks?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dejavu Fiberwig Lash Knockout Mascara Review

I've been waiting to review this product for ages after seeing such good things about it online. Dejavu Fiberwig Lash Knockout is part of the fiberwig line. Fiberwig is basically a mascara that adds fibers to your lashes to make them look longer. It is regularly touted as 'paint on false lashes'. This one is one of their newer products in the line. So is it worth all the hype?

Let's take a look!

Without Fiberwig

With Fiberwig

As you can see from these photos my lashes look considerably thicker AND more importantly longer. This result is after just a single coat. If I'd applied more coats the result would be even more amazing. The mascara dries pretty quickly and is a deep black shade. So what are the negatives? It left a small trace of black mascara on my upper eyelid but that may be because I opened my eyes too quickly. It also tends to make eyelashes stick together a little but that is easily solved with the help of an eyelash comb.

For once the hype surrounding a product is actually worth it. So many mascaras claim to lengthen your lashes but this one actually does. This is sure to be a permanent fixture in my makeup kit. What do you think?

Price $16.10 from Sasa