Friday, 4 April 2014

Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel as a Primer

Yes, really, I'm posting about how I put anti-chafing gel on my face.  Stay with me here!

Practically anyone who knows anything about make-up will have heard about the Smashbox Photofinish Primer. Smashbox are one of the brands that really put foundation primers on the map and their original version retails at about £25.  I do love the brand and am glad they are now back in the UK and easy to purchase from again.

Now I love this original primer, its been something I've repurchased again and again as it really suits my normal to dry skintype - however, recently I read an interesting thread on Mumsnet about Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel having the same exact ingredients.

The main ingredient in any primer is going to be dimethicone. The difference between high end primers and the Lanacane Gel is ingredients and texture. The high end primers feel more luxurious, might be more moisturizing, and some have an SPF in them. But at the end of the day, they still have dimethicone or some form of silicone in them.

Ingredients for both

Smashbox Original Photo Finish Ingredients:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, Silica, Dimethicone/ Vinyl Ddimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Extract, Propylene Glycol, Water (Aqua, Eau), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Cola Acuminata Seed Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract

Lanacane Ingredients
Cyclopentasiloxane Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Zea Mays (corn) starch

So yeah we can see that the Smashbox has more ingredients to give a better feel to the formula, however I've used both of them extensively and I cannot tell the difference.  If anything the Lanacane is slightly thicker so you need less of it, and I actually prefer it to the Smashbox.

I would only recommend using Lanacane if you have the same skin type as me, Normal-Dry.  I don't think this or the Original Photo-Finish primer would benefit Oily skin.  

Smashbox do make a variety of other primers for different skin types and needs here, but if you have used the Original Photofinish before and don't want to pay the £25 price tag - then Lanacane will do EXACTLY the same job and only costs £6.65 for 30g.

You can buy Lanacane here at Boots or instore at Superdrug.

What is your favourite primer?

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Just a super quick post on my favourite blusher of the moment.  NARS Angelika.  NARS are my absolute Holy Grail brand when it comes to blushers, they are always super pigmented yet at the same time very buildable so you can acheive more than one look.  I've tried dupes of the brand from cheaper sources, but they just don't compare in quality.
I've been lusting after this shade for a while after seeing it so many times on Instagram on girls with the same skin tone as myself (Instagram is    responsible for a LOT of my purchases.)

NARS Angelika is described as a 'cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle' It’s a blue-based light-medium pink (cool -toned).

As you can see from the pic, the colour is quite scary in pan as it has a lot of glitter.  I say scary because I generally HATE glitter and shimmer in blushes, and it's for this reason I've never really got on with Benefit blushers. 

I don't know where the glitter goes after application, but I certainly don't end up with a glittery face!

Here's a couple of pictures of how the blusher looks on my skin, first indoors and the second in natural daylight.  As you can see it's not as bright on the face as you would expect.  You can certainly build it up to be so if you have darker toned skin, but I make sure to be light-handed with it.  Also, no I do not end up with a glittery face!

The blush provided a lovely soft focus effect glow to the skin, and it probably lasts about 8 hours on me without having to reapply.  I'm in love!

I purchased this blusher from HQ Hair who you can go to here they deliver fast and often have 10% and 20% off codes knocking about on HotUkDeals.

Saturday, 22 March 2014


Today's post marks a little celebration for me, as I've officially become a SensatioNail Ambassador! I'm really passionate about this product and now I have even more reason to not shut up about it. For those of you who don't know what SensatioNail is, it's an LED Lamp and gel polish range that you can use at home to get fuss-free manicures that will last you two weeks. If you have your nails done regularly, seriously, buy this - it will save you a fortune.

I'll start with a tiny disclaimer, that the colour Island Oasis was sent to me to test for free, however the lamp and other polishes in the photos were purchased myself. I absolutely adore the shade I was sent, it's so summery and adds such a pop of colour!

If you've ever had gel nails done at the salon (I used to pay £20 a pop), then they will use either a UV lamp or an LED lamp to dry your polish. LED lamps don’t generate heat or emit UVAs or UVBs, and you don’t need to replace the bulbs like you do with UV lamps. It was for these reasons I chose SensatioNail to do my at-home manicures, that and the polishes are readily available in Boots so I needn't order online every time I want a new colour.  


You can see here my nails are looking pretty sorry for themselves and short.  I recently bit them off in a moment of boredom and I'm trying to regrow them.  SensatioNail is great for this as it will make your nails hard and strong so they'll grow easily without breaking.  In this pic I've rubbed cuticle remover all over, just a cheap Boots Essentials one but you can use whatever you like.   I let the cream soften my skin a bit and then push back my cuticles with the manicure stick.  You get one of these sticks with every polish you buy.  The best time to push your cuticles back is after a bath or shower, but I don't often remember to do this.



