Monday, 30 April 2012

Instagram #2

1: Draw Something; 2: Godzilla!; 3: messy bun attempt two - getting there;
4: currently reading: Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins; 5: nostalgia; 6: train travel essentials;
7: shopping - oops!; 8: stacking rings; 9: breakfast.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

To borrow a phrase from the lovely Essie, I never thought I would be one of those people – you know...Lush fans. I never understood the hype, the packaging looked a little tacky to me, and don’t even get me started on the price of just one bath bomb.

But I’d never really looked into their skincare before. While I was in the market for a new face mask, I decided to give Lush a chance. And I will never look back.

The fresh face masks have to be kept in the fridge, so I decided to go for the Mask of Magnaminty, designed to help spot-prone skin. It contains peppermint to stimulate the blood vessels under your skin, and ground aduki beans to provide gentle exfoliation. The result is a tub of green gloop.

It looks even less appetising on, but looking like She-Hulk for fifteen minutes is definitely worth it. The peppermint gives a cooling, tingling sensation. It feels great, really freshening, and it shows as soon as you wash off. My skin is brighter, tighter, softer, smoother and, best of all, my spots have disappeared. It doesn’t stop spots forming completely, but I’ve found that when they do form, they’re much more superficial. They’re smaller, less inflamed, and stay around for a day or two, no longer.

At £4.75/125g (or £8.25/315g) it seems pricey, but a little really does go a long way. I’ve had mine for about a month now, using twice a week, and the picture above shows just how much I have left. I’ve actually been using more purposely just to try and use it up before the expiry date. I bought the large tub thinking a small one wouldn’t last long enough, but next time, I think I’ll go smaller.

What do you think? Has this helped your acne problems like it has mine?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Chanel Perfection Lumiere

Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere foundation was actually my first high end cosmetics purchase. As a milk bottle, I found drugstore foundations to be too limited in their shade ranges for my skin tone, and I had to suffer desperately trying to blend my foundation in and failing. I’m a sucker for a good advertising campaign, and Chanel drew me in with theirs: their biggest shade range yet, suiting all undertones? I was sold. Clutching my debit card, I nervously walked up to the counter in Boots and asked to be colour matched.

I was matched to 22 Beige Rose, the second lightest shade with pink undertones. Sadly, I’m still left scrubbing at my face in a last-ditch attempt to blend. In hindsight, I hold my hands up and admit fault: it was a perfect match under the artificial lights, but I didn’t bother to check in natural light – I was too excited! I should have asked for a sample rather than jumping straight in at the deep end, but there you go. I can make it work if I’m very careful about blending and applying powder afterwards, but it’s a lot of hard work. I also find that it does oxidise slightly through the day if I apply a little too much.

Really, though, it’s not a bad foundation by any stretch of the imagination. The above could probably be remedied if I’d just be more thorough with checking my colour match. It has medium, but buildable, coverage that evens out my skin tone and covers most blemishes fairly well. Despite that, it’s very light on the skin; you can barely feel it there. It’s also very long-lasting, both on the skin and in terms of the foundation itself: a little goes a long way. The matte finish is gorgeous, and it stays matte through the day when set with powder. And of course, top marks for the classic Chanel packaging.

The matte finish does mean it clings to dry patches though, so this particular foundation would be better suited to those with normal/oily skin. I don’t particularly suffer from dry skin, but it clings to any dried out spots I’ve got, and it’s not nice. I also find it’s hard to blend.

So, no, it’s not bad, but it’s just not great. At £36 it’s expensive, and I’ve definitely learned my lesson. Maybe I’ll go back and get a sample of the lighter shade, but to be honest, I’d rather look at alternatives.

What has been your experience with Perfection Lumiere? Should I give it another chance?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Instagram #1

1: spring; 2: The Fray's new album, Scars and Stories - love it!; 3: new camera;
4: currently reading: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins; 5: blogging; 6: messy bun attempt the first;
7: makeup wishlist; 8: #nowplaying; 9:'s face.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Perfume Essential

I love perfume. If I had the funds available, I'd probably buy a new fragrance every month (as it is, I usually end up wandering past Boots's perfume department, mostly around payday, whimpering pathetically at Coco Mademoiselle). I just don't feel fully dressed without a spray of whatever scent I'm in the mood for that day.

Of course, marketing needs have pushed for the aesthetics of perfumes to be increasingly out there: bigger bottles, bolder designs, stand-out shapes. It's all about branding and trying to catch the eye of your consumer. But therein lies one problem: who wants to lug around a heavy glass bottle of perfume shaped like, I don't know, a giraffe? Perhaps it's just me, but I like taking perfume out with me for a quick touch-up, and I can't always do that.

