Fickle woman.

A while back I told you all that I was a ‘fickle woman’ when it came to handing out my love to makeup and skincare brands. Well I am here to prove that point today. I know I wanted to elope with my Belle Pierre foundation last year – I had visions of white, sandy beaches, strolling hand in hand along the shore, whispering sweet nothings in its ear. Well already I have given it the cold shoulder, pushed it to the kerb, shacked up with another brand.

Lily lolo

My new love is the British brand ‘Lily Lolo’. I had flirted with this makeup many moons ago, but was never really reeled in. Now I am not sure why we didn’t hit it off the first time, but let’s say wedding bells and sandy beaches beckon.

lily lolo foundation

Do not get me wrong – I still loved the dewy, expensive look of the Belle Pierre foundation, but for some unknown reason my pale, translucent skin is not as pale as it always was. Their colour Ultra is now too white and the next one up too orange. Also I just could not justify the high price tag. My eyes started to wander, my fingers tapped away on Google and up came Lily Lolo again. I thought I would give them a another whirl.

Firstly I loved that the foundations came in a huge variety of colours and I do mean huge – a wopping 18 different shades. Secondly the customer service is outstanding. I chatted to a lovely lady on the phone who helped me choose my products and colours. Most bizarrely the palest 2 colours were too pale for me – whoa – is my advancing age changing my skin colour – how depressing – anyway Blondie was the shade for me. Also the concealers are super pale – the one that should go with Blondie was too white instead I went for Barely Beige and I am thinking about going up a notch to Nude.

One of the very best things about this company is that you can buy little sample pots of colour so you can get an exact skin match.

Lily Lolo does not produce the second skin flawlessness of the Belle Pierre in one go but I find the colour match to be second to none. To get the flawlessness you desire just brush on one of their finishing powders , then the stardust shimmer and spritz of rose water and away you go.

The price is amazing only £13.49 for a 10g pot. I did go a little crazy buying up most of the online store all of which I will list below.  I can say truthfully that I loved everything I bought. Sorry Belle Pierre you can take a hike, while I make room in my life for my new favourite mineral makeup brand Lily Lolo.

lily lolo kiss

Mineral foundation in Blondie

Mineral Concealer in Barely Beige

Finishing powder in Translucent silk and Flawless silk – I use the first one before my foundation the other one after.

Corrector in Blush Away

Eyelid primer (makes an amazing under the eye concealer too)

Molten Bronze eye shadow quad

Mineral Blush in Candy Qirl

Mineral Shimmer in Star Dust

Rose Glow shimmer stripes

Natural Lip gloss in Clear and English Roase

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Who knew a neon pink sponge could be so wonderful.

With the risk of sounding like a broken record – I love mineral powder foundation. I love the natural unclogged feel and look you can achieve from using this product. But (and there is always a but it seems) I do find with my super dry skin it can look a little flakey. I took myself off to YouTube to do some research. Just by mistake I came across a wonderful thing called a Beauty Blender. The context of my discovery had nothing to do with dry skin but instead the application of mainly liquid foundation. I was intrigued to see if this could really give you a flawless finish and wondered if it would work with mineral powder foundation. Could this lovely neon pink sponge, which was a whopping £10, change how I apply my foundation? Well “Mollie Tried and Tested” (let’s just call her MTT to make my life easier) reared her head and begged me to try it out. How could I resist something so girly – the answer was – I couldn’t. At first I didn’t want to spend £10 on a makeup sponge, so I found a cheaper rip off version on Amazon called the Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge.

cosmopolitan blend perfection sponge

This little sponge really was wonderful. You have to wet the sponge till it puffs up then squeeze all (and I mean all) the excess water out. Then squeeze it again in a towel so it is only very slightly damp. I tapped some of my Bella Pierre foundation onto a plastic plate and bumped the sponge onto it. You then bounce the sponge over your face. You use the small end to get into the curves of your face like your nose and eyes. I was totally sold. My makeup looked amazing and so natural. But – yes here comes another but – it did not last. After a week of washing it everyday (something you have to do) tears in the sponge started to appear. I now realised why sometimes more money can be better. Amazon kindly gave me a refund. I then bit the bullet and ordered the actual Beauty Blender. This time I bought it from Amazon in the States for only $20.25 for 2 sponges. I had my parents ship it back with them when they came to visit me. Two sponges arrived to their new home in England cased in a colourful but pointlessly big plastic container.

beauty blender in box

These sponges really are worth the money. They swell up like the Cosmo one but they stay swelled and are softer and bounce better on your skin.

beauty blender

The above photograph shows the two different sponges when dry – Beauty Blender on the left, Cosmo on the right.

saturated beauty blender

Above you can see the difference between the damp Blender on the left and the dry Blender on the right.

I used the Beauty Blender in the same way as the Cosmo before it. The results were very similar except I felt the Blender had a lighter touch and gave a slightly smoother finish. The Blender has also lasted well over a month so far – no tears and no degradation of the sponge material.

I would advice using the Oliva soap to clean the sponge. At first I used my lovely Neal’s Yard hand soap but as this is stuffed full of essential oils I don’t think my skin liked it too much and a few bumps came up on my face. I quickly switched to the Oliva and my skin was happy again. You can buy a cleaner especially for the Beauty Blender – but who wants to pay for some expensive chemical solution when Oliva does the job just as well.

