Beauty 101 | Primer & Blur Products

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So ladies, primer.  

Do you or don’t you?  Do you every day?  Should you?  What the heck is it and why do you need it in your life?  

Got it.  Welcome to the beginners guide to primer and blur products, from the Beginner Herself, ME!

Whether you’re not that handy in the makeup department or you’re a certified pro, starting with a well prepped base is key to improving the look, feel and longevity of your makeup. Now that I’m old (HA!  I was born in the seventies for christ-sake!)  I’m all about primer and blurs.  They smoothe out the surface of my skin,  even out my sun damaged blotches, mattify, help makeup stay on longer/look good for longer and help me to do a somewhat better job of applying the stuff as foundation glides on beautifully over primer.

How do I use it?

After cleansing I pop some ProActiv on any spots I have, apply a serum or oil, then my moisturiser – super hydrated skin = happy makeup day.  Then I apply a primer before my BB cream or tinted moisturiser.  If it’s a rare day when I need to wear full coverage I’ll use foundation over the primer.

That said, let’s summarise shall we?  

  • Is face primer akin to vehicle primer i.e. does it bog holes?  Yes.  Primer does a fab job of minimising pores.
  • Is face primer akin to house/furniture paint primer?  Will it provide me with a smooth, profesh look?  Yes.  About as profesh as this post is.  Just joking, add primer and your makeup will look much more professional than a beauty post written by me ever could!  Smooth as a baby’s bum ring any bells?
  • What is in primer/blur products that makes them so magical?  Every single product I tested, except for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water, contains Dimethicone in at least one form, often multiple forms.  Dimethicone is a silicon-based polymer—”polymer” meaning it’s a large molecule made up of several smaller units bonded together.  It makes products easily spreadable and forms a protective barrier on the skin, whilst being able to fill in the fine lines and wrinkles on the face < that’s why it’s the key ingredient in primers.
  • Is this something I need?  Mama’s, I say YES.  Go forth and buy primer!

Meet the Sample Team

Dimethicone Free

 SMASHBOX Photo Finish Primer Water RRP $62

So, meet the only product in the trial that’s silicone and alcohol free as well as being the only liquid primer.  Photo Finish Primer is one of those gems that does triple duty – spray it on as a primer before makeup application, use it as a setting spray or as a refresher to breathe some life into hours old makeup.  I’ve used it all three ways and I love it, it feels great on my face, does a fab job of ‘preparing the canvas’ (groan lol) and when I’m wearing it my makeup looks amazing all day long.  Without the silicon polymers that are included in other products, it doesn’t have the ‘blur’ effect, but once my makeup is on the difference is negligable.

SPF IncludedTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

MURAD Invisiblur™ Perfecting Shield SPF 30 RRP $140

I love this luxe product because, to put it simply, it takes care of business and can also boast a skincare hat-trick.  As a primer, Invisiblur™ does an amazing job.  It goes on like a dream, is silky smooth and the blur is amaze.  As a makeup base, products glide on and stay on.  I’m notorious for forgetting to apply sunscreen to my face so the inclusion of Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a big plus for me.  In addition, it’s “non-comedogenic formula contains a powerful blend of youth-enhancing ingredients like Shitake Mushroom Peptides, Black Currant, Rosemary and Goldenrod Extracts. These ingredients combine to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by improving skin resilience and texture to reveal an overall more youthful look and feel”.  Yes.  Please.  So, my skin is receiving the benefits of a treatment product while I’m wearing makeup and is protected from the sun plus primed and blurred.  This is as good as it gets.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerBENEFIT Air Patrol Bb Cream Eyelid Primer SPF 20 RRP $50

This is getting down to the nitty gritty.  Primer for your eyelids?  What the?  Hold on.  Have you looked at your eyelids lately?  Mine are all kinds of lumpy, bumpy, they are a little bit veiny with uneven colouring, not the smoothest looking skin on one’s body right?  Air Patrol has just launched and is customised specifically for those pesky parts of our peepers.  The softest applicator I’ve ever felt, combined with a one-twist dispenser results in a fail safe experience.  I rarely wear eyeshadow but I’ve been reaching for this on makeup days as it smoothes and blurs my lids and creates that ‘my skin but better’ look effortlessly.  This is a BB cream so it is tinted, creating soft, natural coverage which is perfect on its own.  I’ve read reviews for Air Patrol online and people are raving about it’s ability to keep eye shadow going the distance.  An eyelid angel indeed!

