Is oil cleansing suitable for oily or combination skin?

To anyone who has dealt with oily or combination skin, the idea of putting any additional oil on your face can seem counter-intuitive. I remember my skin’s oiliest period during my teenage years well; I looked for anything and everything labelled ‘oil-free’ in the hopes that I could achieve smaller pores and less shiny skin. Not only that, I sought the strongest cleansers I could find to try and make my skin feel less greasy.

However, oily skin is not always best treated with a strong cleanser with foaming agents like sodium laureth sulphate, as this can often strip the skin of its natural protective oils to the point that it overreacts and becomes sensitised and potentially produces even more oil. This goes doubly for combination skin which may suffer from dry or dehydrated areas already, which can be exacerbated by using the wrong cleanser.

Everyone’s skin is different, but it is worth trying an oil cleanser if you have oily or combination skin, even if you suffer from acne. The oil does not clog the pores, but is emulsified by the water when you rinse your face and you are left with skin that is well-balanced instead of dried out or feeling tight.

Many oil cleansers contain skin-nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil and olive oil, but once you have finished cleansing there is usually no residue left on the skin (depending on the oil cleanser you choose, of course; those formulated for dry skin tend to be a little heavier).

If you’re still unsure about the idea, I recommend trying a cheap oil cleanser to start experimenting with, as once you try it first-hand you’ll get some idea of how your skin reacts. MakeupAlley and the Paula’s Choice Beautypedia are both good places to find an affordable cleansing oil suited to your skin type. I’ll also be sharing a post soon comparing my favourite cleansers and their various benefits, including an amazing  Eve Lom dupe with better ingredients and a better price tag. Trust me, you need this gem in your life.

Good luck, and happy cleansing!

Review for Eve Lom’s Eye Cream

This is, without a doubt, my HG dark-circle-eliminating eye cream… I’ve previously shared this review on Space NK’s website but wanted to share it on my independent blog because I know some people are cynical of official website reviews.

So, without further delay, here is the verdict:

To me, this eye cream is an expensive purchase at £48 for an average quantity (20ml), however it is well worth the cost.
After the first night I used the product, I noticed the next morning that I looked more awake and bright-eyed, as my very dark undereye circles were reduced. I would have been impressed if my eye area had improved that much in a week, but just one night is unbelievable!
Over the next couple of weeks my undereye area looked less dry, dull and dark and became much brighter. I soon stopped feeling self-conscious about my eyes, which are deepset so can look darker quite easily.
I can’t really speak for lines as I’m only in my 20s and only get little dehydration lines, but these were certainly reduced.

The cream is quite thick but spreads easily. However, it seems very concentrated so I soon found that you only need to use a tiny amount, otherwise it’s too much.
It sinks in fairly quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue at all, but leaves the skin looking somewhat ‘dewy’.

I’ve tried many eye creams from popular skincare brands, and this has been by far the most effective at reducing dark circles (which is what I want most from my eye creams personally). It has also lasted the longest by far – well over a year! I know you should replace skincare products more often than that but this lasted about 18 months so I wanted to get my money’s worth.

The other reason I am so confident in this product is that when it ran out, I replaced it with a cheaper eye cream for about half the price… My eyes looked so much better that I thought I didn’t need to get such an expensive one this time. I thought nothing of it, but after about a week I was trying to figure out why I looked so tired despite no change in my sleeping routine. I then remembered that I changed my eye cream at the same time that I started looking so tired and having to heap on concealer again – so I guess it really does work as well as I first thought!

I highly reccommend this, even if it’s outside of your usual skincare budget. It lasts ages and really works, which is just awesome. I know that Paula Begoun claims that a separate eye cream and moisturiser isn’t necessary, but I’ve never had these kinds of results from using even my favourite moisturisers under my eyes. Definitely a particularly strong Eve Lom product which is well worth trying if you can,

Quick Tips – refreshing your hair without dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is, admittedly, amazing and I do carry a mini Batiste everywhere I go. The truth is, I hate washing my hair, and it’s my least favourite necessary beauty hassle.

However, have you ever experienced that dusty dry shampoo scalp itchiness? Ick.

To refresh your hair between washes without the need for dry shampoo, simply change your hair parting. Either change sides or, if you use a centre parting normally, try parting an inch or so to the side. Not only does this refresh your look in a subtle way and draw attention to different features, it does a great job of hiding the greasiest bits of your hair.

I have no idea why, but the parting usually gets greasiest fastest, along with the very front of your hair which comes into contact with your face’s natural oils. By changing your parting, different and fresher hair comes to the front, and a less oily parting is exposed. Enough to squeeze by an extra day or so without washing!

