Review: Cover Your Gray 2-in-1 Mascara (Medium Brown, Dark Brown)

Once you start coloring your hair, you have to be prepared for the regrowth  and coloring your roots once a month or two months. The roots can look weird, if your natural color differs from your hair color. I have naturally very cool almost grayish brown hair and I dislike that cool tone so much. I always color my hair in a golden brown shades and once the roots grow out, it can look a bit weird. That's why I was interested in trying out Cover Your Gray products, to basically try to hide my roots. I don't have gray hair as of yet. 

Hair mascara comes in a plastic packaging with two sides. The plastic color should indicate color on the inside, but I wouldn't bet on it. Color inside is not identical to the plastic color.

In it is 7 ml of product and the price is 6.99€. You can choose among 6 shades, but I think in our stores you can find 4 shades. 

It has two sides like some of those old school mascaras. On one side you have a doe foot applicator and on the other side your have a mascara wand

Sponge applicator is better for applying color on sideburns or for filling in the roots. You can also apply the product with the sponge and then brush it out with wand. It gives you a higher coverage. Mascara wand brushes through the hair and gives them a light wash of color. It's not as opaque looking and it doesn't cover all the hair. I think mascara is best suited for those strands of hair that may have some unwanted color in them. 

I wanted to try out Medium Brown color and I was sent Dark Brown at first, so now I can swatch both shades for you. 

Dark Brown is a cool toned brown. It's definitely very dark and too dark for my hair color. The weirdest thing about it is that it has gold shimmer in the formula. I don't understand why, because it looks really odd on the hair. 

Medium Brown is medium brown shade with slight warm red undertone

Texture of it is like a thicker cream or almost like a mousse cream. It is pigmented enough that it covers gray or colored hair, but it all depends on application. If you apply it with mascara wand, it doesn't cover all the hair. If you apply it with a sponge, it gives better coverage and can cover the entire area. 

It's not the best product to use on the roots, because you need quite a lot of it to cover every strand of hair. I think this is best for certain gray strands or for those strands that didn't get covered with hair color. Sponge applicator is also great for covering sideburns, which are one of those parts of the hair that show hair regrowth the quickest. You can also thicken your hair line with it, if you feel like you don't have enough hair around there. 

It is harder to apply on longer hair, because it tangles them. Especially, if you try to cover just the roots, it can get a bit messy. 

I also don't like the fact that it makes the hair slightly wet, which also means that it looks shiny. After a while it dries down a bit, but then the hair feels crunchy, like when you apply cheap hair spray. It is slightly sticky and the hair can become really stiff, if you apply more coats of it. If you fluff the hair afterwards, it can also give you a bit of volume because of the added texture. 

The look of it on hair is actually not as bad as it may look on the photos. It actually gives you color and covers roots or gray hair. It's just the texture that didn't impress me. 

Here I applied Medium Brown on the right side. You can probably notice that the right side is a bit clumpier looking and it has warmer tone. My natural hair color is cooler and as you can see the shade isn't exactly a match for my hair color that I use.

Here you can also see my root regrowth with nothing on. 

On the left side I have Medium Brown and on the right side I have Dark Brown. I hope you can see golden flecks of shimmer on the right side. It's really hard to catch it on camera. It looks like I have dandruff and I don't get why they would put shimmer in a hair color.

Here I also wanted to show you how you can extend your sideburns and make it look, like you have fuller hair. 

Another minus is that it transfers, so you can't really go to sleep with it. It's more of a day product. Medium Brown doesn't transfer as much as Dark Brown, which is probably because of the darker shade. 

Medium Brown

Dark Brown
I think that this is a product for those of you that may need product that would give you hair color for a strand of hair that didn't get colored or a strand that is gray and stands out. It's also nice for filling in your sideburns and making it appear fuller. It's not exactly for a large part of hair, like roots, because you'll use too much product at once and it still won't cover every single hair.

I don't like that the formula makes your hair crunchy and that it sort of makes it hard to the touch. Basically, it looks obvious on the hair, if you use too much of it. It also transfers. Color choice is small and I sort of get that. But if you don't have a standard hair color, you probably won't find the perfect match, so it's pointless to use on the roots. There is also not as much product in it for you to use it on daily occasions. It's more one kind of a thing, when you really don't have the time to color your hair or you can't for other reasons. 