Special Area
  • Of course Benefit Air Patrol belongs in this section too! You already realised that though didn’t you……?

 

SMASHBOX Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer RRP $48Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

So, our eyes definitely require a bit of special attention when it comes to skincare and makeup.  The skin is super thin and delicate (wrinkly, crinkled, puffy, tired, dark…..) so the same rules don’t apply as for the rest of your face.  Slapping concealer under there on it’s own won’t work.  The area needs to be super hydrated so makeup doesn’t get cakey, dark circles often need to be colour corrected before being concealed and then powdered over to set……crikey.

Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer takes much of the fuss out of this, combining a primer, super hydrating lotion and brightener all in one.  It’s perfect as a base for concealer or it’s genius on it’s own to reduce puffiness and lift/brighten the under eye area.  Super light formulation glides on and leaves a dewy, silky finish.  LOVE.

Moisturiser

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerL’Oréal Paris REVITALIFT Magic Blur Daily Anti-Ageing Moisturiser RRP $39.99

The first Magic Blur product I tried was from a sample in a magazine and I was pretty wowed to be honest.  The effect was amazing!  I love this combo product because many primer/blurs go on quite dry, almost chalky and need to be used in conjunction with a moisturiser, so for time poor women, adding another step to an already rushed beauty routine just becomes too much work.  So, by combining the magic of Blur (which I think L’Oréal have down to  fine art btw), with Pro-Retinol, a key anti-ageing ingredient, ‘wrinkles appear reduced, skin feels firmer and skin complexion looks more even’. My mum said that she had never put anything on he face that felt so silky and smooth! Go L’Oréal!

Tinted
  • Of course Benefit Air Patrol belongs in this section too! You already realised that though didn’t you……?

 

L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Magic Touch Instant Blur with Self Adjusting Tint RRP $24.99Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

This little pink tube comes under the ‘balm’ category for me.  This is a product I would use on targeted areas rather than smoothing across my whole face as the consistency just doesn’t lend itself to that.  The box describes the texture as ‘velvety cream’ and this is spot on.  Awesome mattifying powers, if you suffer from oily spots this would be a great product to try.  It absorbs instantly leaving a lovely smooth finish.  The tint is subtle and is definitely suitable for all skin tones.  This creates an awesome base for foundations or BB creams, or on it’s own with a swipe of mascara for an easy, no fuss pick-me-up.  Great, cost-effective option if you’re wanting to try a primer or blur without investing a pay cheque!

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L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Blur Cream RRP $29.99

OK, out of this and Skin Perfection I prefer this one.  Remember I’m no scientist, but it feels like there is more of the miraculous silicone polymers in Nude Magique – it’s positively slippery!  The tint is more apparent also, I’ve totally worn this out on it’s own and felt like it was an improvement over my 36 year old au naturel lol.  I wish I could show you the effect these products have on your skin, but it’s super hard to capture.  I’m looking at it on my hand right now where the skin is thin with lots of fine lines and wrinkles and to the naked eye it looks like someone has run a filter down my hand where I’ve put Nude Magique!  This as a base, has awesome non-greasy, corrective powers, layering other makeup on top results in a really flawless finish.  Top product for a great price.

Straight up Blur/Primers

BENEFIT The POREfessional RRP $57Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

So this guy is one of the heavy hitters.  A cult fave, and staple in many women’s beauty arsenals.  The POREfessional is described as a PRO balm to minimise the appearance of pores.  And really, that’s all we want, we can’t make pores disappear otherwise our skin will look as fake and plastic as a Barbie Doll and I think we’re all mature enough to have moved on from that phase?!  An interesting point of difference here is that the box describes using it over makeup!  I tried this after a workout the other day when I was wearing full face but looking a little sweaty/shiny.  Ah-maze-ing!  Instant matte and hot, open pores totally under control within seconds.  Definitely setting the standard in primer/blur balms.  I use more on targeted areas – nose, chin – rather than smoothing over my whole face.  Can’t fault it.  LOVE.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerL’Oréal Paris Base Magique Smoothing Resurfacing Primer

RRP $35.99

So, Base Magique has quite a different texture to most of the other products.  It’s much tackier and stickier to apply but the finish is velvety smooth.  Described as a blend of silicone oils (like other products we’ve discussed) and soft light powders, there is definitely more to this primer, with a thicker consistency that is a bit harder to spread.  But as a base – perfection.  Once you rub the product between your fingers to ease spreading as recommended on the box, you’re good to go.  Definitely one to wear over your moisturiser, the rosy shade creates a gorgeous translucency that would look good on anyone.  I think more mature skin would love Base Magique, the texture is perfect for minimising the appearance of deeper lines and wrinkles.

