Friday, 21 June 2013

Review: MUA BB Foundation - Light

So, once again I was on my neverending search for a perfect base, when I came across this MUA BB Foundation in my local Superdrug. I've only ever bought one or two things from MUA, but I've heard a lot of good things about the brand, and decided that I couldn't go wrong for £4 (I also picked up a gorgeous lipstick for just £1, which I'll review later).

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the lightest shade (Light) was a good shade and tone match for my very pale skin - I'm usually between a MAC NW10 and NW13, and I have neutral toned skin which isn't particularly pink or especially yellow, making it difficult to find foundations that don't make me look very odd. Surprisingly, this product wasn't too dark for my pale skin, and didn't make me look too orange/yellow or too pink, although I'm skeptical about the claim that it adapts to skin tone, as I am with every such claim, whether made by budget or more expensive brands. There are also 'rose' shades (eg: Light Rose), which I assume are more pink-toned for people with cool undertones.

What confused me a little is the claim that this is a "BB Foundation" - BB creams are usually very light coverage and have a multitude of skincare benefits as well as a high SPF. The coverage is advertised as "full", although I'd say this is more medium coverage when applied with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush - I still use a Bobbi Brown Corrector under my eyes and a little bit of Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer on any angry looking red blemishes and spots. The beauty balm contains no SPF, and does not, as far as I can tell, claim to have any benefits for the skin, such as salycilic acid to help fight blemishes, or hylauronic acid to hydrate and plump the skin. In fact, this seems to be more a foundation than a BB cream, and I feel that the name of this product is just MUA trying to cash in over the hype around BB creams in the UK at the moment.

I always use a good moisturiser (my current favourite being my Avon Hydra Radiance Day Cream) underneath this, as I have quite dry skin and I'd imagine that this would cling to especially dry patches of skin if I didn't use a good moisturiser underneath. Also, due to the lack of SPF in the foundation, I like to use a moisturiser with SPF to protect my skin from getting burnt or damaged in the supposed sunshine, which at the moment in the UK is but a distant memory. The lack of SPF does, however, mean that it should photograph without any flashback, providing that your moisturiser doesn't contain very high SPF. I don't use a primer underneath this, because it claims to have one built in (another think which I'm a little skeptical about, but anyway). On its own, without powder, this BB cream/foundation provides a lovely, dewy finish, which can be mattified with a little bit of face powder if, like me, the dewy look doesn't suit you in the slightest, and it lasts for a good 6-7 hours when powdered, without looking cakey.

Overall, I really like this product - whilst I'm not sure it's exactly a BB cream, it is a very good foundation, and for the cost of £4, the lack of SPF or skincare benefits really can't be grumbled at. It's also great for pale girls like me with very light skin (thanks, Irish genes), who struggle to find base products light enough and/or with the correct undertones.

Do you have any BB cream or foundation recommendations? Tell me in the comments!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Review: Avon Solutions Hydra Radiance Day Cream

 I have the old packaging because I forgot I owned it...

I recently cleared out my wardrobe and discovered that I had a pot of this moisturizer unopened in the excessively large box of skincare items I've amassed over the years. I've just used up my Simple day moisturizer, and my No7 one is too rich to use during the day in summer, even on my dry skin. So the other day, when in a bit of a hurry to get ready, I used this moisturizer underneath my foundation, and pretty much fell in love with it.

The texture is quite thick, however I find that it melts beautifully into my skin, and doesn't leave an oily residue behind as some creams do. It also doesn't feel heavy on the skin - some creams feel as if you've just put a thick layer of makeup on and don't allow your skin to breathe, but this makes my skin feel more hydrated whilst being very light. It also has SPF 15 in, which is quite low in comparison to what I usually use (at least SPF 30), but is still good protection for people who don't burn quite as easily as me! There is no glitter or shimmer to this moisturizer that I can see - often 'radiance' products contain shimmer which can make you look unfortunately like a human disco ball, and really is not flattering.

My foundation (well, tinted moisturizer), goes on well over this, and I don't find that it comes off easily, unlike other creams which can make makeup 'slide' off the face. It also works beautifully underneath powder foundation, or with concealer alone. I don't find that it effects the finish of a foundation, but the skin still looks healthy and radiant as opposed to looking like there are four bottles of foundation of it; for example, I used this underneath Stila tinted moisturizer and Natural Collection powder for a matte yet radiant (I'm aware that sounds like a massive contradiction) finish.

It's also very good value for money - at the moment it's £3.75 for 50mls, and at full price it's still only £7.50 - I've used mine about five times and barely used any of the pot, despite applying quite a generous layer to my face and neck.

Available from the Avon website or your Avon representative.

What's your favourite moisturizer?