That's where atomisers come in. They fit in the palm of your hand and are so lightweight - perfect for travelling. They're not particularly a new concept, but they were retailing for £9.99 in Boots and I just couldn't justify spending that much after I'd spent £50+ on a fragrance.

And then I happened across these in Home Bargains for 69p. I will admit the manufacturing isn't as good as the ones in Boots probably were - there's some leftover glue in one of the apertures, for example. But they work just as well and it means that I no longer have to worry about getting caught short without my perfume on!

Do you use atomisers? Is £9.99 worth it to you, or will you try to run across a bargain first?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

No7 Vital Brights Collection

No7 aren't usually a brand I take an interest in. Maybe it's my own misconception but I've always felt that it was a brand aimed more towards older women and at twenty, a 'mumsy' image isn't exactly what I'm going for. I also feel that their pricing is a little steep, especially when compared to the pricing of a brand like MAC or Illamasqua. This spring, however, No7 teamed up with makeup artist Lisa Eldridge to create their limited edition Vital Brights collection. Couple this with another round of let's see how many £5 Off No7 vouchers I can fit into my purse and for probably the first time in my life I flitted around the counters in every Boots I went into, swatching the collection again and again.

In the end, I decided to pick up the two lipsticks and the highlighting powder.

L-R: Blossoming Pink, Blooming Pink

Blossoming Pink is a fairly nude pink, if slightly darker. I tend to turn to this when I want a 'my lips but better' shade in a lipstick rather than a balm. Blooming Pink is a scarily bright pink in the tube but is really a lovely sheer pink when applied. As for the formula, it glides on well with a creamy consistency. Once on the lips though, it isn't as much of a success story. Blooming Pink, for whatever reason, feels kind of sticky, and Blossoming Pink is fairly drying on my lips. They give a nice sheen to the lips, but I can't stand wearing them for long.

When the collection was still available, each lipstick retailed at £10, a price I don't think the lipsticks are really worth. For just £3.50 more you can pick up a MAC lipstick instead. I don't feel like I've made a huge loss as I picked both lipsticks up for £5 each using the vouchers, but they are certainly lipsticks I could have lived without.

Although I wasn't blown away by the lipsticks, the highlighting powder is a different story.

I will admit I don't have much experience with highlighters, either liquid or powder. This product is in fact the one that first introduced me to them, but I can say for sure that I won't be looking back. Even though I don't really have any point of comparison, I was really impressed with this highlighter. It's a lovely champagne colour, perfect for practically any skin tone, and isn't overly shimmery or glittery like some highlighters can be. It's really soft and easy to blend, and it just gives such a healthy glow to the face. I usually just use it above my cheekbones but have dusted all over before when I don't want a totally matte look.

I don't think packaging should be focused on too much in reviews, but in this case I can't not say anything! I absolutely love the casing design - the same design was on the box the lipsticks came in and I was sorely disappointed to find that it didn't continue on to the lipstick tubes as well. My powder is fairly well-used by now and that obviously shows in the picture, but when first bought the powder is set in this beautiful floral 3D design that is very reminiscent of the Laura Mercier highlighting powder. It's definitely a treat to look at.

The highlighter retailed at £13/10g when available, but I picked mine up for £8. That said, I definitely would have paid full retail price. If you're dying to try something from the Vital Brights collection and are scouring eBay (since they now aren't available in store), the highlighter is definitely the product I'd recommend.

Did you manage to catch the collection while it was in store? Which was your stand-out product?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


I will never be anything but honest about the products I talk about on this blog. All products were bought by me, unless stated otherwise. In the event that I am contacted by companies offering to send samples for consideration, I will only ever accept items that are relevant to this blog; similarly, I will never review PR samples unfairly – if I think the sample is terrible, I will tell you so! I will never accept money for positive reviews.

Above all else, I hope to maintain this blog’s integrity. Honesty is, after all, the best policy.


What camera do you use?
I use a Fujifilm JX370 compact.

What program do you use to edit your photos?
Photoshop CS5.

What do you do for a living?
I'll shortly be entering my third and final year of a psychology bachelor's degree. Other than that, I work part time in a high street clothing store. Don't ask what I want to do after university - I haven't a clue!

About Traincars

I’m Nikki, a 20 year old psychology undergraduate with a side passion for beauty and skincare. I’ve long since realised that my boyfriend zones out entirely every time I go off on one, so I decided to set this blog up to connect with people who won’t! So, this is my little corner of the blogosphere where I’ll be reviewing my favourite (and not so favourite) products, as well as offering my thoughts on the latest cosmetics. Enjoy!

 For any business or press enquiries, please contact me at:
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