Once you've done your cuticles, use a nail file to shape your nails however you like, then file the shine off the surface of your nails (so hold the nail file flat against the nail).  This might sound crazy but it's essential so the polish easily binds to the nail.  Don't go overboard and file it too much, just enough to make the surface rough! 


Using the Gel Cleanser, clean your nails with a cotton pad or lint-free wipe (comes with the essentials kit) to get rid of any moisture and debris from the filing.  The cleanser is basically just acetone-free nail polish remover, so once you've run out of this you can use that for the same purpose.

Then you want to use the Gel Primer, there is a tiny brush in bottle which you use to paint a small amount of it around the edge of your nails by the cuticles, so basically DRAW A CIRCLE around the nail.
Let the nails air dry for a few seconds after doing this.


Apply a thin coat of gel base/top coat , this comes with the starter kit and is a one bottle product for both uses.  I've also got the 'gel growth treatment' which I purchased separately.  I use this as my base coat instead when my nails are short (like they are today!) and I find it really helps my nails grow that bit quicker and stronger. 
The lamp isn't really big enough to put your  whole hand in at once, and to do so would your thumb was at the wrong angle - so the best way to cure each coat is to put four nails in, and do your thumbs separately. 

Oooooh look, it's like your nails have gone to a disco!  Once you've clicked the button on the top of the lamp, it will stay lit for 60 seconds.  You only need to cure your base coat for 30 seconds.  However the lamp will beep at 30 seconds so you know to remove your hand (and put your thumb in)


Pick a colour, and apply a thin layer to your nails. Use the brush to 'cap' the nail polish, by this I mean run the polish across the free edge (end) of the nail. Cure the colour layer for 60 seconds.

I keep emphasising THIN LAYER because if you apply the polish too thick it will affect drying time, and it won't last as long as it could as you increase chances of it lifting away from the nail later on.  Your first layer may look transparent but don't worry, you'll be doing another layer later!  Also, remember this polish won't dry until under the lamp, so if you get any hair in it (I have cats so this happens ALL the time), don't be afraid to yank it out with the manicure stick and resmooth over.  I also like to keep some cotton buds close by (them things you stick in your ears) and dip them in nail polish remover to tidy up mistakes around the cuticle.  For this I applied the lovely and bright turquoise blue/green colour Island Oasis.


Apply another thin coat of colour after you have cured the first, cap the free edge of the nail again.  You'll notice the nail polish will have a tacky/sticky feel on the nails, don't worry about this as its so the layers bind to the nail and to eachother.  Cure the second coat of colour for 60 seconds.


Once you've done your second coat, apply your top coat, and cure that for 30 seconds.  Once all your nails are done, wipe over and clean with the Gel Cleanser.  Then you're done and dry and good to go!  Shiny chip-free nails for two weeks.  

I LOVE that this is completely dry once you're done, as so often I've painted my nails and messed them up straight after as they've not been totally dry and I've wanted to get on with something else like loading the washing machine, or more commonly - I need to go and spend a penny and end up trying to remove my trousers with the palms of my hands and crazy wriggling (TMI you cry!)

A Few Tips!
1. Don't paint too close to the cuticle, as when your nails start to grow the polish will lift at the edges as you painted the edge on your skin (speaking from experience!)
2. As said before, keep a couple of cotton buds handy for tidying up errors

3. When removing, DO NOT just peel off the polish, this will weaken and thin your nails (I did this one too many times).  Use a proper 97% acetone remover.
4. If you get bored of the colour and want to change for a night out, you can just paint over your gel nails with regular polish, and remove later with acetone free remover. This will remove the normal polish and leave your gel polish intact!


The SensatioNail starter kits and polishes are either available directly through their website, or you can buy them in Boots. In fact at the time of posting, the starter kit has been temporarily reduced from £69.99 to £45 at Boots with the Scarlett Red polish included, the lamp itself retails at £45 so this is an amazing bargain as you get the cleanser, primer and top/base coat AND colour - CLICK HERE FOR OFFER  I'm not sure how long this deal is on for, although it's online only and a Mother's Day promotion so I assume will run for another week.

Last of all, don't be afraid to experiment with nail art! I'm forever adding dry glitters to my polishes, here's some pictures of other looks I've created with glitter and the colours Taupe Tulips, Midnight Rendezvous, Scarlet Red and Sugar Plum.  