I clean mine every time I go to use it as it needs to be damp anyway. And you must clean it every time – water and makeup creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and you don’t want that going on your face.

You will notice, when you wet the Blender and squeeze the water out, that the water can turn a little pink but that does not transfer onto your skin so do not fret.

The Beauty Blender gets a huge hug from me. It is worth the money and really produces a wonderful result. Because you are bouncing this damp sponge on your skin rather than buffing it in with a dry brush, it does not cause your skin to dry out or flake. This will be a definite friend for my other beauty accessories. Thank you MTT for insisting I try it.

Maybe MTT can finally come out of retirement!

Bellapierre, will you be mine – well for now anyway?

Whilst I sit here looking after my poor sick daughter (you can never escape the winter bug it seems!). I am pondering on what makeup I use that gives the illusion of actually having had a full night’s sleep. One wonderful makeup product springs to mind.

I am sure most of you have heard about mineral powder foundation. A proper pure brand of mineral makeup is actually a treatment for your skin as well as a foundation. If it is pure (there are many which are as pure as the driven snow unfortunately) then you can sleep in this foundation and it will not clog your pores or cause blemishes. This apparently was the only makeup plastic surgeons would recommend to their patients, after surgery on their face, as it proved to help the healing process and was so pure.

I have had a love affair with mineral powder foundation for over 14 years. I adore the natural no makeup look you can achieve when using this. My first foray into this product came many moons ago when I was watching an infomercial on some brand of mineral foundation. I was mesmerised with the before and after shots of the women on screen and being “Mollie tried and tested” at the time I had to see if it was real. I ordered a sample and tried it on. Off I popped to meet a good friend and the first thing she said was how fabulous my skin looked. Well that was it – the love set in and stayed.

Over the years I have tried a number of mineral powder foundations. For years I stuck with Bare Minerals as that was the main mineral powder on the market and really the only one you could buy in stores.

bare minerals foundaiton

I was pleased with this brand, but did on occasion feel it left my skin a little bit dry and sometimes slightly itchy. Later I found that this was because of the ingredient – Bismuth Oxychloride. After research I found out that this is not a very nice ingredient to have in your foundation. Here is an extract from green health research:

Bismuth oxychloride is notorious for causing allergic reactions when applied to the skin. These reactions include itching, redness, slight swelling of the skin, and hives. Bismuth oxychloride can also clog pores and trigger acne, leading to mild to severe breakouts.

I have also read, in a recent article on natural health, that Bismuth Oxychloride is closely related to Arsenic – who would want to put that on their face or even near it.

So after reading about this I trawled the web for another, purer brand. I came up with Elemental Beauty which I loved. Their nude shade was perfect for my skin and the coverage was excellent.

elemental beauty foundation

I am but a fickle child though and kept up my quest – I wanted more! Then I found Bellapierre. This loose powder foundation is simply the Rolls Royce of mineral makeup. It has a beautiful shimmer but very subtle. I have read complaints about there not being enough colours to choose from – but the Ultra is perfect for my very pale yellow based skin tone.

bella pierre loose powder foundation

It stays on most of the day and really gives my skin a wonderful glow which looks pretty flawless. A lot of this is down to application too which I will cover in another post. The packaging is far superior than other powders. There is a clever turning bit inside which keeps your powder safe when you are traveling. Unfortunately this does come at a price ­– around £35, $65 for the Americans – wow I hear you say. If you are savvy you can find it much cheaper. I bought mine from Amazon for £18. No matter how much I love this foundation I would drop it like a hot coal if I had to pay £35 ($65). l hope by that time I won’t have broken Elemental Beauty’s heart too much and they will take me back at a very affordable £10.99.

My only gripe about Bellapierre would be that is does not cover blemishes as well as Elemental Beauty but the gorgeous finish is worth the sacrifice.

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Elemental Beauty – but for the moment I am thinking of proposing to Bellapierre Ultra foundation – I just need to find the right ring!

There are many many mineral foundations out there. Most of these are wolves in sheep’s clothing. As I have said before ‘check the label’. A mineral foundation that has more than 4 or 5 ingredients is not pure – it is a naughty little devil on your shoulder trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Big brands such as Maybelline, Revlon, Estee Lauder and even supposedly ‘more natural’ brands like Laura Mercier (Bismuth Oxychloride anyone?) plus many others jumped onto the mineral powder foundation bandwagon a while ago but these are the wolves so do not be fooled – look at the labels!

Just for fun and to prove my point – lets compare a big brand powder’s ingredient list with Bellapierra (hopefully this will convince you naysayers out there):

Estee Lauder Nutrititous Vita-Mineral Loose Foundation:

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 2.1%. Other Ingredients: Talc, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Boron Nitride Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Methicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Magnesium Myristate,  Punica Granatum, Sterols, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate,  Zeolite, Retinyl Palmitate, Caprylyl Glycol, Calcium Silicate, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Sodium Chloride (salt), Tocopheryl Acetate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Hexylene , Zinc Stearate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Bismuth Oxychloride, Titanium Dioxide Iron Oxides, Mica, Yellow 5 Lake, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Blue 1 Lake, Chromium Hydroxide Greens, Carmine.

Bellapierre Loose Powder Foundation:

Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides. May contain: ultramarine.

Mmmmm – now I wonder which one is more natural and better for you?