Garnier 5sec Perfect Blur RRP $17.49Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

This one is my pick for kick ass results on a beer budget.  Perfect Blur is easy to apply, feels light and silky and actually delivers the promises on the box; visibly blurs wrinkles, imperfections, pores and shine.  The slim tube would be perfect for keeping in your purse to manage shine throughout the day.  It includes light reflectors which help promote that youthful, dewy look which I’m all about!  I like this product.  One to apply over moisturiser to ensure skin remains hydrated throughout the day,  Garnier has taken a must-have product and made it accessible to everyone with a fantastic price point.

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty BloggerL’Oréal Paris Revitalift Magic Blur RRP $29.99

Described as the last step in your skincare routine, Magic blur is slick and no-nonsense.  The consistency is almost serum-like, it goes on so easily, you could absolutely apply it full-face in about 10 seconds, which I like.  I’d rather not have to dab and keep returning to a product to finish the job you know?  For those like me who don’t wear foundation every day, a product like this is a way to look like you’ve attempted to, I don’t know, do ‘something’ lol but with absolute minimal effort!  That’s rad.  My skin looks soft, touchable, and super super smooth.  On days when I do wear foundation I’ve found Magic Blur works as well as some of the higher-end primers, makeup went nowhere!  I love the notion of this being a ‘Finishing Cream’ as that’s a great way to think of it; it finishes off your skincare.

Honorable Mention

Dermalogica Hydrablur™ Primer RRP $91.00Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Beauty Blogger

I’ve only tried this in a wee sample size so can’t comment too much, but I’ve a feeling this could be one to watch.  One of the latest products from Dermalogica, Hydrablur™ provides three benefits in one formula; intense hydration, neutral coverage and pore-refining properties using mushroom extract which counteracts the drying nature of some primers.  The media release for this also states it can be used over foundation for a flawless finish.  I used it as a base and loved it, if the sample is anything to go by, this could definitely be an investment product!

Holiday Skincare | Island Style

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Oh lord, that picture doesn’t look real does it?  I can’t believe it feels so long ago already :::sobs:::

I was determined to pack light for our trip to Rarotonga and that included my toiletry bag.  I did pack way more skincare products than makeup but couldn’t have been happier with my choices.  With the chance of  returning with a ‘safe’ tan I wanted to ensure my skin was well protected but also well moisturised and nourished.  After hibernating all winter, being outside and in the water all day for 12 days meant I was going to have to pay a bit more attention to my skin to avoid peeling, wind and sunburn and dry, scaly legs and feet.

With that in mind I was sure to pack a few products that could do double duty and multi-task like a boss.  This ultimately saved on space and weight but also meant I was covered against any skin ’emergencies’ that may have arisen!  Let’s meet my holiday favourites;

Grab & Go Goodness Try-Me Kit RRP $24.99

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty BloggerThis set of minis arrived the day before we left so I was able to replace full size products with this team of beauty superstars from the Goodness Natural Beauty Lab.  The super cute kit contains;

  • Certified Organic Chia Seed Oil (5ml)
  • Every Day Cream Cleanser (20ml)
  • Every Morning Moisturiser (20ml)
  • Every Week Face Scrub (10ml)
  • Every Evening Cream (25 ml)

Unfortunately The Chia Seed Oil bottle didn’t survive the trip but the rest of these wee gems were used every day….except for the Every Week Face Scrub of course, because I follow directions to a T lol!  This range is just easy.  That’s the best word I can think of to describe it.  It’s simple, natural, does what is says, it’s not pretentious or fluffy.  Good honest skincare with an added kick – certified organic chia seed oil which on its own is light and readily absorbed but as an ingredient across the entire range, takes ‘good’ products to a whole new level.  The Every Morning Moisturiser kept my skin hydrated throughout the day under my sunscreen and I used the Every Evening Cream religiously at night.  No dry skin the entire trip!

Trilogy Age-Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate RRP $39.90Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger

Nixon didn’t get the memo about being on holiday so woke between 4.45 am and 5.30 every day we were in Rarotonga.  This gorgeous Eye Recovery Concentrate from Trilogy was a lifesaver, one that I often used more than once per day.    Containing Trilogy’s latest plant oil blend, Glycablend™, caffeine, CoQ10 and jojoba, I kept this little vial in the fridge and rolled it on every morning/afternoon/evening (whenever I looked in the mirror and went WTF?!).  It instantly took care of my lack-of-sleep puffiness and reduced the slack-eyed look that I’m often sporting after a rough night with Nix!  This one’s a keeper ladies, I love it.