Any questions, ask them here or tweet me!  I will be taking part in the SensatioNail Q&A's every Wednesday Night normally around 8pm using the hashtag #AskSensationail

Follow me on Twitter by clicking here or or searching for @MummyLvsMascara
Follow @SensatioNailUK
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Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Both of these palettes are great for the purpose of blush and contouring, and look very similar but differ in price depending on your budget.  I originally purchased the Sleek Face Form Palette for a not too shabby £9.99 from Superdrug.  The higher end version however, the Naked Flushed Palette retails for about £22.00 and was brought for me by a friend for my birthday (a friend who knows my make-up addiction well!)  It's worth noting too that the Sleek Palette is available in two shades, one for fair tones and one for medium to dark.  I am reviewing the fair skinned version here. 

Next to each other (Urban Decay on left, Sleek on right) you can see a few minimal differences between the two palettes.  As far as weight goes, with the Sleek palette you are getting more product (20g) for less money as the Naked Palette powders weigh in at 16g!  But does bigger necessarily mean better?  Lets find out!

Here I have swatched all three shades from the palette, starting at the bottom with the bronzer/contour powder. 
Bronzer - If you are pale, the bronzer may or may not be too much for you, as while it looks lighter in the pan compared to Sleek's version, it does have a warmer tone to it.  I find because of the warmth to it that I can't really use it as a contour shade and do have to purely use as a bronzer - however this is down to me being ghostly pale - I don't think this would be a problem for the majority.
Highlighter - This is lot more of a pinky shade than Sleek's highlighter, which means it's much more noticable and 'glowy'. The powder is creamy and finely milled as are all the Urban Decay eye shadows, so you're getting a much higher quality highlighter with this - and it also makes a great base eyeshadow.  I use this on my cheekbones, brow bones and cupids bow.
Blusher- This is very pigmented compared to Sleek's blusher, you have to go easy with it as if you're too heavy handed with the brush you end up looking severely sunburnt.  However, when used lightly it gives a lovely natural 'healthy glow' shade to the cheeks, like you've just come in from a brisk run.  This is about as close to me looking like I've been for a run as I will get!  It's not a shade of blusher I would ever have thought to buy before so I was pleasantly surprised with it and use it quite regularly.

I've put swatches here of the Sleek versions of the powders side by side with the Naked counterparts.  I think this picture best illustrates the difference in the quality of the powders. While you are getting more product with Sleek, the powders are more sheer and less pigmented than the Naked palettes therefore you would be using more anyway.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing as the Sleek palette is possibly more buildable.
Bronzer - The bronzer is more cool in tone so perhaps more suited to pale skin and can be used for both contour and bronzer easily for me.
Highlight - The highlighter is a more golden shade than the Naked, which was a pink champagne shade.  This makes the highlighter a lot more subtle so more suited to daytime make up perhaps than the Naked Palette, although I couldn't double it up as an eyeshadow due to how sheer it is. (You can barely see it on my skin here.)
Blush- I found the blush disappointing,  Out of the two, in the pan it looked a lot more like a blusher I would have purchased myself anyway and actually quite similar to one of my beloved Nars blushes (Deep Throat).  The blush though unfortunately was a bit of a wash out and took a lot of building to get to a shade I was happy with. 

Which was best?

Out of the two, I think the Naked Palette just trumps it due to the pigmentation and quality of the powders, but for £22.00 you would expect nothing less.  If you are looking for something similar and don't have that budget then the Sleek Face Form is a perfectly good substitute, you will have to work a little bit harder to get the colour pay off but you get more product so it evens out.  For me I just want the results FAST so I will reach for the Urban Decay most of the time - but I still use the bronzer in the Sleek Palette.

The Urban Decay Naked Flushed can be purchased at Debenhams here

The Sleek Face Form in Fair and Dark can be purchased at Superdrug here

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


I think we've all had the above tragedy at one time or another.  I can say for certain I have!  Most of my friends seem to think I'm quite handy with eyeliner when in truth I'm not, I just clean it up well when I mess it up.  Up until now I used an ear bud (q-tip) dipped in make up remover to tidy any mistakes.  I've tried a couple of 'make up remover' pens in stores and not been impressed enough to buy one - most notedly the Bourjois one which has an eyeliner on the other end, it seems to just 'smudge' and make more of a mess.

