Sunday, 28 April 2013

Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream Review

Hello lovely! Today I'm compelled to post a review on the new Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream. So let's get to it... 

When I first saw the release notes on this product, I was quite excited. Even though I have a pale English Rose complexion, my current bronzer the soleil tan de Chanel is lovely and a staple in my every day make up.

The packaging is very similar to all of Bourjois' foundations, it's plastic but sturdy, you get 30ml of product which for a bronzer would last you an absolute age and it has a decent pump to boot. 

When I first put some product on to the back of my hand, I was a little anxious about how dark it looked, but BB creams tend to be very easy to blend so my concern was somewhat quashed by my knowledge of similar products. 

However, when I started to apply this product it became very apparent that it's incredibly dark and very difficult to blend into lighter skin tones to make it look natural. In fact, I read the packaging again intently as I was convinced that I had the wrong shade for my skin tone but the bottle clearly states that it's a universal product.

I think perhaps herein lies the problem... Any low end base product that's not tailored to your skin tone is likely to be an absolute disaster and sorry Bourjois, but a disaster this is.

The product blurb boasts an 8 in 1 formula for the BB Cream Bronzer that evens the skin tone, gives a sheer tint, boosts radiance, provides 16 hours of moisturisation, smooths skin, prolongs a tan, contains SPF 15 and it's light and easy to blend with an addictive chocolate scent...

I'm rolling my eyes as I write this review as I'm afraid Bourjois is so far off the mark with this product that it's scary. I'd agree with the SPF 15 and chocolate scent (although I'm not sure it's addictive...) but that's where I draw the line in agreeing with the product features. 

It's a clumsy, strange product and having come from the same company that produced the infamous Delice de Poudre, chocolate bronzing powder, which is a holy grail product for so many; I'm really disappointed with this latest offering... 

Perhaps if your skin is more akin to a sunkist J-Lo glow, this might be the product for you. But alas, for me it's an absolute nightmare and it makes me look like I've had too many trips to the spray tanning booth even with the lightest of applications.

This won't put me off Bourjois products as on the whole, I do love them. But it has made me realise that a 'universal' bronzer is a pretty difficult product that only the likes of Chanel are able to do well.

Have you tried this new product from Bourjois? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Spotify App Review

Hello lovely! It's time for me to review my all time favourite iPhone / iPad & PC application of all time. Oh, that's quite the spoiler isn't it? Ooops...

So, what is Spotify? 

Spotify is an online music streaming service which as of December 2012, contained a catalogue of approximately 20 million songs which I'm sure you'll agree is pretty huge. It allows the user to listen to songs on demand over the internet without having to buy or own the actual tracks. You can also 'download' them for offline play.

The service is available on your mobile, your tablet and your home entertainment system. 

The first choice you need to make with Spotify is what kind of subscription you'd like, Free, Unlimited or Premium. Spotify was launched in October 2008 and I've been a Premium user since 2009. I have to admit that whenever I'm looking to cut costs or whether or not to renew any subscription services, I don't even contemplate cancelling Spotify.

So, What do I get as a Free User?

  • You can download Spotify on your PC and listen to 10 hours of playback a month.
  • Adverts will be present in between your song selections.
  • You can organise your music into playlists. 

What do I get as an Unlimited User? (£4.99 a month)

  • You can download Spotify on your PC and use with unlimited playback.
  • No adverts will be present in between your song selections.
  • You can organise your music into playlists. 
  • Access to Spotify radio.

What do I get as a Premium User? (£9.99 a month)

  • You can download Spotify on your PC or mobile device and use with unlimited playback. 
  • No adverts will be present in between your song selections.
  • You can organise your music into playlists. 
  • Access to Spotify radio.
  • You can configure your mobile phone or PC for 'offline' play. (Great for when you're on the Tube and have no signal, or if you have limited mobile data.)
  • Access to exclusive 'premium user content'.
  • Further enhanced sound quality.
  • You can play Spotify through multi-room music systems.

Hopefully that hasn't caused too much confusion... I'll talk about what I love about the premium service as that's the service I subscribe to. 

I have an iPhone & an iPad, so as a premium user I am able to download the Spotify app, which looks like this... (Yes I am currently in Starbucks listening to Harlem Shake, but not re-creating the video I hasten to add)

So this is the main menu view and you can see the Search option, at the top. I can search for any song in the Spotify library by Artist, Album or Track name. As there are tens of millions of songs available on Spotify, rarely am I ever disappointed because I cannot find something I'm looking for.

The only main exclusion that I'm aware of is The Beatles, their music isn't available on Spotify because of a digital distribution agreement that is exclusive to iTunes but otherwise, it's been so far so good. 

The next menu option is What's New. Here you can access Top Tracks and New Releases as shown below. 

