Time to Prime

Some of you may have read my first ever, (and very excitable) review of the Smashbox cosmetics a couple of months back, and I said I would be testing a few more products over the course of the year. A couple of months on, I have found myself buying another one their kits which they release frequently, containing some of their best products. This time I purchased the ‘IT’S YOUR PRIME‘ primer kit which contains 3 different amazing products; the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, the Photo Finish Lid Primer and the Photo Finish Hydrating Under-Eye Primer.



Photo Finish Foundation Primer:

With my initial Smashbox purchase – Studio Pop for Lips, I received a small tester of the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, which I have used a LOT, yet still have to finish. I absolutely love this product as it really prepares my skin for foundation; giving my face a velvety smooth finish. It contains Vitamin A & E, grape seed extract and green tea, which reduces colour pigmentation on the face , soothes the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores. I only tend to use it before nights out so that my foundation lasts long hours and the elements of a night out – drunkenness, alcohol, tears, tiredness, you know the deal! It really does help make the foundation stay put for, I would say, a good 8 hours. You only need a small pea size amount to cover the whole face – too much and it can make the skin look greasy, despite being oil-free. Overall, a great product that can be worn by most, although I wouldn’t suggest it to people that suffer from dry skin as it could make it worse.

This product has won numerous of awards including being one of Marie Claire’s ’25 Products that will change your life’,  Best of Sephora award for Best Primer, InStyle’s Best Beauty Buy and many more!


Smashbox: Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Photo Finish Hydrating Under-Eye Primer:

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts I suffer from really bad dark circles under the eye, so I love any product that can help reduce puffiness and dark pigmentation. Whenever I have been at the Smashbox counter I’ve always tried the Under-Eye Primer as it makes the sensitive skin under your eyes feel so soft and nourished, however; I just place it over the top of my make up meaning I can’t see the full difference it makes. I could never justify spending £21.00 on it, so when I saw that it was part of this kit – I was so happy and knew I had to get it! The product consists of anti-aging ingredients including caffeine, peptides and optical diffusers – all of which contribute to what Smashbox call the ’10 under-eye-benefits’: hydration, dark circles, puffiness, radiance, fine lines and wrinkles, texture, skin tone, age spots, clarity and soothing.

Using it for the first time properly and not in-store before concealer or foundation makes a huge difference. It feels as if the skin is being extremely hydrated, circles appear lighter in colour, and skin feels firmer. This product helps stop concealer from creasing, and ultimately helps eliminate the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles. It is a mini version of the product in the kit, but it still contains 5ml compared to the normal 10ml size.

What I like the most about this product is that it is multipurpose and can be worn alone to brighten the eyes instantly, worn under concealer to prevent makeup from creasing and setting into fine lines and finally used as a moisturizer to prevent wrinkles.

Photo Finish Under Eye Primer

Smashbox: Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Photo Finish Lid Primer:

Honestly, I haven’t used this product as much as I’ve used the other two, mainly because I don’t wear eye shadow often. However, when I have used this product, my eye shadow colours seem a lot more brighter and pigmented, and this product can be used separately as a highlighter on the brow bone. I do hope to use this more throughout summer as it is a lovely product.

Photo Finish

Smashbox: Photo Finish Hydrating Lid Primer

Overall, I am really happy with this purchase and I really do feel as I’ve got my money’s worth, as I always do with Smashbox products. I love the fact they are always bringing out new kits that are full of amazing products which are great value for money. I hope to see more make up brands doing this, as I know Benefit is another brand that bring out amazing kits for consumers.

I bought this kit for £14.00 in Boots which is such a bargain. If I were to buy these products separately, it would have cost me a whopping £61.00, so I can’t but feel pleased after getting these products, which are going to last me a long time – for practically a quarter of the price.

This product is  limited edition so if you want to buy one I suggest you do so soon so you don’t miss out on this fantastic deal. Head to your nearest Smashbox counter ASAP!



