Important Announcement: Beauty Detective Blog Is Moving To A New Site

Important Announcement: The Beauty Detective Blog Is Now Moving To A New (Much Better) Site!

Hi everyone!

Just a quick note to let you all know that this blog will now be moving to a new site  to make your beauty reading better than ever! This is so that I can add more helpful reviews, tips and pictures and make sure you get as much information as possible, enabling you to keep informed about the latest beauty discoveries and review more than ever before! I won’t be posting updates on this (old) site anymore but instead will be posting on my new improved blog site. Take a look here and please make sure to subscribe to The Beauty detective Blog on the new site so you don’t miss out on the latest posts and updates.

See you over at the new Beauty Detective blog site!

The Perfect Multi-Use Brush? – Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush Review

Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush Review…So Many Uses For It!

(My previous post on this brush got deleted in a system error! So I’m re-writing this for you all! *cry*)

This little versatile beauty tool is fast becoming my favourite all-rounder brush, despite being shocked at the price when I first got it; I’ll explain why…it does the job of nearly 5 different brushes! It’s an excellent eye socket contour brush, cheek, nose and face contouring brush, highlighter brush as well as having the perfect sized brush head to be a wonderful powder blusher brush to fit the apples of your cheeks. Although it may seem very pricey, it actually is worth it as it more than pays for itself over and over again; I don’t use separate contouring, highlighting or blusher brushes, I simply use this for all of those things.

Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush

Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush

The brush itself is amazing to use with very pigmented powder blushes such as Nars Exhibit A or Nars Seduction or even the Sleek Powder Blushers, this is because the pointed domed shaped brush head picks out just enough colour to dab onto the apple of your  cheek and then the remaining graduated brush hairs around the pointed end act as a ‘diffusing’ tool. Absolutely brilliant to create that ‘lit from within’ glow with pigmented powder blushers. Because it’s made from natural hair (goat hair in fact!) I would not use this brush to apply any cream products as otherwise the hairs would become loose, damaged and less ‘fluffy’ even when you wash it.

Although it seems quite fragile and delicate, it’s actually quite robust, but even so, I would still keep it in it’s card box container when not in use, so as to prevent the thin handle from becoming unravelled or a little bent. It has an unusual handle wrapped with wisteria, and this gives it that ‘bendy, springy’ feel when you hold it by the thinner end and use the brush in a back and forth or swirling motion.

Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush. A very soft multi-use brush that's perfect for applying pigmented powder blushers lightly and also for contouring, highlighting as well as being a great crease brush for the eye socket. The brush head is approx. 2 inches wide at the widest section and has a pointy tip.

Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush. A very soft multi-use brush that’s perfect for applying pigmented powder blushers lightly and also for contouring, highlighting as well as being a great crease brush for the eye socket. The brush head is approx. 2 inches wide at the widest section and has a pointy tip.

The pointed tip of the brush is also the perfect size for precise and quick contouring of the sides of the nose to make your nose look slimmer, as well as contouring cheekbones and jawline. The brush actually blends any contour powder really well with only a few strokes. You can even use it to blend colours or contour in the eye socket line, as the size of the tip of the brush head is small enough!

DIY Natural Lip Lightening/ Brightening Scrub

Here’s A Great Inexpensive DIY Natural Lip Scrub to help Brighten, Lighten & Soften Rough, Chapped Lips

DIY Lip Scrub For Brighter, Smoother, Softer Lips

DIY Lip Scrub For Brighter, Smoother, Softer Lips

I usually make a really quick and easy DIY home-made lip scrub by adding a few drops of Olive Oil to some sugar and rubbing the mixture onto lips for a few seconds. This is a brilliantly cheap and simple way to get super gorgeous smooth ‘baby lips’. If you really want to brighten lips (or have more pigmented lips that need to be ‘lifted’ a little) then try adding a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice, as well as some ground unroasted almonds crushed into a paste, to the Olive Oil and use brown sugar (the brown sugar, malic acid in almonds and the lemon can all help to lighten and soften the skin after a few applications). If you don’t have almonds, then simply add some milk (lactic acid in milk works to help brighten the skin on the lips after a few applications)

Getting The Most From Your Beauty Products: Tip No. 4 – Multipurpose Cream Eye Colour And Base

Shop For Beauty Without Throwing Your Money Away: Part Four

A great way of making a saving with eye primer, eye shadow and eyeliner is to buy a cream eye shadow such as MAC Paint Pot (£14.50) (available in shades ranging from nude, vibrant colour to black); this is a very blendable, long-lasting, multi-purpose make-up item which, depending upon which colour is selected, can be used as an eye shadow primer, opaque eye shadow or even as a gel-type liner, also great for lining the waterline as it’s waterproof, so long-lasting and doesn’t fade.

