Saturday, 27 April 2013

Review: Antipodes Immortal SPF15

Antipodes Immortal Natural Sun Protection Face & Body Moisturiser is the perfect product for spring. Lightweight and hydrating but, most importantly, packed with a SPF!

I was excited to try the recently reformulated moisturiser as I am a big fan of Antipodes. The brand puts a huge amount of focus into creating scientifically validated organic beauty, so it's no surprise that a SPF moisturiser features in the range.

At this point you're probably thinking, “Surely a natural sunscreen isn't going to be that effective?”. Well a couple of years ago I would have thought the same, however using a natural SPF can actually have its advantages. Within sun protection, natural SPF refers to using inorganic ultraviolet absorbers like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These have the ability to convert ultraviolet radiation into less damaging infrared radiation. Products with these mineral-based absorbers or filters usually have a maximum SPF rating of 15, and are considered more natural, milder and safer to use – especially on sensitive skin.

What makes Immortal great is the ingredients it contains. In addition to the expected zinc oxide (a common ingredient used in SPF creams), Immortal includes raspberry seed oil, reishi mushroom extract, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, apricot oil and Antipodes very own ingredient, Vinanza Grape and Kiwi Extract. These ingredients work together to protect the skin from UVA and UVB exposure, enhance cell turnover and keep skin firm and well hydrated. What's more, Immortal decreases redness and the effects of excess melanin production that leads to freckles and age spotsClick here to find out more about melanin!

Packaged in a medicinal style tube, the cream is lightweight with a milky texture. As one of the main ingredients in Immortal is zinc oxide, it is advised that you rub the product between you fingertips or palms before applying to make the application process easier. If properly prepped, Immortal goes onto the skin effortlessly, without leaving a greasy or sticky residue. To my surprise, my foundation applied easily over the product which is often a rare benefit when using a SPF moisturiser. 

The only downside to Immortal is its lack of scent. I'm not a big fan of scents in skincare products as I sometimes find them a little overpowering, however I appreciate this is often a big attraction for some gals.

Immortal is available in a 60ml (2.1 fl oz) tube from The UK price is £28.95 and the US price is $45.00.


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Behind The Brand: Illamasqua

Date of Birth: 2008

Founding Father: Julian Kynaston

History: Having no previous experience in the beauty industry, Yorkshire marketing man Julian Kynaston launched Illamasqua in 2008. He created the brand to reflect his passion for all things subcultural. In 2010 Joseph Corré joined Illamasqua, becoming a large shareholder and the director of the brand. Corré, who is the son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, was the co-founder of luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.

USP: Illamasqua celebrates and dedicates itself to self-expression, creating avant-garde products that go beyond the expected. The brand brings the artistry of makeup to the masses with a strong focus on colour, pigment and quality.

Motto: Makeup for your alter ego

Giving Back: Illamasqua puts a huge amount of support into The Sophie Lancaster Foundation (aka S.O.P.H.I.E - Stamp. Out. Prejudice. Hatred and Intolerance. Everywhere). The Foundation was created in memory of Sophie Lancaster, a 20 year-old girl who was beaten and killed in 2007 simply for looking different. Sophie's mother, Sylvia Lancaster heads up the foundation which aims to change a mindset in society by working with young people in schools to create understanding and awareness of subcultures.

Offerings: Illamasqua offer makeup (including false eyelashes and nail polish), tools and fragrances

Hero Products: Pure Pigment, Lipstick and False Eyelashes

Availability: Illamasqua has 3 standalone stores in the UK and the brand is also available at Selfridges and Debenhams. If you are Americano, you can get hold of Illamasqua in Sephora.