Step in E.L.F!  For those of you that don't know E.L.F. (eyes.lips.face) are a company that sell very reasonably priced cosmetics and tools.  Not only is a lot of their stuff crazy cheap but they often have 40% and 50% sales on across the site.  It's these moment I go wild and fill my basket full of stuff but the popular items do go fast.  A lot of items are hit and miss you will either love a product or think it's a cheap waste of time - e.g their studio brushes are fabulous but foundation I wouldn't write home about.

My most recent haul included this little beauty, 

the Studio Make up Remover Pen.  I wasn't expecting much from it, just threw it in the basket as it cost me a whopping £1.94 (normally £3.99 but got it in the sale). 

Product Description
Mascara smears? Uneven eyeliner? Quickly remove or correct small makeup smudges, smears and mistakes without having to take off the rest of your makeup! The gentle and non-greasy formula erases even long wearing and waterproof makeup for flawless touch ups, perfect for throwing in your purse or gym bag when you're on-the-go! Infused with Vitamin E, Cucumber and Chamomile to moisturise and condition skin.

My experience
I know right, you stopped reading after 'Uneven eyeliner?'  Me too.  Is this going to correct my wonky flicks or what?  Well yes, yes it is.  I took two shots below of some black gel eyeliner I had scribbled on my arm with.  Second photo shows the line I drew through it with this pen!

If your skin is wet after using the pen, you can always dab with a tissue and then go over the area with your eyeliner as normal. Another great use for this as mentioned in the description is for removing those annoying mascara blobs you can get on your eyelid.  Always wipe the pen nib with a tissue after use to prevent build up and making the pen grey.  I'm not sure how long the pen will last but there was a lot of moisture in the nib so I have high hopes.

Overall very impressed, for the price is a lot better than others I have tested on the market and I will repurchase :)

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


After reviewing the John Frieda Go Curlier spray, I really wanted to write about the 3-day straightening spray.  Not because I think its also a product that really delivers, but because I wanted to compare it to its Umberto Giannini counterpart to show you how bad the latter is!

First up, my hair is naturally wavy and thick, so straightening it is a royal pain in the behind for me.  I actually prefer curling it as I can be less precise about grabbing sections of hair - straightening takes me FOREVER so I really want it to last once I've done it. 

Lets start with the John Frieda offering.  The full name of this is Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray and retails for £6.99 for 100ml.  I picked this up on 3 for £10 with the Umberto Gianni spray and a conditioner so you never need pay full whack for either.
 What it claims
  • Transform curly, frizzy hair into a straight, smooth style that lasts up to 3 days or until your next shampoo if less than 3 days
  • Designed to work with your hair straighteners, this weightless spray with heat protection blocks out frizz as you straighten. A revolutionary blend of polymers with keratin protein wraps each strand, sealing in straight style for up to 3 days. Keeps hair glossy, smooth and swinging with body.
  • Safe for colour-treated and chemically-treated hair.

Spray throughout damp or wet hair. Use about 7-15 sprays, more or less depending on amount of curl, hair length and thickness.  Comb to distribute evenly and blow-dry hair  straight.  Finish by using hair straighteners as normal.

My Experience
Again as with most John Frieda products, this really did what it promised for me.  I didn't feel like my hair was overloaded with product, yet it really did straighten a lot easier and was more manageable - I could tell this just from the blow dry before I used the straighteners.  My hair didn't kink and I didn't wake up the next day looking like a member of the Croods either, which is what normally happens no matter how I style my hair! I actually used this spray religiously when my hair was shorter (less than mid length) as it was more 'life and death' if my hair kinked - now I'm more relaxed about whether my hair is poker straight or not.  While my hair wasn't overloaded as such I wouldn't recommend you use this every time you wash your hair, or at least if you do - use a good clarifying shampoo as to avoid product build up. (I recommend cheap and cheerful Timote Pure Shampoo)

Either way, if you really want a lasting product, this is for you.  It doesn't promise to make the hair resistant to moisture as the Umberto Giannini one does - but as its in the 'Frizz-Ease' range, you'll find this is a smaller side effect anyway. Let's face it, nothing is going to stop the rain ruining your hair short of an old ladies plastic rain bonnet.

Moving on to Umberto Giannini.  This one is called in FULL Umberto Gianni Frizzi 3 Day Frizz Free Hair Extreme Taming Spray with Weather Proof Formula and breeeathe. Retails at £6.00 at Boots also for 100ml.

What it claims
No longer do you need to dodge the drizzle to preserve your blow dry or flat iron look, this revolutionary Umberto Giannini Frizzi 3 Day Frizz Free Hair Extreme Taming Spray acts like an invisible shower cap to repel moisture and humidity.