You'll notice from the date of this post that these tracks are very recent chart songs. Spotify has an entirely current music library, it's not full of songs from a year ago. This is one of the main reasons that I fell in love with Spotify. If I'm watching TV and an advert comes on for a new album - 99 times out of 100, I can search for it and instantly download it to my mobile phone. Which is absolutely brilliant.

You then have an option for Spotify Radio, this creates a random playlist of songs chosen based on specified genres and decades. So if you're listening to a One Direction song, for example, and yes I am partial to a bit of One Direction even at my age - then you'll be presented with a whole host of similar tracks on a radio service, which you can skip through, listen to or even add to your regular playlists. 

Which brings us nicely to the next menu option; Playlists. Spotify adds another dimension here, because you can share playlists. So if your friend creates a playlist of 'Awesome Tunes' and you subscribe to it, you will be able to see all of the songs that they add to that playlist - which is constantly updated. And if your friend gives you permission to add songs, then it's a collaborative playlist; genius. 

You can also subscribe to playlists via a search function - so even if you don't know the author you can still add their playlist to your library. For example, I am subscribed to a UK Top 40 playlist and a BBC Radio 1 playlist. Both of which are constantly updated as songs enter or leave. Bloody brilliant...

So let's have a quick recap and include a few Spotify facts, Geek to Chic style...
  • It's a music streaming service.
  • During 2010, Spotify paid more than €45 million to it's licensors.
  • It has a catalogue of over 20 million songs.
  • Spotify announced in March 2013 that it had over 6 million paying customers and over 24 million active users globally. 
  • There are 3 different types of membership.
  • You can now buy Spotify gift cards on the high street. 
  • Spotify allows for social media integration, so you can see what your friends are listening to. 
  • There is no contract with Spotify Unlimited or Premium, you can cancel at any time.
My Conclusion...?

As I eluded to in the opening of this blog post, Spotify is my all time favourite application. I would highly recommend that you consider giving Spotify a try if you buy more than one album a month as at £9.99 a month it's an absolute steal and a no brainer for me. 

You can check out Spotify online at and purchase gift cards in your local Argos or music retailer. 

Be sure to let me know if you give Spotify a try and perhaps we can share some playlists! 

Always Geek, Forever Chic.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Proactiv Solution 3 Step System

Hello lovely! Today I would like to bring you my review of a product which most hold as a holy grail skin item, but I hadn't got my hands on until recently - the Proactiv Solution 3 Step System. (Which is a massive mouthful...)

As soon as I saw this product on the shelf in Boots I instantly recognised it from the adverts with all the beautiful American celebrities - you've seen them, right? Justin Beiber, Katy Perry, Jessica Simpson... All looking amazing. Ringing a bell?

Now Katy Perry has always talked about having bad skin as a teen and she looks completely flawless recently, hello amazing make up artist... OR could it be down to this system, as she claims? (As always, I am holding back my cynicism to give this a fair review.)

First things first, my skin type. I have dry-combination skin with some oily areas around the t-zone, I experience a lot of redness and experience a fair amount of sensitivity. I am also prone to the odd breakout.

The main appeal of this product to me was trying to even out my skin tone. The salicylic acid that features in the Proactiv system is apparently great for this very purpose. So let's find out, shall we? 

A few months ago I started the Proactiv 3 step system, day and night, routinely until the bottles were finished. I'll be honest, it was tough for me. I try and keep a skin care routine in my everyday life but some nights I found it a bit of a struggle and I may have missed a few days due to alcohol consumption... (At least I'm honest...)

So after completing the first 2 months, I shall henceforth present my findings and my overall conclusion for you lovely readers. Starting at the top...

Step 1: The Cleanser.         

Directions: Gently massage a small amount of cleanser onto dampened skin for one to two minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry. 

The Proactiv cleanser is one of my absolute favourite cleansers on this planet. It has micro beads but they are really gentle and they leave my skin feeling probably the most clean it has ever felt. 

I expected this to feel quite 'harsh' because of the salicylic acid but you'll notice that water is the first ingredient, so it is much more gentle than the adverts will have you believe. Tut Guthy Renker...

Tip: This step is best done in the shower. 

Step 2: The Toner. 

Directions: Dampen a cotton wool ball or pad with toner and gently smooth over just-cleansed skin. 

The toner is the only part that doesn't WOW me, but maybe because it's, well, a toner..? I just feel as though if this was replaced with any of the other 5,000 toners in my drawer the system would do the same job. It doesn't feel like a particularly important step. 

That feeling is further re-inforced for me when I look at the ingredients - not really any different to my old faithfuls. So let's just say this is a necessary, but certainly not mind blowing, step in the 3 step system...