So it didn't really work out for what I wanted it to use - on roots, but I am not target audience for this. I just think the formula should be less wet looking. That's my main problem with it and of course, don't add shimmer in it, it doesn't make sense. 

*PR products.
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Spring Beauty Picks

spring beauty
Despite the sudden (and very typical) downpour on the first day of spring here in the UK, the change of season is finally here! The air is scented with cut grass and fresh laundry as people tend to their waking gardens after the long winter's slumber and daffodils, crocuses and tulips spring up, brightening the world again.

From being quite set on muted tones and berries through the transition into spring, I've started to embrace pastels again to welcome me into the warmer months. I've actually pulled out a few shimmery violet and soft lilac tones too!

After spending months without my beloved Origins Ginzing Moisturiser, I repurchased a pot for spring. It's safe to say that I won't be without this heavenly, citrus scented pick again! It's lightweight, gel like texture means that a little goes a long way. It leaves skin radiant, hydrated and feeling refreshed - it's divine!

For an all over pampering treat, the dreamy Scrubee from Lush is the one. This combines nourishing butters and oils with exfoliating ground almonds and coconut to polish, pamper and preen the skin. The honey sweet and uplifting citrus scent is unreal, a great all-rounder for spring!

For fragrance, I've pulled out Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream, a breezy, feminine scent with notes of blackberry, jasmine, pear and blue wisteria. It's delicate, airy and floral whilst being warm and light, ideal for the warmer weather!  

On my nails, I'm planning on bringing Essie Eternal Optimist with me through spring, and probably summer too - I just can't get enough of this rosy shade! Another pick, Essie's Ladylike, is a gorgeous creamy muted mauve hue, a great neutral shade for the wedding season.

For blusher, I adore the Hourglass Blusher in Diffused Heat. This perky coral pink blusher boosts radiance with it's bursts of ambient lighting powder and works to create a flawless glow. Paired with the Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette, they make a dreamy match for dewy spring skin. 

I've pulled out a couple of brights for my lips, the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu is my go-to for a pop of pink. A gorgeous, creamy, long lasting and pigmented formula, this vibrant pink helps to perk up tired skin and is ideal for a fresh, dewy look. The Charlotte Tilbury Coachella Coral, a pretty coral pink is a great every day pick too! 

On my eyes, I've been feeling a little uninspired with eyeshadows lately and so I've opted for the Nars Duo in Violetta to try and move away from the everyday champagne shades that I normally reach for. I'm planning on patting the shimmery violet hue on my lids or smudging the muted lavender under my lower lashes. I really need to add a new palette to my collection, I love the look of this Zoeva palette
Lastly, The Nyx Jumbo Eyeliner in Milk is a tired eye saviour, added onto the waterline it really brightens up the eyes!

What are your beauty picks for spring?

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The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Lightening

As much as paleness is promoted to be embraced, there is one little hitch when it comes to deciding to stay pale and not invest the time in either sunbathing or self-tanning - there are only a handful of foundation shades on the market that are actually very light. The companies themselves are almost completely ignoring us pale ladies, so I can only thank some higher force that The Body Shop not only created a product that lightens any foundation formula, but also doesn't make the foundation suck by altering the texture. For years I had to mix my crappy pale foundations (most I own have a lame formula) with my good dark foundations, creating a sort of barely passable mix of textures (but perfect shades) and now I finally have something that works much better. I've already done a complete review of Catrice's Transforming Drops in Lightening, which are the cheaper option, but I advise all porcelain princesses like me to just shell out a bit more and get The Body Shop ones. I had these on my wishlist since I first saw them, but due to The Body Shop being complete dicks we still don't have a (online) shop here (I've been waiting for 10 years already) and it's only thanks to my lovely reader Oana from Not Just Makeup that I finally got my hands on these. 

Texture: These aren't some super light "Catrice HD Liquid Coverage foundation" formula as you might imagine at the name drops. The texture is more like a medium thick liquid foundation which is why the packaging for this formula really isn't good. If you blend them on the skin, they feel a bit thick and set fast, also it's like they don't have a lot of silicones, but none of these characteristics affect the texture of foundation they are being mixed with. By the way these have no scent.