Price Points

Foundations: Up to £27.00/$42.00

Single Eye Shadows: Up to £17.00/$26.00

Blushers: Up to £18.00/$26.00

Lipsticks: Up to £16.00/$24.00

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Maya Angelou

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength”


Monday, 22 April 2013


If there is one thing you expect to see in a great skincare product, it's a s**t load of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are natural molecules that are found in plants, fruits, vegetables and even meats, fish and dairy. What make antioxidants truly amazing is that they protect skin from damaging free radicals, which are unstable molecules caused by environmental nasties (for example UV exposure, pollution, and smoke). It is these free radicals that cause wrinkles, pigmentation and poor skin condition. 

In addition to protecting skin from free radicals, antioxidants can:

  • Reduce the appearance of wrinkles 
  • Reduce the appearance of scars 
  • Firm skin 
  • Treat sun damage 
  • Calm the skin and reduce inflammation 
  • Increase collagen production 
  • Treat pigmentation 
  • Treat acne

Due to their amazing benefits, antioxidants are considered active ingredients that are commonly found in result-driven skincare products. The most common and most effective antioxidants in these products are:

  •           Vitamin C
  •           Vitamin A
  •           Vitamin E
  •           Retinol
  •           Alpha-lipoic acid
  •           Polyphenol
  •           Zinc
  •           Selenium
  •           Coenzyme Q10

So the more antioxidants a product contains, the better that product will be at achieving great results (see antioxidant-rich product recommendations below). Don’t forget that ingredients are always listed on the packaging in descending order of predominance - so make sure that the product's advertised antioxidants are listed as high as possible. 

It is important to mention that although antioxidants are beneficial when put onto the skin, they are even more beneficial when put into the body. For these reasons, make sure you have a balanced diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables to ensure your body is healthy from the inside out!

  1. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque 75ml (£34.50 Liberty / $48.00 ULTA Beauty)
  2. The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash 100ml (£8.00 The Body Shop)
  3. StriVectin-AR™ Advanced Retinol Night Treatment 50ml (£79.00 Harrods / $109.00
  4. Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator 59ml(£99.00 / $120.00 Sephora)


Thursday, 18 April 2013

News: Kors Cosmetics

It has recently been announced that the fashionably fabulous Michael Kors will be launching a makeup line later this year.

The line, which will also include sun and body products, will be divided into three collections to suit three different moods - Sporty, Sexy and Glam. As the American designer puts it, "I think those three things - sexy, sporty and glam - have always been the DNA of Michael Kors, and in a strange way, the Michael Kors woman really is all three of those things. It's just that she feels more strongly about one of them at certain given times".

The line is set to launch this September and will be available at Macy’s and handpicked flagship stores around the world.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Miss Piggy

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye”


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Faithful Four: Illuminating Foundations

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation
Promise: “The light of Touche Éclat foundation targets shadowy areas and highlights the contours of the face. With no opaque powders, its perfecting texture evens the complexion and helps conceal your imperfections, while enhancing your skin’s natural beauty”
Price: £29.00/$55.00 30ml 
Purchase:, Saks Fifth Avenue

YSL's Touche Éclat foundation is the latest addition to the Touche Éclat family and, for this reason, it was one of the most anticipated beauty products of 2012. Available in a wide number of shades, this medium coverage foundation has a runny, gel-like texture that helps it glide onto the skin. However, what makes this foundation exceptional is the beautiful finish. Unlike some illuminating foundations, the Touche Éclat is able to brighten the skin and promote a natural glow without leaving skin looking greasy or too shiny. In addition, this foundation is long lasting, has a SPF19 and smells amazing. The only downside is the pump - it is almost impossible to control exactly how much comes out when you use it.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
Promise: “A glowing, satin-finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage that immaculately evens skin tone. Used daily, Sheer Glow Foundation improves the skin's brightness and texture”
Price: £30.50/$44.00 30ml
Purchase: House of

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is a much-hyped foundation for good reason. It provides a beautiful satin finish that helps to even-out skin tone and brighten skin. Although the foundation is named 'Sheer Glow', the coverage is medium and is easily buildable. It is non-comedogenic and fragrance free, however it is lacking in a SPF. This foundation's greatest strength is that it is incredibly hydrating - a real plus for those with dry skin. The only downside is that this foundation has no pump, which is surprising when you consider how much it costs.

