Monday, 26 October 2015

Sleek 'Blush by 3' Review

As a usual Boots shopper I hadn't come across Sleek make up, as it was only stocked in Superdrug. Recently though, Boots has come to its senses and started stocking Sleek make up and I was like a moth to a pink-sparkly flame with this blush set. These blush trios only cost £10, an amazing deal for 3 blushes in my opinion, and are just superb.

 The shade I bought is called 'Pink lemonade', it has two lovely pink shades and a more reddish orange shade. The blush in the centre of the pan is a cream formula and the other shades are lovely shimmery powders. The cream formula in the palette is a beautiful colour, but unfortunately I couldn't blend it very well on my super dry cheeks, the formula would look great on someone with normal to oily skin though. The two shimmery shades are especially lovely, they are super pigmented and easy to blend, although I would say to definitely use a light hand when applying these as they are quite easy to over do. These blushes are a great affordable find and I would definitely recommend them, they also have a great range of shades, including some great colours for darker skin tones.

Have you tried these blushes? Let me know in the comments.

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Precious Stars Cloth Pad Review

Precious stars is a business run by Bree Farmer, a young girl who has been using RUMPs (reusable menstrual products) since she was 15. Bree has her own YouTube channel with informative videos on how to use and look after both cloth pads and menstrual cups. If you are having trouble with your cup, or wondering about different cloth pad toppings, Bree is your woman. She really is a brilliant source of info on all things cloth pad and menstrual cup! On the Precious stars website Bree sells a range of budget cloth pads and wet bags, along with a few brands of menstrual cup and cup accessories. As Bree is such a connoisseur of cloth pads I was really excited to try her own brand of pads.

When I first decided to try cloth pads, I purchased 4 pads and a liner from the site and they arrived 2 days later. I was really impressed at how fast these came, they are made in a factory in China and sent to Bree prior to ordering so there is no waiting around for them to be made. Bree sells two styles of pads and liners, her regular range and a curves range.

'Regular' range

For the 'regular' range, there are day pads (10" long) and overnight/ postpartum pads (11.5" long). The pads are bamboo charcoal topped, with a core of microfiber terry, and either a layer of laminated minky, or a PUL backing. These pads are a bit unusual in the sense that, the pattern side goes against your underwear, as opposed to your skin like usual cloth pads. The liners of this range are 7" long and topped with bamboo terry and have the same core and backing options as the pads, but are obviously less absorbent. In the regular range, both the pads and liners come with a selection cute patterns on the back of pad/liner.

 The bamboo charcoal topping (seen on the day pad to the right above) is a wicking fabric, meaning that it wicks moisture away from your skin and into the core of the pad. This is a great topper for if you have a heavy flow, you stay super comfortable and avoid that horrid 'sitting in a puddle' sensation we know all too well. The price of these pads are very affordable, being priced at £3 for a liner, £3.75 for a day pad (10") and £4 for a overnight/postpartum pad (11.5"). One of the things I love about these pads and liners is that they are really narrow when snapped up. The pads and liners all have two snap settings, so you can choose if you want a narrower fitting pad or a wider fitting pad, The liners are 3" wide when snapped up on the first snap, and 2.5" wide when snapped up on the second. The pads are 2.75" when snapped on the first snap, and 2.5" when snapped on the second. This makes them great for petite women, or women who wear underwear that have a particularly narrow gusset,

A liner and a day pad on the narrowest snap setting
'Curve' style

The 'curves' range is a bit different from the 'regular' range, they are a more curved shape and have a different top fabric, All of these pads have a topper of bamboo/cotton mix fleece, a microfiber terry core and a PUL backing. The PUL backing comes in a range of colours but no patterns, and the bamboo/cotton mix fleece is white on all the pads. I bought an overnight pad in this style, which is 13" long and is longer in the back. The day pads are 10" long and are also slightly longer in the back.

I thought that I would like this pad as I tend to need more back coverage, especially at night, however it has become one of my least favorites. The topping fabric of this is strange, when I first received the pad is was nice and soft, but after two washes it has lost its softness and is slightly bumpy. Also, I could not show a picture of the other side because it stains horribly. I used this pad once and I cannot, for the life of me, get the stain out. I have tried my usual stain remover and it lightened slightly, but is still really visible. I also found that the area I stain treated is now rougher than the rest of the pad, This makes wonder how long this particular pad will last, Bree says on her website that these pads can last for several years but if this pad is already showing such wear I doubt it would last. I also found that after 2 washes, the cotton topper has shrank slightly and left the PUL backing slightly baggy, as you can see in the above photo,

Overall is it a mixed bag with these pads, I really love the 'regular' style pads, however I have had some problems, I have one PUL backed pad in the 'regular' style and one in the 'curved' style and have had the same problems with both. Firstly, the PUL is smooth, and so these pads slip around in your underwear, which isn't ideal. I found myself getting frustrated with these when I go to the bathroom as, when pull down your trousers, the pad flips upside down and hangs by the snaps. The second issue I had with these is, they leak. The Precious stars label seems to be stitched through the waterproof layer, on two occasions I have leaked all around the label, and nowhere else. This is a frustrating flaw with the pads, as it makes the waterproof layer pretty useless.

