Review: Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF35

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Over the past few years I’ve done my best to protect my skin from the sun's harmful rays, as I’m paranoid about premature aging. Where possible, I try and use a moisturiser with SPF in it, especially when I know I’ll be out and about for most of the day.

After a very bad reaction to a sunscreen product last year I’ve become aware of how sensitive my skin has now actually become to some products containing SPF in them, so I purchased the following product with great hesitation.

Shisiedo Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF35 continues to impress me a week after I introduced it into my skincare routine. I recently changed my entire skincare regime to coincide with the recent heatwave we’ve experienced and thought this would be the perfect time to try this new Sephora purchase.

One of my major gripes with sunscreen is that I tend to find a lot of them can be greasy and leave a dreaded white cast on my skin, making make up application over the top awkward and messy.
Shiseido Urban Environment is light in texture, non-greasy and doesn’t leave a dull, white/grey-ish cast over my skin as long as I don't use too much product and very little is needed.  Applied OVER my moisturiser, it settles well, prepping my skin for its base and doesn’t disturb my make up through the day causing discolouration. It’s also sweat and waterproof, and protects the skin against oxidative pollutants (pollution), whilst preventing dryness.

I purchased the 30ml bottle (priced at $30), but wish I’d opted for the 50ml bottle that I spotted. Although only a small amount is needed, I know I’ll work my way through this in no time. This will be my go-to facial sunscreen from now on. It works really well for me, I'm very impressed.

I'm not sure where this can be purchased in the UK (Google didn't reveal it on any UK sites), but I presume you can find it on Shiseido counters.

Has anyone else tried this and do you use a separate sunscreen?

The Nail Files: OPI MonSooner Or Later

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I love a solid, vibrant polish for when the sun is shining,and shine it has in England over the past few days. This gorgeous super bright tomato orangey red creme is my favourite OPI polish to wear on my toes when the weather warms up and officially becomes sandal season - it just screams summer!

Now I would have blogged about this months ago, had my bottle not been jammed shut for the past year!! I went for a pedicure on Sunday and took the bottle with me and my nail girl was able to open it for me - I'm so pleased! Had I known it'd would take her 5 mins to crak open, I'd have taken it to her months ago!

It applies perfectly, no streaking, just the right consistency - the formula is perfect! Two coats are all you need, but it even looks pretty good after one coat. A super shiny topcoat (I used nails inc Kensington Cavier  45 Second Top Coat on my toes) completes the look.

Have you tried this shade? If so, then you know exactly what I'm talking about! Do NOT sleep on this OPI polish, it'll change your polish-wearing life as you know it.

NEW! Illamasqua Naked Strangers - Nail Polish Swatches

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Illamasqua launched their capsule collection Naked Strangers, online yesterday, for registered members on the website. The miniscule collection which includes two blushers, two lipglosses and three nail polishes pays homage to warm earthy tones and metallic, glisteny (is that a word?) nudes.

Nail Varnish (£13.50)
Monogamous - creamy flesh pink
Faithful - coppered metal
Swinger - glistening platinum gold

Lipglosses (£13.00)
Intense Lipgloss in Stranger - platinum gold
Sheer Lipgloss in Intimacy - nude pink brown

Blushers (£16.50)
Powder Blusher in Naked Rose - neutral beige brown
Cream Blusher in Zygomatic - naked pink brown

I arrived home yesterday to unexpectedly find two of the three polishes waiting for me, so I got swatching before retiring to bed.

The Nail Files: Revlon Longwear Nail Enamel in Rain Forest

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I have a lot of time for Revlon, it's definitely one of my favourite high street beauty brands. I spied their Longwear Nail Enamel polishes in CVS and they caught my attention as I'd never seen them before. A spot of online research revealed that they were released at the start of the year.

Revlon Longwear Nail Enamel comes in 32 shades, mirrors a gel-like shine and when worn with base and topcoat claims to give shatterproof colour for up to 11 days. The formula is based on a unique combination of resin and high molecular weight polymers (don't fall asleep, stay with me!) designed to provide flexible, shatterproof colour with excellent colour retention and gloss.

The stand I spotted them on, didn't have many shades left, which in my eyes translated that they must be pretty good in order for them to be almost sold out. I was immediately drawn to Rain Forest, a rich forest green with light green shimmer infused throughout it, and flung it in my basket as from memory I didn't own a polish like it.

Apologies for my swatches, the sun had well and truly GONE when I woke up from my slumber yesterday evening and I really struggled to get half decent pics, without the use of flash.

Swatch perfection courtesy of Vampy Varnish

Despite being a shimmery polish, the base is super-smooth. I adore the finish and my only regret is that I didn't have time to scour more branches, for more shades. I'd have happily picked up another 10! Rain Forest only needed two coats to give full coverage.

Whether or not this lasts over a week chip-free remains to be seen another time as I have too many other polishes I want to swatch and play with at the moment! Even if it were to last just three days I really don't care, I love the colour that much.