Chanel Vitalumiére

Promise: “The light texture of Vitalumière gives a slightly satin finish, for a radiant, natural, youthful–looking make–up”
Price: £34.00/$55.00 30ml
Vitalumiére is a real hero in the foundation world. It has won numerous beauty awards and is one the best illuminating foundations on the market. Though on the pricey side, this easy-to-apply foundation provides medium coverage and builds incredibly well without caking. It leaves a beautiful dewy finish to the skin, helping to reflect imperfections and give a youthful, fresh appearance. It is the perfect foundation for dry skin and also has a SPF15. The only downside to this foundation? It has to be set with loose powder as it can often make skin appear too shiny in photos. 

Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation

Promise: “Never heavy, chalky, or dull, Illuminating Liquid Foundation glides on weightlessly for sheer-to-medium coverage and a silky semi-matte finish that evens out flaws while letting your skin's natural luminescence shine through”
Price: £25.00/$38.00 30ml 
Purchase: Boots, Sephora,

Stila's Illuminating Liquid foundation, unlike other illuminating foundations, actually contains tiny particles of glitter. Some people love this aspect, whilst others see it is as a huge downside. I personally think its a benefit, however it does mean that I only wear this foundation during the evening. Although described as having a semi-matte finish, I would consider the finish to be quite dewy. The coverage is sheer to medium and is buildable and easy to apply. This foundation's greatest strength is that it does not aggravate the skin, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. Even when heavily built-up, this foundation feels lightweight and soothing on the skin. The downside to this foundation is that it is lacking a SPF.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Margaret Thatcher

“If you want something said, ask a man...if you want something done, ask a woman”


Monday, 8 April 2013

News: Diane Kruger To Front Chanel Skincare

It has been revealed today that Diane Kruger is set to be the new face of Chanel Skincare. This comes as no surprise as Kruger and Chanel have some history. Kruger was the face of the Allure fragrance campaign in 1996 and the Paris-Biarritz handbag campaign in 2007.

The fashion model-turned-actress couldn't be a more perfect fit. Not only is she an absolute beauty,  she is a natural one with a gorgeous complexion to match.

The adverts are due to launch later this year. 


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Crimes Against Beauty: Nail Biting

Nail biting is an awful beauty crime, a crime I am known to commit on a regular basis. Why is nail biting such a big deal? Well it makes hands look downright ugly! Why do women, myself included, invest all of their time and money into looking as beautiful as possible, only to ruin it with nasty nails?

Sadly, ugly looking hands is not the only downside to nail biting, other problems include:
  • Damaged and broken cuticles that can lead to microbial and viral infections
  • The spread of germs from the nails and fingers to the lips and mouth
  • Dental problems

On a more serious note, nail biting (in some cases) can actually be a sign of an underlying mental health condition such as OCD or anxiety.

So how do we stop?? Well here are some tips that have been known to be successful:
  1. Chew gum
  2. Develop a new habit 
  3. Wear fake nails
  4. Apply a nail-biting deterrent
  5. Keep nails well groomed and manicured
  6. Distract yourself (well...distract your mouth and hands!)
Personally, I think that one of the best tricks is to apply a nail biting deterrent to the nails - the taste is the worst kind of punishment! I recommend using Mavala Stop 10ml (£7.65 / £12.62


Friday, 5 April 2013

The Beauty Myth: Trimming Hair Regularly Will Make It Grow Faster

The Verdict: False

Hair growth happens from the roots, so trimming the hair at the ends can not have any effect on the growth process. Remember, as soon as hair grows out of the roots it is dead. The sad truth is that hair will only grow about half to three quarters of an inch every 4 weeks. 

However trimming hair regularly is necessary for maintaining healthy hair. It is recommended that hair should be trimmed every 6 weeks.

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