So you can hit snooze again, but still look super polished 😉


Your beloved slugabed,
Tulip Sniper

Battle of the blush! Comparing highlighter, blush and bronzer trios

Fancy a cheap Orgasm? Or maybe an affordable Albatross?
For years now, high street brands have been making dupes of NARS’ iconic Albatross highlighter, Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer. If you haven’t heard of these, then a quick Google will verify that these are major cult classics, and with good reason. Albatross is a white-golden shimmery highlighter, Orgasm is a peach blush which shimmers with gold, and Laguna is a satiny bronzer which doesn’t turn everyone into Oompa Loompas. You can see a review of NARS’ palette featuring all three shades here at Makeup and Beauty Blog, but NARS don’t currently have a palette of these three.

NARS do tend to include Orgasm and Laguna in basically every cheek palette they release, but they ain’t cheap (usually about £40-50 and they are not always full sized), and to buy them individually?

Albatross: £23
Orgasm: £23
Laguna: £27.50

These must-haves will set you back £73.50! And it’s rare to find them at a substantial discount, though House of Fraser and the like have the occasional 10% off sale. They may be worth it for you though, because they are amazingly versatile shades and great quality, but before you invest in them all it’s often worth trying out cheaper versions of the shades to see if you’d really wear them. For instance, darker skin tones won’t see much benefit from Laguna, which is most flattering on light to medium skin.

There are individual dupes readily available for all of these shades (ELF’s Gotta Glow is a great alternative to Albatross, and Sleek’s Rose Gold is a dead ringer for Orgasm – Google for more!) but assuming you want them all, which palette should you go with?

So far I’ve tested four. Sadly I don’t have my NARS originals to compare with anymore, after an unfortunate smashing incident, but I will compare as closely as possible.
Remember: when it comes to dupes, if it’s a poor quality product or doesn’t last five minutes, then are you really saving money? And is it more hassle than it’s worth? A great dupe ought to be a great match in terms of product quality, but perhaps not have as fancy packaging or a prestigious name behind it.

Anyway, let’s compare! Here are the contenders:

W7 The Cheeky Trio £4.99, LOOK Beauty Cheeky Trio in Peach Melba £6.99, Makeup Revolution Ultra Sculpt & Contour Kit in Ultra Fair C01 £3.50, Sleek Face Form in Light £9.99

So let’s look at the swatches for them and see how they compare… Here are the highlighter shades:

L-R: W7, LOOK Beauty, Makeup Revolution, Sleek

I’ve tried to build each swatch up so you can compare the shades and finishes, but some were actually sheerer than others. The W7 was very sheer, stiff, powdery, and also matte. It’s a very sheer beige shell kind of tone. The LOOK Beauty was pigmented but difficult to blend out. The shimmer was chunkier sparkle, and it was quite a harsh white. The Makeup Revolution highlighter was a more subtle white-yellow with a fine gold sheen. The Sleek was a warm white with a fine pink sheen with a hint of gold.

Next the blush shades:

L-R: W7, LOOK Beauty, Makeup Revolution, Sleek

The W7 was very sheer and difficult to build up much colour, but better than the highlighter. It kind of disappears when you blend it though. It’s a warm, matte peachy pink. The LOOK Beauty is a pigmented peachy yellow pink with gold sparkle, that soon becomes loose glitter when applied – expect fallout from this shade! The Makeup Revolution is a neutral to cool pink with a fine golden sheen, and is easy to apply and blend. Likewise for the Sleek, which is a neutral to warm pink with a fine golden sheen.

And finally, the bronzers:

L-R: W7, LOOK Beauty, Makeup Revolution, Sleek

The W7 wasn’t so easy to build up, but blends better than the other shades. It’s a really nice neutral to warm bronze, and is shade-wise probably the closest to Laguna. The LOOK Beauty is difficult to apply evenly, but results in a nice darker red-toned bronze which might work well for medium skin tones.The Makeup Revolution bronzer didn’t apply quite as smoothly as their blush and highlighter, but it blends very nicely to a medium pigmented cooler toned bronze which would be a great contouring shade. The Sleek is a warmed toned reddish bronze which applied and blended smoothly. All of the bronzer shades were matte with a subtle satiny sheen.

Overall, the W7 and the LOOK Beauty have a dusty, patchy look and a harsh, heavy-handed look respectively, so I don’t consider them to be great NARS dupes. They could be good to try out the shades, but really I’d recommend trying one of the other two palettes.

I had expected Sleek to far outperform Makeup Revolution, as Sleek have long been known for great budget NARS dupes and good quality blush and bronzer, but actually Makeup Revolution is my palette of choice now that I’ve tested them both together. The MR lasts a couple of hours longer on the face and fades more evenly whereas Sleek eventually gets a bit patchy. Also, the sheen on the MR shades is a little more refined, and more flattering to pores. The Sleek is also great quality though, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. If you can, check out the shades in person (Superdrug carries both brands) to see which you prefer, as there are subtle differences between them. Both carry a few different shade options, so medium and dark skin tones should be able to find a good match too.

Both are excellent alternatives to the NARS offering, and given the huge price difference and minimal to zero quality difference, I’d probably skip the NARS. They have some beautiful blushes, highlighters and bronzers if you feel like splurging, but I’d recommend picking one of their more unique shades.

Thanks for reading my first post, and please check back soon for more!