These polishes are priced $7.99 from Walgreens and CVS and will be top of my list when I'm next across the Atlantic. I have no idea if these will eventually become available in the UK.

Trilogy Certified Rosehip Oil - Worth the Hype?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You can guarantee that whenever a celebrity mentions a product as their skincare saviour, it'll fly off the shelves.  The most recent product to receive a barrage of press attention has been Rosehip Oil, after Victoria's Secrets model, Miranda Kerr claimed to use it to boost her complexion.  Media sources such as The Daily Mail were quick to cite Trilogy's Certified Organic Rosehip Oil as a recommended product, which  made my ears prick up as I've been using this on/off for months.

Miranda Kerr sans make up sporting glowy skin.

Miranda all made up, as we're used to seeing her

Rosehip oil has long been recommended as a remedy for healing scars, pits and other skin blemishes, including stretchmarks.

I use this as a night treatment, only needing a few drops to cover my face and neck area. Sometimes I use it on its own, on other occasions I apply a moisturiser over the top. Each time I use it, I wake up with really refreshed skin which feels supple. I particularly like using this after I've exfoliated as I can feel the effects immediately after application as my skin feels incredibly soft to the touch.

This small 20ml bottle has lasted me absolutely ages - over a year with occasional use and after the recent press attention it's got. I now feel compelled to use it more often - at least 5 nights a week. It was one of the skincare products I chose to take away with me to New York, which I think says a lot considering how many I own to choose from! I only have a small amount left in my bottle, but will definitely be repurchasing it.

You can buy Trilogy Certified Rosehip Oil from Holland & Barrett here in either a 20ml (£16.50) or 45ml (£28.60) bottle. Find it here.

Are you a fan of natural oils for your facial skincare? I remember going through a phase of using Vitamin E oil at night, but I bought such a high concentration (the higher the IU, the more effective it is) I found it too heavy and super greasy for my skin, to use on a daily basis and abandoned it after a few days.

*PR sample

Review: Thai Square Spa, Covent Garden

Monday, May 21, 2012

A few weeks ago, I hauled my aching bones to the Thai Square Spa, a day spa located on a quiet side street in the heart of Covent Garden. As I walked through the doors, I was immediately transported to the Far East - cheesy as hell, but true! Recently refurbished and extended in December 2011, my surroundings oozed regal grandeur and their treatment menu boasts a range of authentic Thai treatments.


As I sat in reception, I took in my surroundings marvelling at the immaculate mani/pedi area with an extensive display of polishes to choose from. Already impressed by what I was seeing, I was further taken aback when shown the dining area at the rear or the spa, which is almost completed. It looks like a Michelin rated  restaurant!

I was swiftly introduced to my therapist, Hae, who took me downstairs where I slipped off my shoes and was presented with spa slippers. She also handed me a towelling robe and paper knickers to change into. I was then taken to the changing room, where I changed and placed my belongings in the secure lockers available.

Once in the treatment room, the first step was a foot wash and massage. My feet were placed in a large bowl with salts and orchids. I was then given a cup of Thai herbal tea to drink and directed to lie down on the massage table.

I chose to experience the Definite Detox Ritual, a two hour treatment which began with a 'Spice and Shine Scrub' being applied all over my body to exfoliate my skin. Hae expertedly applied it limb to limb, taking care to not disturb the towel which was strategically covering my modesty. The scrub was then removed thoroughly with hot towels which felt very relaxing.

And I'm BACK!

Monday, May 21, 2012

...back in the UK, back to work (well, tomorrow - urgh!) and back to blogging!

How are we liking the new layout? As you can see, I didn't stray from my trademark black background, but I did try and keep it simple. Less is more.

My blog was down less than five days but I received a lot of queries from readers wondering where it had disappeared to - I didn't think you'd even notice, given I haven't blogged for a while! If you don't follow me already on either Twitter or through my Facebook page, please do, so you can keep up to date with changes regarding the blog and other chit-chat.

I feel refreshed and ready to get stuck into blogging agian. Every few months, I switch off and need a break to recharge my batteries.

Anyway, I'm back, so hit me up and let me know in the comments what you'd like to see more of on Vex in the City xx


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Some of you may be wondering where on earth I've disappeared to, having not blogged for a whole month now. The past few weeks have been stressful with lots of 'family stuff' taking place and I'm currently in New York, so no blog posts for at least another couple of weeks.

I managed to miss my blogiversary - again. I think I only remembered the first one. Three years of inane ramblings about make up, who'd have thought it! I'll be throwing a few giveaways when I get back so keep an eye out for those.

In other news, you can find me on Instagram under VexintheCity, where I'll do my utmost best to keep you entertained with artistic photos of whatever I'm shoving in my mouth or what I can see in the distance!

Failing that, just follow me on Twitter

What am I missing in Blighty? Please tell me it's stopped raining! I hope all is well with you and I'll be back blogging soon! xx


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