Antipodes Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum RRP $49.50

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger2015 has sure been the year of the serum!  Luckily I’m a huge fan and I’ve discovered a new fave that hits stores October 1st.  Antipodes will soon release their lush Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum with jasmine & ylang ylang and it’s a babin’ blend let me tell you.  I’ve been applying this every morning underneath a moisturiser for the past 3 weeks and I’m addicted to it!  My skin feels amazing and is able to maintain perfect moisture levels all day long.  The point of difference here is that rather than a straight oil, Antipodes has created an oil-based serum.  Other serums in my arsenal tend to be a little drying, they deliver the good stuff but leave my skin needing more moisture.  This combo of Chia & Kiwi Seed punches way above it’s weight.  It’s a luxe silky serum, but the super fine oils absorb beautifully and create a magic barrier against moisture loss that lasts all day.  

Added bonus, $60,000 from the sale of this product will be donated to World Wide Fund for Nature NZ!

Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm RRP $ 50.60Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger

So this is what I’m talking about when I refer to multi-tasking products.  Saviour Skin Balm is now in my handbag 24-7.  This was my lip balm on the trip, my always-on-hand first aid balm (Rarotonga is surrounded by a coral reef so you can’t even begin to imagine the number of cuts and grazes both boys endured on a daily basis!) plus it was our soothing go-to for insect bites and any sun-induced redness.  I also used it to calm my frizzy hair as I didn’t take any styling products or my GHD’s, quelle horreur! Dave is also a fan and dabs a bit on his face to soothe shaving cuts.  This delicious pot of gold is crammed full of antibacterial and antifungal agents derived from totara and tea tree and heals skin in a snap!  There is nothing not to love about Saviour Skin Balm, it’s definitely the kind of product the boys will remember when they’re grown, ‘that one tin of stuff Mum used to rub on everything!’.  And then they’ll buy some for themselves because it’s that good.

Weleda Skin Food Travel Size RRP $13.90

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My skin has a few ‘special needs’  areas that constantly need extra love and with 12 days in flip flops and wrestling Nixon on the beach to consider I didn’t hesitate in popping a 30ml travel-size tube of Weleda’s Skin Food into my toilet bag.  This is a time-tested formulation that has been around since 1926 and to this day remains 100% natural.  

I use it on my elbows, feet and hands daily and long term, this is the only product I’ve found to keep gross, dry elbows at bay – I hate them!  Ethan also favours this product to fix wind burnt lips in a flash.  This lotion goes on easily so is perfect for quick applications to small bottoms.  Nix got a few contact rashes on his nether regions from being in the water so much and sand was an abrasive friend you’ve just got to love while holidaying at the beach!  After rinsing off each night I’d just apply a little Skin Food to his (minor) diaper rash and he’d be all clear by the morning, ready to swim another day!

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment RRP $95

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This super slick superstar from Clinique launched in New Zealand last month but I’ve been fortunate enough to have been using it for the last 2 months or so. In love of course, when do we not love Clinique right? I’ve been using Custom-Repair Eye Treatment twice daily and can see results that I’m freaking out over! Most noticeable to me is the reduced crinkly, crepiness. As far as signs of aging go, I’m most at peace with my wrinkles. Grey hair gives me the heebies but I can handle my laugh lines……..as long as they stay in check! Clinique Smart is keeping on top of this for me by easing inflammation, repairing damage, plumping and boosting radiance. Four things I need everyday, not just on my holiday!

Antipodes Immortal SPF 15 Face & Body Moisturizer RRP $54.45

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty BloggerSo, the foundation for great-holiday skin was all taken care of, now to protect it.  I wore this creamy formulation from Antipodes every day in Rarotonga and never once got burnt.  That’s so important to me.  My Dad died from melanoma so I do my best to protect my skin and I’m absolutely anal about keeping the kids well covered in sunscreen and wearing protective clothing at the beach.  Immortal SPF 15 Face & Body Moisturizer is delicious.  It spreads and covers well and it absorbs like a standard moisturizer (it doesn’t feel like it’s sitting on top of your skin you know?  I hate that!).  Full of plant-based wonder ingredients, super-antioxidant Vinanza Performance Plus® grape and kiwifruit extract as well as plant-based hyaluronic acid, ancient Reishi mushroom and Raspberry seed oil which naturally protects skin from UVA damage.  LOVE.

Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Body Cream RRP $29.90Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty Blogger

I was sent this shimmery tube at the beginning of winter (review here) and I’d been dying to use it after a little sun, some longer days and when I had an opportunity to wear short sleeves!  Ultra Hydrating Body Cream easily passed the island moisturiser test.  No dry legs, arms or shoulders the entire trip, and in the evenings, after showering off the day’s salt and sand, it was lovely to take a minute to sit and enjoy this subtly frangranced lotion.  What is so nice about Trilogy’s most intense body moisturiser, is the added mica which creates a slight shimmer, just perfect for highlighting a sunsafe holiday tan.

Dr. Hauschka Night Serum RRP $75

Mummy Blog new Zealand Beauty BloggerOk I’m tired.  

Every night at around 8.45pm I’d just crash.  The early mornings (thanks Nixon!), the fresh air and fun at the beach plus all of our planned excursions wiped me out.  To be honest we all came home more worn out than when we left New Zealand!

There was nothing for it but to quickly cleanse with my Good Every Day Cream Cleanser then apply Dr. Hauschka’s latest Night Serum and hit the hay.  I’ve been using this on and off since June but whilst on holiday used it exclusively at night for 12 days.  I have one criteria for a good night serum, and that is this; when I wake up in the morning, my skin needs to look refreshed  – like I’ve actually had some sleep!  This sounds silly but once I noticed that this was actually achievable using the right product, it became a firm acid test.  Dr. Hauschka Night Serum works just as described.  One thing I’ve learnt this year which makes SO much sense, is that the skin doesn’t need to be ‘protected’ at night from outside influences.  There is no need to layer on lotion after oil etc just to go to sleep.  One great product like Night Serum will work it’s magic best when left to get on with it.

So, there you have it!  A bit of a list but these are all fab skin-saving heroes that deserved a little love from me.  Let me know if you have any questions and look out for my Island Style Make-up post – which is a MUCH smaller gang btw!

 

Beauty Review | Manuka Doctor Purifying Facial Wipes and Firm Body Moisturiser

I have been using these two amazing products for the past few months and am convinced that I love them!  Manuka Doctor is a fairly new discovery to me, but after a 3/3 success rate (I reviewed their Apirefine Radiance Serum here) I’m convinced this is a brand that I will stick with in years to come, particularly due to their attention to natural anti-aging superstars such as Manuka Honey and Purified Bee Venom.

ApiClear 3-in-1 Purifying Wipes

I’ve been doing so well with my resolution to up my game this year when it comes to taking care of my skin, but there are still some late nights when I just can’t face the whole bedtime beauty routine.  Having a skin saver product like these wipes up my sleeve makes all the difference when I hit a lazy-girl setback.  I’ve tried pretty much every facial wipe on the supermarket shelves and they all leave my skin with a slight soapy residue.  That’s the point of difference here, the anti-bacterial properties of Manuka Oil works to remove make-up and impurities without leaving me feeling like I need to get up rinse my face {because if I’m using facial wipes I’m already in bed!}.  

Love, love, love. Keep a pack in your bedside cabinet at all times ladies!  At only $9.95 this is a high end product with the same price tag as supermarket brands, so a big win for us.

 

ApiNourish Firm Body Moisturiser

This wee gem brings the hero ingredients we are used to seeing in facial formulas to the rest of our body.  I’ve been using this for over a month on my neck, décolletage, tummy and upper arms and am impressed with the results.  The combination of Purified Bee Venom, Certified UMF 18+ Manuka Honey and Royal Jelly have added a whole new therapeutic level to daily, all-over body moisturising.  Hydration isn’t sacrificed as Shea Butter and silk extract are combined with the hard working natural trio of Chicory Root, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum and Red Algae to give your skin an all over boost.

I’m all about anything that can help my skin look firmer and more toned, I work hard to ensure my body is strong and toned on the inside but until now there hasn’t been much I could do to improve the suppleness of my skin.  Manuka Doctor’s Firm Body Moisturiser has filled that gap, taken my daily moisturizing routine and super-charged it.

