Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CDWM, Great Products & a Big Disappointment

Hi guys! I'm back after a busy weekend.  The Come Dine With Me night went really well and all three courses turned out the way I wanted them to, although I was so busy trying to make everything perfect that I forgot to take pictures of the food!  Luckily someone else did so there's photographic evidence that I didn't stuff it up! However, I did remember to take pictures of the layout of the table.   Please note, I removed the bed sheet that was drying on the washing line before anyone arrived!  The dogs seemed to like lounging around the heat of the Chiminea... 
As I said previously, I held it at my parent's house because they just bought a new pergola for the garden (for anyone who isn't sure what that is, it's basically a fancy tent!).  I really wanted to create a nice atmosphere for me and my 5 gal pals to have a nice meal so I tried to make the table as pretty as I could.  I embellished the menus with gems, I got place name cards, cushions on with the seats, candles etc.  I set up my laptop with speakers too and made a great playlist on iTunes with songs that I knew everyone would like.
I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to this type of thing so I wanted everything to co-ordinate nicely.  We didn't have the nicest weather for it but it certainly wasn't too cold to sit outside and we had the blazing Chiminea to keep us warm! 
I had big faux diamond ring napkin rings but since my napkins were paper and too small, I had to just use them as decoration...but they DID come in handy later on as props when we were all prancing around to Beyonce's Single Ladies! ("If you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it!")
I am relieved that my turn is over and done with because it's really hard to relax when you're constantly watching the time for things in the oven and trying to make sure everyone's wine glass isn't running dry.  Chris has demanded that I make the meal for him at some point since it went down so well and our 3 year anniversary is coming up in July so we'll see...
Onto some beauty stuff I have been loving of late.  As I have said before, I have become slightly obsessed with 'prepping' my skin before the wedding and ensuring that it's as blemish free as possible before the big day.  So that means no picking at spots no matter how tempting (gross I know but everyone does it!).  I always just want to expel any badness from my skin and I end up leaving it looking worse than it did before.  So that's a cardinal rule running up to the wedding day because we all know that it takes some time for blemish scars to fade.  One product that has really impressed me this month is Loreal's Perfect Clean Foaming Gel Wash:
I used to be devoted to Neutrogena's 2-in-1 Visibly Clear Wash/Mask but this product has replaced it in my daily morning skincare routine.  It seems to be alot more gentle on my skin and slightly more effective when I do get blemishes.  Since using this, my skin has been so clear and the Salicylic Acid is great for exfoliating any dry skin patches.  It's a clear gel that you apply with the soft rubber scrublet that is attached to the bottle.  I was dubious about this 'scrublet' when I first saw it because I thought it might be uncomfortable to use or feel weird but it's actually a good tool to work the product into your skin.  It's not going to exfoliate your skin like a muslin cloth would but it helps to work the wash into your pores to lift out any dirt.  I LOVE this!
The product that I have been using before bed is the Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash which leaves my skin feeling divine.  It's really gentle, removes 90% of my makeup, it's anti-ageing and you only need a small amount in each application.  My skin looks and feels really radiant when I use this product and it really makes a difference to the texture of your skin.  I'm all about refining skin texture because makeup only looks good when the base is good.
Because I am wearing a strapless wedding dress, I really wanted to work on my upper arms where you can get those little bumps, which apparently are a build up of keratin in your pores.  I have been exfoliating my upper arms every day in the shower to try and smooth the skin out and my scrub of choice has been St Ives Deep Cleansing Apricot Body Scrub.  This stuff is absolutely brilliant for getting rid of those bumps because it's designed for 'oily, blemish prone' skin which overall I don't have but this is perfect for my upper arms.  My upper arms are now lovely and smooth so I will keep up this routine until the wedding day to ensure they stay that way.
A product that works really well with that scrub is the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E.  Now I have used this body moisturiser before but I had forgotten how amazing it was at smoothing the skin and fading any scars you may have.  This moisturiser has done a fantastic job of softening my skin and I now use it every single night before bed.  I had some scars on my elbow from Psoriasis and it has totally faded them out in a matter of days.  I think sometimes I try so many different products trying to find the perfect one, that I overlook old classics that really do the job.  I am going to stick with this from now on because nothing else has made my skin look and feel the way this does.

Now for the disappointing product...YSL Faux Cils Noir Radical mascara.  I was SO excited when they brought this out because I love the original Faux Cils mascara and the concept of a sooty, intense black version for more drama sounded amazing.  The original Faux Cils formula creates amazing length and volume, doesn't flake or smudge and really lasts the distance.  It's only downfall is that it dries out quite quickly but that never bothered me because I loved it so much.
However, this Noir Radical formula is NOT the same as the original.  The problem is it smudges within minutes of application and not just a little bit of smudging, but LOADS.  I ended up with panda eyes on the outer AND inner corners of my eyes, where it bled into my lower waterline (I only wear mascara on my upper lashline).  What a nightmare! It looked awful, messy and it made me look tired.  I just can't use this mascara.  It's almost like they added coal dust to it or something because it has no staying power and just migrates all around the eye area.  I read Lollipop 26's comments that maybe it was because of the shape of her eyes, but no, I can confirm that it's just that the mascara's formula is not up to scratch.  This is really disappointing because usually I love YSL's products.  I won't be touching this again so I will be sticking to my mascara faves...YSL Faux Cils original formula or Rouge Bunny Rouge Amplitude mascara.

Have you tried the Noir Radical mascara? What are your thoughts?

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