To wear these pads you would just have to hope that you didn't bleed in the area of the label and make sure you were careful not to saturate the pad very much. When this occurred the second time, I contacted Bree through her website, she replied after with some suggestions that I could try to 'seal' the PUL layer. She suggested washing the pads on a hot wash and also ironing the back of the labels, but neither of these things helped. After a few emails back and forth Bree was nice enough to refund me for the pads. If she fixed this problem, the 'regular' pads would all be a great budget option, but for now I'm not sure that I'd recommend these. Personally I really disliked the 'curve' style, the topper develops an unpleasant texture after a few washes and  they are impossible to get stains out of. I'd be interested to know if anyone else had any issues with these pads, if you have any experience with these leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of them.

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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Dimplemuff Cloth Pad Review

Cloth pads? What?

When I heard about cloth pads, like most people, I was confused and slightly grossed out. The idea of keeping something that I had bled on and reusing it seemed unhygienic and gross. As repulsed as I was initially, I was also intrigued. After researching a bit more, I decided I had to try them, and I'm so glad I did.

I have always found disposable pads and tampons uncomfortable, but you are never told that there is any alternative, so you just put up with the discomfort every month. The first time I used a cloth pad I was taken aback by how soft, comfortable and easy they are to take care of. You wear them, like any other pad, then when you want to change you just unsnap it, fold it in half over itself, throw it in a waterproof bag (known as a 'wet bag') and then at the end of your cycle you just empty them all into the washing machine with some detergent (no fabric softener) like any old load of washing. Occasionally fabrics like cotton or flannel will stain, but I've found the stains come out super easily just by using a run-of-the-mill stain bar. They are so easy to manage and unbelievably comfortable compared to conventional pads. Plus, because most cloth pads are made to order, they are super customisable. You can get cloth pads in any shape, length, width, fabric, pattern, colour, or thickness you need. Not to mention you can use them for years, so they save you a huge amount of money.

Dimplemuff Pads

My first custom order experience was with Dimplemuff pads, sold here. Dimplemuff pads are all custom orders made by a lovely woman called Claire, you choose how long you want your pad to be, what shape you want, what absorbency you need, and best of all, which gorgeous fabric you want! I ordered four pads from Dimplemuff, two light/liner absorbencies and two regular absorbencies, all 8" long. My pads arrived two weeks after I ordered them (custom orders take a bit longer since it takes time to make the pads too), the packaging was lovely and they came with a free adorable mini stain remover bar in the shape of a hippo. I ordered two of the pads in minky (an extremely soft pillowy fabric that is stain proof) and two in cotton. All of Claire's pads are backed with micro fleece and she offers a free PUL layer (a waterproof laminated fabric) for all her pads. I have to say, I love everything about these pads, they are my favorite out of all the brands I own. The fabrics are so pretty and she has such a wide range of prints to choose from, they are practically leak-proof because of the PUL layer and they feel like you are sitting on a little pillow. The stitching on them is good, a little wonky here and there but nothing that affects the functionality of the pad, and they are quite thin too.

Claire offers 4 shapes of pad, her regular shape which has broader wings that wrap around the pad, her slim shape which is more slender, her ultraslim which is even more slender and curves in slight at each end and her curvalicious which is wider in the gusset (I believe) and has one end that is lightly longer than the other. I have a slim (pink below) and an extra slim (grey) and I really like both shapes, they are both nice and narrow when snapped up (7cm).

I would really recommend these pads, they are great quality products and I'm certain they will last for quite a few years. If you haven't tried cloth pads before then you definitely should and Dimblemuff is a great place to start. If you are still curious about cloth pads then you should head over to Bree Farmer's Youtube channel, she posts great informative videos about AMPs  (alternative menstrual products).

Have you tried these pads? If so, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought.

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Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara

I bought this mascara a while back to try out from Boots because of its lash-boosting claims, This mascara is infused with a 'grow-lash complex' that 'stengthens, renews and nourishes lashes, promoting natural lash growth'. The idea is that you use your mascara everyday and after a month you will have Beyonce lashes, or at least notice a difference. I used this everyday to university for about 2 months and, personally, I didn't notice that my lashes were any longer or fuller than before I started using this. Saying that however, I do really like this mascara.

The narrow wand on this lets you get right down to the root and the formula is super lengthening. I especially love this for doing my lower lashes, with big chunky brushes I always end up dotting mascara under my eyes or accidentally poking myself in the eye. With this brush I can really get in there and build up product on the lower lashes, which is great for balancing out a smokey upper lid.

I would recommend this for ladies (or men!) who struggle with short lashes that are hard to build up product on to. The wand makes getting every lash much easier and the formula is amazing for lengthening. For those of you who prefer a volumising mascara, I would still recommend Maybelline's 'The falsies' mascara, you can find my review for that here.

Let me know if you have tried this mascara and if so, what you thought of it.

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