RRP $54.95 www.manukadr.co.nz

Beauty Blogger NZ Manuka Doctor

Beauty Review | La Mav Anti-Ageing Pack

Lets be frank; there are hits and misses when you sample a lot of beauty products but when you stumble upon a winner, a genuine rave-worthy forever-after fave, well, then you MUST tell everyone about it.  It’s the only honourable thing to do however much you want to keep your dirty little beauty secret to yourself.  I have been using the four gorgeous products in the La Mav Anti-Ageing Pack for 3 weeks now and 21 days later I’m still excited every morning and evening when it’s time to use them.  Excited ladies!!!

For me there is one stand-out, super star product in this beautiful collection, the Antioxidant Rich Nightly Repair Nectar.  This guy is my new BFF.  I hope I never have to sleep a night without this light, oily goodness on my skin because when I wake up in the morning, my skin actually looks rested and rejuvenated,  my skin looks better than when I went to bed!  I am not pulling your leg.  This serum actually does all of the things other products I have tried promise but fail to deliver on.  Stuff of miracles I’m telling you!

Also included are the Bio VA5 Wrinkle Smoothing Day Crème, Bio A7 Firming Eye Lotion and a sample of the Camiphora Extract Plumping serum {this will last for ages, I’ve been using it for 3 weeks and it still looks untouched!}.  The presentation box  is perfection, making this is a gorgeous collection that would be a 10/10 Mother’s Day gift.

La Mav products are 100% plant based, certified organic and cruelty free and are available at selected Health 2000 stores and other selected retail outlets.  Full list of retailers here

 

 

Beauty Review | Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Radiance Serum

WELCOME TO THE MUMMY MAKE-UP PROJECT!  I’M FIVE YEARS SHY OF 40 AND AFTER 20 YEARS OF CLUELESS MAKE-UP APPLICATION, 2015 IS THE YEAR OF TURNING DRAB TO FAB.  I’M GOING TO FIND THE BEST SKINCARE AND MAKE-UP PRODUCTS, SHARE THEM WITH YOU AND ACTUALLY LEARN HOW TO USE THEM.  I WOULD LOVE YOUR ADVICE ALONG THE WAY AS WELL AS YOUR SUPPORT – I’M SURE I’M NOT THE ONLY MUMMY OUT THERE WHO IS COMPLETELY CLUELESS ABOUT MAKE-UP!

Oh I love, love, love serums.  They are just the best, most magical wee potions ever.  If you’ve never used one expect a light, non-greasy formulation that spreads easily and can be worn underneath make-up.  These are usually super concentrated and pack a power punch of luscious goodness for your skin.

I headed into the city a couple of weeks ago to visit The Manuka Doctor Concept Store for the first time.  Located downtown Auckland, across the street from the Ferry Building, this is definitely a destination for the skincare conscious.  I left with a couple of gifted products to review, and a little more knowledge about the use of bee friendly products in the Manuka Doctor Range.

The ApiRefine Radiance Serum RRP $35.95 (30ml)

Beauty Blogger Manuka Doctor Radiance Serum Review NZFirst impressions – this was so hard to capture but the lovely, refined texture of the serum has the most amaze opalescent hue, totally what you want in a product that claims an “instant illuminating effect”.  It goes on like a charm and a little goes a long way which is what you should expect from these concentrated formulas which can be super expensive per ml.

Beauty Blog New Zealand Manuka Doctor Serum ReviewI have been applying this after moisturising every day.  On days when I’m heading out I pop my L’Oréal BB cream on over the top, or most days, when I could care less, I’ve been sporting the serum with a naked face and maybe just some mascara.  So, back-up.  Did you pay attention there?  A naked face!  This serum delivers.  I have pretty uneven skin tone from years of sun damage and the Radiance Serum worked beautifully to counteract the blotchiness.  There are so many wonder ingredients in this stuff (Organic Cactus Extract, Purified Bee Venom, Manuka Honey are just some)  I don’t know what’s responsible for what, but, my skin feels and looks brighter, hydrated, dewy and younger.  

The serum also provided an excellent non-greasy base for make-up application.  It felt good to know that there was a product actually doing my skin some good underneath the camouflage layer!  Long term I’m definitely planning to continue using this product.  I’ve used bee venom based skincare products for years and I’m totally on board with the statements that it’s clinically proven to refine fine lines and wrinkles.

So, I’m impressed.  ApiRefine Radiance Serum is a keeper, plus I’m pretty excited to try more products from the three Manuka Doctor ranges; apiclear, apinourish and apirefine.

Beauty Blogger Manuka Doctor Radiance Serum Review NZ