Spritz evenly through damp hair and blow dry as usual. If using straightening irons then apply another layer before straightening. Don't worry if it feels sticky on the hair during application as this will disappear when heat activated and is the de-frizzing polymers at work!

My Experience

Oh. Em. Gee.  Well it does promise to 'act like an invisible shower cap', and it really comes through with that - you get about the same feel to you hair as if you had taken your shower cap and IRONED it onto your head.  Ok maybe I'm exaggerating.  It's not often I really hate a hair product, I either like or am indifferent and will use it up but not buy again.  This was awful awful awful never again shall I let it near my locks.  

I applied to my hair while wet as instructed, all fine.  When it came to dry my hair, then we had problems.  It was as if I had ran super-glue through my wet hair then tried to style it.  It kept tangling in the brush and I was really struggling to even get the brush through some parts - I hadn't even been over generous with the spray!  Once hair was dry, I again tried to brush the knots out which was an endless task as the brush just kept getting caught up.  I told myself, it's fine - ITS THE DE-FRIZZING POLYMERS FOOL.  Assuming they would disappear once the straighteners hit it, I carried on trying to style my hair.  Once the hair was straight, admittedly there was less of a sticky feel - but my hair easily knotted and pretty much all day if I ran a hand through it I'd get stuck and be left wondering whether to call for assistance (garden shears).

Needless to say I was desperate to wash my hair, I had to use clarifying shampoo and use it twice to really get this stuff out.  I would say that yes it does fight the frizz but at the cost of your hair feeling awful and it's just not worth it. 


Both products fight frizz but Umberto also seems to want to fight your hair - John Frieda is the winner of this one!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Who'd have thought the Poundshop would be such a treasure trove of Beauty products? I'm not talking about cheap make-up you wouldn't even use on your Girls World doll here, I'm talking about big brands!

The two main shops I am referring to are Poundland and Poundworld (how long till we see a PoundUniverse on the high street?).  A quick summary of what they have in store right now:

  • Stila sheer colour tinted moisturiser 50ml - £21 elsewhere online   
  • Boholash, Salonsystem diamond false lashes - £7.99 elsewhere online
  • Elegant Touch Union Jack nails - £6.45 at Boots
  • OPI nail shatter 15ml - RRP £13, but you can get these for £4.49 delivered
  • Miss Eylure false eyelashes - £4.09 at Superdrug
  • NYC false lashes - £2.99 at Superdrug
  • Hard Candy cosmetics - Generally £3 and up online from Ebay
  • Calvin Klein sheer creme eyeshadow - RRP £1.50, but have seen for £5 elsewhere online
    (FYI the Miss Eyelure false eyelashes are fantastic, they are pre-glued so no faffing, and also the strip is slighty smaller than normal falsies so they don't need cutting down to size)

  • Rimmel Wake Me Up mousse - £5 at Tesco
  • Rimmel Glam Eyes trio - £4.99 (incl delivery) elsewhere online
  • TOWIE false eyelashes - £13 for a 3-pack elsewhere online, so about £4 each
  • Calvin Klein sheer creme eyeshadow - RRP £1.50, but have seen for £5 elsewhere online (yes they are stocked at both pound stores!)
  • Rimmel 60 seconds nail polish - was £3.70 at Tesco, now £2.70
  • Revlon Nail Enamel - £6.49 at Boots
  • Revlon Neon Nail Art Pens - £7.99 at Boots
  • Revlon Eyeshadows - £2-£5 various retailers
  • Sally Hansen Sugar Coat, Crackle and Magnetic Nail Effects - £2.50 at Amazon

I am a big fan of the CK eye shadows so picked up three of these, I've paid full price in the past before they got discontinued, then re-released!

The three shades I picked were bare silk (a pearly white for highlighting), cashmere plum (pink shade) and sheer nectar (rich brown shade)

These eyeshadows are super blendable and pigmented.  If not used before, they are quite similar in texture to the Maybelline Colour Tattoo eyeshadows (in my opinion).  I currently just have a gold one which I use as a base for metallic eyes (so sweep a powder eyeshadow over the top to set.) But they can be worn alone!

Quickly swatched below, first photo with flash, second photo natural light.

 As you can see, well worth £1 each!  So next time you're passing the pound shop, or going in for yet another pack of felt tips your child is going to destroy - check out the Health and Beauty section for some bargains.

For regular updates on offers and bargains to be had, do please LIKE my Facebook page and/or FOLLOW me on Twitter :)

Jen xx