Beauty: products I'm currently testing

Since Christmas time, I’ve behaved and resisted the temptation of buying into any beauty hype but now March is here, I thought it was only right in me treating myself to a few goodies. I’ve also kindly been sent a few products over the past few weeks which has given me the chance to step out of my usual zone and indulge in some surprises. Without me boring you with a life story, I’ll crack straight on with it.

First up, we have two treatments which are brand new to my knowledge; the Jica Lash* and Nail Magic*. The lovely Kenzie generously sent me over these little boosters to try out on behalf of Jica. When I received them I was impressed by how petite and handy they were, there’s plenty of product in there but it is more compacted making them bulk free and easy enough to handle. Being pretty clueless about how the formulas worked, I was eager to dig in. I began with the Jica Lash and followed the instructions given to me. It is described as a natural lash fibre which adds volume and length to your natural lashes without any of the harm caused by permanent lash extensions. To apply the product, you wand between coats of mascara to give your lashes that fluttery definition that you yearn for. I must admit, I found it a tad strange to use at first. I expected a mini mascara but instead it was a dryer brush filled with mini black fibres. However, once I grasped the concept, I found it was really simple (despite being a bit of a messy process, I recommend looking down facing the mirror and with a brush handy to get rid of the left over flakes!). It definitely did make a difference to how my lashes looked (I should have really taken a picture but silly me forgot), you can see straight away how the fibres stick to your ordinary lashes making them appear thicker, stronger and more voluminous. For the best results, you do need to be quick at applying midway through spreading the first layer of mascara and I found using the wand in a rolling, curving motion is more beneficial. Continuing with the desired amount of mascara on top of that allows the fibres to be sealed in so they stay put all day, providing a healthy finish and eyelashes to be proud of. It is such a brilliant alternative to the non-natural type of lash extension and I can see myself using this for a long time. It amplifies my already long lashes, gives them that extra boost and does so much justice to how they curl and spread out naturally.

Now, the Nail Magic couldn’t have arrived at a better time. My nails have been so brittle in the winter months and they keep breaking just as I grow them to a length i’m happy with. Touch wood, since using this, I’ve had no problems and 10/10 nails feel strong and intact; any weakness and splitting has vanished. The idea is to apply the polish to bare nails twice a week for the first 8 weeks and once a week thereafter. You are supposed to give this nail strengthener and conditioner its full term usage to receive the full benefits but I’ve noticed positive changes and results in just a couple of weeks which I’ve heard is common (and extremely great news, plus if you don’t find it’s working, you get your money back!). I was so impressed with how fast drying this is; with the corrupt glue like smell I thought it would be a really heavy, sticky product but I was totally wrong. It is lightweight, and you only need a couple of thin coats to make it effective. As well as stimulating healthier and sturdier nails, it also gives a subtle shiny finish so you can wear alone as a base coat if you wanted. I’m so glad I discovered Nail Magic, it’s certainly diminished the fear of tearing a nail wherever I go and whatever I do! If you’d like to get your hands on either of those, I have a discount code for my readers. You just need to quote NMCO1 (expires May 1st) and you’ll even receive a free mini sample of Nail Magic Cuticile Oil with your order.

Moving on to another product gifted to me for trial; the Pro Fix Oil Control Makeup Fixing Spray*, a brand new exclusive from Makeup Revolution. The product aims to help deflect surface shine for a neutral matte finish by gently spraying a good few inches away from your finished face, onto your freshly applied makeup. I jumped for joy when the Makeup Revolution Twitter page took the time to ask anyone if any oily skin sufferers would like to review this. As a royal oily skin owner, I’m always open to try out new approaches and products to stop the hated shininess and greasiness of my troublesome face, so as you can imagine I was excited and intrigued when it was delivered through my door! I’ve found that so many oil controlling products seem to defeat their way through my stubborn skin which is why retaining fresh looking makeup is important to me.

The thing I loved the most about this spray was how lightweight the mist felt. It dries almost instantly and settles delicately onto the face with no sign of any heavy residue and that pesky, uncomfortable tight feeling you can sometimes get, meaning my face felt almost product-free; it didn’t feel or appear as though I had anything there at all. The fragrance is also lovely and gentle, not overpowering, a barely there scent and feels refreshing when spritzed. As with the application, it is an ordinary pump spray, nothing complicated and straight forward enough to just quickly spray, even when you’re in a morning rush and it’s completely smudge resistant which is always a bonus (let’s be real, nobody wants to look like a panda with white spots).

I do struggle to keep that ‘just-applied’ look all day and I wouldn’t say I agree with the claim that it leaves you matte for 12 hours BUT it definitely leaves a smoother, more luminous and glowing complexion as soon as it subsides and it definitely helps blend the focused makeup together for a natural appearance. I have seen a difference since using this, even if it is just a small one. My makeup has stayed in place noticeably longer than before (especially around my nose and forehead area) and I’ve not had to wince as much at the intense oily radiance cackling back at me through the mirror. I think I’ve finally found something that fixes my makeup into place for the few crucial hours at the start of the day. It certainly doesn’t completely rid of greasiness but it helps stop your makeup sliding off so rapidly. For £5, you can’t expect a miracle but you can rely on it to make you less oily than normal, and most importantly (for us combination victims), it isn’t the slightest bit drying on the skin. If you are looking for a budget product that extends longevity and minimises shine, this is the one to buy!

Admittedly, the final two products were the jumping on the bandwagon type and to be brutally honest, they’re not as brilliant as I’d hoped they’d be. I’m sure you’ve seen a gazillion reviews on that Benefit Roller Lash sample from the Elle magazine but I thought I’d briefly give my input. I’m still undecided about this; the first time I used it, I found it applied fine, the wand wasn’t anything spectacular and I have used better but it definitely added great length, definition and natural curl to the lashes. It didn’t apply with clumps and it equally allowed each lash to separate BUT I found it to be overly wet, even after I’d allowed enough time for it to dry. Maybe that’s just my dodgy first use technique and my thick lashes, or maybe I layered too much because the second time I used it I felt it was much nicer and I was happier with the outcome. I will give it a massive thumbs up for the non-smear formula, the intense blackness opening the eyes and the easy removal which makes a difference from the They’re Real!

Finally, we have the popular La Roche Posay Serozinc. I am a great worshiper of La Roche Posay, I swear by the Effaclar Duo but my skin doesn’t seem to be getting on with this. Ever since I swapped over products and changed to using this as a toner, I’ve had nothing but frequent breakouts. I’ve stopped and started several times but my awful red and angry spots just don’t seem to be budging. I will hold my hands up and say I’m still not entirely sure whether it’s purely this that’s causing it, or whether my skin is acting sensitive to something else and it does certainly have its benefits so i guess it’s not all bad. It’s the perfect after cleansing product, it effectively gets rid of all grime to leave your face feeling youthful, refreshed and well groomed and it hydrates your skin at the same time. I will praise the spray for contributing towards balancing out the oils in my skin and the zinc ingredient helping to hide my blemishes as this side of it is resulting in a much more calmer, soothing complexion. The spray, however, is another problem. It seems to fly everywhere and I’m yet to find the best way to add the product to a cotton pad. I’ve found applying to clean hands and then rubbing in is most effective as even spraying directly onto the face means a lot of the mist can be wasted! I am hesitant in carrying on using this but I’m also eager to see if I’ll have different results the longer I go on. Maybe it’s just bringing my spots out In preparation for them to be zapped. Who knows?

Have you tried any of these? What products are you currently testing out?

Bridie x