MAC Paint Pot in 'Painterly', a matte nude, flesh coloured shade

MAC Paint Pot in ‘Painterly’, a matte nude, flesh coloured shade

I love using the MAC Paint Pot in the neutral matte nude, flesh coloured shade ‘Painterly’, it’s excellent as an eyeshadow primer to make any eyeshadow last longer on my eyes as well as to brighten any pigmented lids or darkness around the eye lid; it’s also great to use as an under-eye concealer, flesh-coloured cream colour shadow and also as a nude eyeliner for the water line (to open up the eyes and make them look bigger, brighter and more wide-awake) this is great to use the morning after a heavy or late night.

Getting The Most From Your Beauty Products: Tip No. 3 – Maximize Your Pout With Multipurpose Products

Shop For Beauty Without Throwing Your Money Away: Part Three When shopping for new make-up and hair and beauty products I try to make sure I get the most out of my purchase by first analysing whether: a) the actual product itself can either be used on at least 2 out of the three areas of ‘face, body and hair’ b) or if it can only be used on one area (i.e. face) then it needs to have at least two or three different functions, for example, sun protection, colour and anti-ageing benefits. The lips are a good example of this, prep them once a week before applying make-up with this Inexpensive DIY Natural Lip Scrub to help Brighten, Lighten & Soften Lips for a simple way to soothe and brighten rough, pigmented lips.

Love Lips Lip Gloss in honey-beige nude shade 'Hello Lover'

 Love Lips Anti-Ageing Balm Gloss in honey-rose beige nude shade ‘Hello Lover’ with a touch of Nuxe Huile D’or on top for a wash of gold shimmer.

Lips need colour as well as love and care, and with a wonderfully multi-tasking coloured lip balm such as Love Lips™ Anti-Ageing Pheromone Balm Gloss (£22.00) from The Powder Lounge, I’m able to simultaneously sort out any dryness on my lips (even the really flaky, sore dryness from when I’ve been out in the wind  and cold or from the heat of the sun on holiday, as well as from the super-aircon on the plane during flights) and add a pop of smooth looking colour as well as look after my lips all at the same time. It has a balmy texture and shiny finish that really feels like it’s drenching my lips with moisture (the best thing about it is that this well-moisturized feel lasts fr hours). It’s nourishing Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil, Shea Butter and anti-ageing Peptides and Ceramides protect my lips from ageing and seem to smooth out any lines along the lip-edge, at the same time it plumps my lips instantly; (it can actually plump up lips by up to 40% in 29 days if applied 3 times a day).

Love Lips Anti-Ageing Plumping Pheromone Lipgloss

Love Lips Anti-Ageing Plumping Pheromone Lipgloss

The other great thing about this product is the fresh minty flavour and mood-lifting pheromone it contains, (I feel like I’m walking around with freshly brushed teeth for the whole day when I wear this). The mint extract gives an instant lip-plumping action so when I wear the brighter colour, it let’s me rock a super-shiny on-trend colour and take care of my lips nicely, all with one make-up item.

Getting The Most From Your Beauty Products: Tip No. 2 – BB Creams

Shop For Beauty Without Throwing Your Money Away: Part Two

If you’re looking to buy a foundation or tinted moisturizer, pause for a second and take a look at the latest BB Creams and CC Creams that have launched recently; these will moisturize, protect and conceal imperfections, and some even have the ability to correct flaws over time. A combination of bright Summer sunlight and heavy foundation will only highlight any blemishes, marks or dark patches so your best bet for creating the perfect base is to take advantage of the latest in technologically advanced 2-in-1 combined skincare and make-up products – for the face this will include BB Creams and CC Creams, a short-cut to the perfect glowy complexion! No need to spend more on moisturizer, sun protection and foundation, just skip a step by using the best in BB Creams or CC Creams for correcting, and use the time for an extra lie-in during the mornings!

To get the best BB Cream, you won’t actually have to spend on the higher price products, the BB Creams from the drugstore brands are actually my favourites, they compare just as well to the more pricey versions.

My absolute favourite BB Creams is the Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream (I have a MAC NC30 skin tone and use this in the ‘Medium’ shade); this is very light, hydrating and has a fresh, almost gel-creme liquid feel; it’s great as it’s fairly inexpensive but, despite this,  I do go through it quite quickly. It has slightly lighter coverage than medium coverage (I wouldn’t call it light coverage) and has an SPF 30; it also doesn’t break me out in spots. I love it for summer when I’m feeling particularly lazy and want to pull off a low-maintenance, quick done-up look but still wish to look a bit polished. It gives one of the best ‘real-skin’ finishes out there and beats a lot of other more expensive BB Creams.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

The Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream (in Medium) comes a very close second, and is what I use when my skin is feeling a little drier. Again, it doesn’t break me out in spots, despite being quite rich and nourishing in texture, but it does give more of a sheen and slightly dewy finish to the skin than the lighter textured Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream.