Shade: While they appear white, the trick of these is that they have a slight pastel pink hue. To me that's a genius move, because other white such products I tried made the foundations look almost greyish and strange, while these drops neutralise strong yellow and that is exactly what I need, not just lightening, but also neutralising. I've always mixed my pink foundations with yellow ones to get a neutral undertone, so these drops really were made for me. However, I have one pink foundation, L'Oreal Infallible Matte in Porcelain which obviously mixed with the drops retains its cool tone, so for me a better colour combination is with the yellow Transformer drops by Catrice, but I can still wear it fine with TBS.

Performance: I've been using these pretty much every day since I got them, tried them with all my foundations and these work great. They lighten the foundation significantly with a small amount of product, but even if you add a bit more it still works the same. These don't alter the texture of foundation, nor their finish or their staying power like Catrice's drops do. 

I used a small drop with these foundations for the swatches: 
MILANI Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer 01 Creamy Vanilla - it makes it a lot more neutral and lightens it for two shades to about NC15-20. I need to use a lot of drops to lighten this one because the shade is so dark and it's still a bit too yellow, but passable. It doesn't affect the texture at all and let me tell you this is one of the most beautiful foundations ever. 
BEYU Nutri Power Foundation 15 - it makes it peachier and lightens it to NC/W15-20. This one is already perfectly wearable for me with the drops.
ESSENCE Instant Matt foundation 10 Matt Ivory - it makes it much less orange and lightens it to NC 15. I intensely dislike this foundation on its own and with the drops.
CATRICE HD Liquid Coverage Foundation 010 Light Beige - makes it slightly pinker and lightens to NC/W15. This combination works a million times better than with Catrice's Transforming Drops. I actually think it makes the foundation itself a bit better.
L'OREAL Infallible 24H Matte Foundation 10 Porcelain - keeps it pink, but lightens it to NW15. The foundation retains its awesome pore hiding abilities and a wearable matte finish. I can wear it despite being pink, but Catrice drops make it more neutral for me (also less matte).
BOURJOIS Healthy Mix Serum foundation 51 Light Vanilla - neutralises the yellow undertone, and makes it a NC10. I only need a tiny amount with this because it can quickly make it too light.
I didn't include it here, but I also mixed it with Bourjois' 123 Perfect CC Cream. Again it lightened it enough to NCW10-15, kept it fairly neutral and didn't affect its natural finish.

Packaging: As much as I love the colour and performance of these drops, I find the packaging remarkably stupid and it makes my morning routine less pleasant. The dropper doesn't really work and it doesn't suck up the product because it's too thick. I end up squeezing the dropper a million times and shaking the bottle like crazy, but more often than not I get nothing, occasionally I get a drop of product. So my method is to scrape the product from the dropper on my hand and only then add foundation. This really needs to be repackaged into a classic foundation bottle with a pump.

Price and availability: These cost 14 € for 15 ml in The Body Shop. It's not terribly expensive considering you don't need that much product at once, but it's not the cheapest. I find it's one of the best investments I've made and it already landed in my All-time favourites.

I really recommend these, especially to those who are struggling to find a pale enough foundation. They are more than capable to lighten foundations for several shades, they don't affect the texture, staying power and they neutralise yellow undertones (the latter might not be such a good thing for those with a strong yellow undertone, keep that in mind as well). But be ready for daily struggles with the bottle. 

Have a great day!
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Jojoba & peppermint lip scrub

Yesterday we tried a pear coconut lip scrub; today, let's take a look at changing a few things!

The original lip scrub my best friend loves contains jojoba oil and peppermint essential oil as the flavouring, so I thought I'd try that. As per yesterday, I took my regular boring ol' white sugar for a spin in a clean coffee grinder to turn it into very small crystal berry-type sugar. (This is not the place for something like large crystalled plantation sugar!)

69.5% finely ground or berry sugar
21.4% golden jojoba oil
8.7% fractionated coconut oil
0.4% peppermint essential oil

If you don't have berry sugar, put your sugar into a coffee grinder and blend for maybe 10 seconds to produce a fine sugar. You don't want to grind it too long as you'll end up with powdered sugar, which won't scrub that well. (Ask me how I know this!)