The Body Shop ’til you drop

Unfortunately, as an extremely poor student it’s not often that I am able to have a good splurge up of beauty products. Recently though, there have been some amazing shopping deals on the iPhone app, Vouchercloud, that simply cannot be turned down. Beauty Store – The Body Shop were advertising the deal that if you spend £50 or over, you will receive a £25 off your purchase. To make this deal even better, a friend and I – both being great lovers of The Body Shop – decided to do the deal together and half the price once again. Therefore, for an amazing £12.50 – we both bought a bundle of products worth over £50. Now, to translate that into student terms – for the price of a bottle of Strongbow and a hangover McDonalds, I bought 5 different and amazing products that I could no longer live without. Let me introduce to you to the incredible Chocomania range…

ImageProducts from left to right: Chocomania Body Scrub, Chocomania Lip Butter, Chocomania Body Butter and Chocomania soap

To start with is the Chocomania Lip Butter at £4. I’ve used so many different butters and balms in the past such as the Vaseline Lip Therapy and Cherry Carmex Lip Balm. But over the past couple of winter months my lips have been so dry. Although this is natural when it is cold – balms and lip gloss’ have only made my lips look sticky with obvious dry dead cells, which is not an attractive look. However, since using the Choco Lip Butter, I’ve had the smoothest, fullest, and hydrated lips I think I’ve ever had. My natural lip colour is a lot pinker, I’ve had no awkward sticky dry lips and once again it smells great. If you’re not keen on having chocolate lips – The Body Shop does many different other flavour lip butters with various coloured pigments such as Pink Grapefruit, Mango and Sweet Lemon.

Top tip: After brushing your teeth, brush your lips in slow circular motions to remove dead skin cells and stimulate blood circulation. Then rub in the butter all around the lip, focusing on your cupids bow and bottom lip. This will create fuller lips with a natural tint from the blood flow.

Secondly, is the Chocomania Body Butter 50ml, at £5. I love so many different moisturisers and this is just another great one to add to the list. It’s nourishing, absorbed into the skin quickly and has the most amazing scent that you’ll probably get people trying to bite your arm off! Well, I hope not… Anyway, I have extremely dry elbows and knees and this moisturiser has seemed to stop this completely. It supposedly provides 48 hour hydration – I would probably disagree with this statement is I wanted to shower and moisturize the next day, but definitely think it could last up to 24 hours until the following day. I have tried using this on my face in very small amounts. Too much will make skin look greasy and extremely oily due to the buttery texture, however; it’s great in moderation on a dry T-Zone. This product is nice to have because of the smell, but I wouldn’t buy the big pot of it. The small one is the perfect size for dry spots such as hands, elbows, knees, (and toes?)

Top tip: Blend a small amount of the moisturiser with your foundation/fake tan to add a dewy and healthy glow to your face.

Next is the Chocomania Soap at £2. Honestly, I haven’t used as much of this as I have the others – mainly because I want to use up my old soap before using a new one (I’m weird like that). What I do know of it so far, is that it’s extremely hydrating just like the other products, and smells amazing. It has an extremely rich lather which is perfect for a morning wash before/after work. Definitely cannot wait to get the best use out of it – especially as I have 2 to use!!

Last but not least – and my personal favourite – is the Chocomania 200ml Body Scrub at £12.50. This is literally the best body scrub I have ever used. I cannot lie, as soon as I bought this I went home and showered with it straight away I was that excited. I did have a slight concern that as I have quite sensitive skin, I would end up in a rash because of the strong fragrance – but this wasn’t the case at all. My skin was left feeling so smooth and so nourished due to the real cocoa butter and organic sugar cane which stimulates the circulation in the skin and removes dead cells. This also made my skin feel as if I had already moisturised and definitely stepped up to the guarantee of 48 hour hydration. Now, yes I know – this is what a body scrub should do. But, this isn’t just any ordinary scrub. This scrub smells and looks like Betty Crockers double chocolate fudge icing. Once you open this baby, I can assure you, you will be holding yourself back from grabbing a spoon and eating it all up, no second thought (please don’t try this, I tried a bit and it most definitely doesn’t taste how it smells). So not only did my skin feel great, I actually smelt like Ms Crocker herself – and I loved it. If there is just one thing you buy from this review, please, please, please, buy this one, nothing but good can happen from smelling like a big chocolate cake (unless you’re diabetic, then I’m sorry).

Top tip: a great idea for using this as a salon style treatment without paying the price, then just scrub yourself down top to toe with this before having a shower (please do this in the bath or shower – I’m taking no blame for chocolate stained carpets!) Leave it on for around 5-10 minutes then shower as normal – it is the best!


The Chocomania Body Scrub – looks and smells fantastic!!

Just to remind readers that The Body Shop do have great work ethics and no products are tested on animals and all products are 100% vegetarian.

So if I’ve persuaded you that smelling like a chocolate fudge cake can do nothing but good for the world (!!) check out The Body Shop‘s website, for product’s, deals, and competitions!

If you want to check out some great deals in your local area, visit Vouchercloud by clicking here.