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream

Another innovative and fairly inexpensive new base which I quite like is L’Oreal’s Luminize Youth  Code BB Cream (£14.99); this is more of a ‘colour corrector’ which also combines the efficacy of an illuminating moisturiser with the effectiveness of a perfecting foundation (Available in 2 shades: Light and Medium). It gives skin 24 hour hydration and with the Dark Spot Targeting Technology, protects from the sun’s harmful rays with an SPF 15 with UVA protection to help protect against dark spots. All this with a light, oil-free texture, perfect for oilier or combination complexions.

L’Oreal’s Luminize Youth Code BB Cream
L’Oreal’s Luminize Youth Code BB Cream

On the other end of the scale, in the higher-end price-bracket, one of the best new products to hit the shelves, and which really fits the bill is Murad’s Skin Perfecting Primer – Dewy Finish (£29.00), a two-in-one problem solver that works to regulate oil production and infuses skin with antioxidants while minimising pores, evening skin tone and leaving skin with a beautiful dewy finish. With a subtle tint and light enhancing minerals, you can dare to go bare and use without foundation or you can use it as a base to help your make-up last all-day long! This oil-free primer comes in a universal shade (perfect for fair to medium and olive skin tones). It balances oil production, disguises flaws, evens skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores. Used under or in place of foundation, Skin Perfecting Primer Dewy Finish creates the perfect radiant glow.

Murad Skin Perfecting Primer

Murad Skin Perfecting Primer

What’s In My Handbag: Beauty On-The Go

Handbag Must-Haves: Beauty On-The Go

Here’s my beauty insider’s guide to what I’ve found really works when I’m on-the-go and out and about to look and feel my best. These are the must-have products that are always found living in my handbag!

What's In My Handbag: Beauty Essentials When i'm On-The-Go.

What’s In My Handbag: Beauty Essentials When i’m On-The-Go.

  1. Nuxe Huile D’or (Shimmering Dry Oil) - Gives my hair and skin a glamorous healthy glow. Used it anywhere where I want to add a subtle, glossy shimmer. Really nourishing and deliciously perfumed. Excellent for nights out to quickly tame my hair. I also apply a little to cheekbones, shoulders and legs to add a sexy gleam.
  2. Cavalli Sunglasses – A must-have to protect my eyes, and they also match with anything I wear!
  3. Love Lips™ Anti-Ageing Plumping Pheromone Balm Gloss  - in shade ‘Hello Lover’ (The Powder Lounge): Definitely my secret weapon. This nude coloured gloss is actually a treatment balm and it keeps my lips beautifully plumped up, polished and nourished. It’s got that little added extra…a secret pheromone to entice everyone and create a mood boost. A real multi-tasker in a beautiful neutral go-anywhere shade; the actives in this gloss-balm work hard to keep my lips feeling and looking their best – Maxi-Lip, Ceramides, Peppermint and Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil work to make my lips look super-plump.
  4. iPhone 5 – I can’t live without this! It’s my camera, diary, games console (Angry Birds, of course) and hotline to the world!
  5. Bulgari Pour Femme Eau De ParfumI love this beautifully sheer ‘skin-scent’, and can wear it for all occasions.
  6. Sony Vaio Laptop - This is my whole world in a little black rectangle. I definitely can’t live without it, and that’s why I’m usually carrying around a huge bag everywhere instead of a teeny tiny handbag like normal people.
  7. Browlicious™ Eyebrow Nourishing Serum (The Powder Lounge) - A brow glamourizer; this multi-vitamin, protein serum nourishes my brows to keep them full and with its hair-growth formula it stops them thinning as I get older. It defines and sets unruly brows into a perfect, groomed shape. For striking brows I define them with pencil and seal with Browlicious. It grows out patchy brows within weeks.
  8. Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation - Gives skin a flawless, dewy look. No need to thoroughly blend, sets without powder, no need for concealer as it has great yet weightless coverage, no colour change from oxidizing, no breakouts from skin reactions or any patchiness! I use this on its own or before a night out; it contains silicone to smooth skin without oxidizing as the day wears on, even in hot weather. I love the latest in make-up technology, and this is a great way of creating that air-brushed look with minimal fuss.
  9. Long Sexy Lashes™ Eyelash Growth Serum (The Powder Lounge) - My secret for long lashes! Used underneath mascara or on its own, it makes lashes long, thick and glossy. I sometimes use a lash curler and apply this to set the curl and give glossy definition without the worry of smudged mascara. Used as a primer underneath mascara it protects, thickens and grows my lashes within 6 weeks!
  10. Nars Blush Powder – in shade ‘Deep Throat’: Great for giving me a quick glow.
  11. Reusable False Lashes (The Powder Lounge) – Gorgeous hand-crafted lashes, they’re weightless, durable, look fab; I can wear them over and over again without any problems, and they also come with a latex free glue so no allergy issues from these at all!  I mainly wear the ‘Bombshell’ style of false lashes as they’re great for daytime or evening, I don’t bother wearing mascara, just a touch of the lash growth serum as above, and then a pair of these lashes on top!