Into a container, weigh the jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, and peppermint essential oil, and mix well. Add the sugar, mix until it is like wet sand, then spoon into your container.

Package this in a small container - I'm using 30 ml jars from Voyageur Soap & Candle* - and use a small spatula* or spoon to remove it from the container to put on your lips.

Why did I use jojoba oil? I used it because it was in the original recipe and I thought I'd try it. I added the fractionated coconut oil because I thought the product was getting too expensive and too thick with just the jojoba oil. The lovely yellow of the scrub comes from the jojoba, but you could try something else and see how you like it!

Could I leave out the fractionated coconut oil? Of course! Try it with all jojoba oil, if you wish.  Or try it with another oil entirely.

What about the peppermint essential oil? As a rule, you shouldn't ingest essential oils, but peppermint essential oil is one of those we can put in a lip product. Do not - I repeat - do not go over 0.4% in your product as it is very strong at even a titch over that. One of the reasons I ended up making 100 grams of this product was thanks to my heavy handed use of peppermint essential oil! You could go lower - I encourage you to start at 0.1% and see how you like it - but don't go higher.

Please note, clicking on a link with an * beside it takes you to another site. I am sharing these links as these were the things I used and I thought I'd do it rather than having someone ask me. These are not affiliate links, and I don't receive anything if you click on them and buy something. I'm just sharing because I'm big fans of these sites! 

Could we make this product more awesome by including an active ingredient? Of course we can! Join me tomorrow as we add a lip plumping ingredient to the mix!
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Yummy pear coconut lip scrub!

As we continue to spend all our freakin' time working on getting the links to the PDFs working on the blog, please enjoy this post on making a lip scrub! 

My best friend, Wanda, is in love with a certain company's lip scrub, which seems to consist of a few ingredients like jojoba oil, peppermint, and sugar. I thought I'd make my own version of this for her birthday!

If I were to make an ingredient list for the first version I did using the pear coconut sweetened lip balm flavouring from Windy Point*, the first ingredient would be sugar. The second, oil, and the third, flavouring. That's it. You could make this more complex - and I did, as you'll see - but this turned out so nice!

67.4% berry or finely ground sugar
31% fractionated coconut oil
1.6% pear coconut flavouring (pre-sweetened)

If you don't have berry sugar, put your sugar into a coffee grinder and blend for maybe 10 seconds to produce a fine sugar. You don't want to grind it too long as you'll end up with powdered sugar, which won't scrub that well. (Ask me how I know this!)

Into a container, weigh your fractionated coconut oil and pear coconut flavouring, and mix well. Add the sugar, mix until it is like wet sand, then spoon into your container.

Package this in a small container - I'm using 30 ml jars from Voyageur Soap & Candle - and use a small spatula* or spoon to remove it from the container to put on your lips.

Why did I choose to use fractionated coconut oil in this recipe? Fractionated coconut oil is a very light feeling, flavourless, colourless oil, which created a very light feeling, colourless product that allowed the pear coconut flavour to shine!

Could you change the oil in this recipe? Of course you can! Make sure you choose something that isn't heavily flavoured, like olive oil or hemp seed oil. And think about how the colour and viscosity might change.

Also consider that you pretty much lick this off your lips when you're done with it, so you might want to avoid something like castor oil, which can act as a laxative in larger quantities. There's probably not enough to have that kind of effect, but it's always something I consider.

Could you change the flavouring in this recipe? Of course! I made another version for me with Windy Point's cupcake frosting flavoured lip balm oil* and I just love it! If you don't have access to a sweetened oil, try it without as the sugar can make it taste sweeter as you scrub it on your lips. You could use Lorann's flavouring oils for chocolate, but use the tiniest amount. When I've used it in the past, I dipped a toothpick into the container then mixed it with the oil, and a little goes such a long way.

Join me tomorrow as we try another version of this scrub with jojoba oil!

Please note, clicking on a link with an * beside it takes you to another site. I am sharing these links as these were the things I used and I thought I'd do it rather than having someone ask me. These are not affiliate links, and I don't receive anything if you click on them and buy something. I'm just sharing because I'm big fans of these sites! 
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