Step 3: The Repairing Treatment. (The little diddy bottle...)

Directions: Massage a small amount of the refining lotion into the entire face, avoiding the eye area. Allow to dry naturally.

The directions for the repairing treatment do make me laugh... But before I get distracted lets move swiftly on. I do actually really like this final step, it's like a very intensive moisturiser that gives the feeling of smoothening out & filling in all the little lines on your face. 

The repairing treatment is the only part of the 3 step system that I think has a slight aroma - but it's pleasant and not at all overpowering. A little goes a long way and after I use this, my skin feels really soft. That feeling didn't fade after 2 months of use. Pretty impressive.

My Conclusion...?

After using this system for 2 months, my skin felt softer, looked brighter and generally behaved better than it did before. I still got breakouts - but when I did they didn't stay for anywhere near as long and weren't as bad.

My redness has dramatically reduced - which has resulted in me using less foundation (Chanel vita lumier aqua isn't cheap... This is especially pleasing...) and being happier about 'no make-up' days. Woo hoo!

My skin is still sensitive but I feel as though it's been curbed somewhat by using the Proactive system. 

I would definitely recommend this system to anyone who feels as though they want to even out their skin tone, combat skin sensitivity and reduce or prevent acne breakouts. 

I wouldn't say it's earth shatteringly wonderful - but do keep perspective that at £39.99 for a two month supply it's never going to give you the results of a chemical face peel or some kind of time machine.

It will however, go far and beyond where your average skin care routine will take you...

You can buy this product online at or purchase in your local store.

Be sure to update me if you start using this skin care system; good luck! 

Always Geek, Forever Chic.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Philips VisaPure

Hello lovely! Today I would like to bring you my review of a product which is brand spankingly new to the market; Philips VisaPure Facial Cleansing Brush.

Billed as a 'new technology that will take your daily cleansing routine to the next level without any extra effort'... I knew that I had to give this product a try.

Now first things first, this product does carry a pretty hefty price tag. It will set you back 150 round English pounds. So, does it justify the price tag? Will it rival the Clarisonic? Those were my two most important questions...

Let's start with the aesthetics. My first impression was that it was unneccesarily large but actually, the design lends itself beautifully to it's purpose. It's incredibly easy to hold and it sits in the hand like it was always meant to be there.

It feels weighty, but it's not heavy. The on/off button is nicely designed, easy enough to press but difficult enough to turn on accidentally in a bag.

In the box is a charging stand, a UK plug, 2 brush heads and a protective cover for the brush heads.

When you buy the VisaPure, you receive 2 different brush heads. These are the first two shown in the image above. The first is a normal brush head and the second a brush head for sensitive skin. I decided to start using the system with the sensitive brush head just in case this method of cleansing was too harsh for my skin in the first instance.

The other brush head which you can purchase seperately is an exfoliating head. (Far right in the above image.) This retails for £7.99. I've found that the brush heads wash well and retain a good shape with air drying. You can effectively air dry the heads when the unit is in the charger too, which is handy.

So let's run down the techno-babble, Geek to Chic style...

  • It's a rotating and vibrating cleansing brush.
  • Designed to be used for your daily cleansing routine.
  • Gentle enough to be used twice a day - ooh-er.
  • It has a 1 minute timer for the full face. (I particularly love this feature...)
  • It's programmed with 2 different speed settings. Gentle cleansing & Deep cleansing.
  • It's fully waterproof.
  • It has 3 different brush heads.
  • A charging stand is included in the box.
  • When fully charged, which I think takes slightly less than the 6 hours the box states, it has enough power for 30 cordless uses.
  • You get a 2-year warranty - not too shabby.

Philips claim that it's 10 times more effective than hand-cleansing. Now while we are geeky enough for most things, I certainly couldn't confirm or dispute the factual accuracy of this statement. But I have been using the system for a while now and the results are really impressive.

I've noticed that my skin tone appears much more even and having always suffered with redness; this is a really exciting development. I've also found that the overall texture of my skin has improved and my make up application is easier.

It feels nicer on my skin than the Clarisonic and I definitely prefer the design of the VisaPure because it's much less awkward to hold and it feels like it's of a better build quality. Having said that, my only negative with this product is that if you don't want to place the VisaPure into the charging stand, the design can be a little awkward when placed on a flat surface as it does tend to 'roll around' a bit.

I had expected the VisaPure - as I would with any vibrating appliance (easy now...) - to be annouingly loud. Again, much to my delight and especially considering it's close to my face; it is not.
My Conclusion...?

My skin feels softer, looks brighter and is considerably happier with me than it was before I started using the VisaPure system. I have recently used the ProActive skincare system as my daily routine, so it did have big shoes to fill as this system worked really well for me.

And drum roll... I do prefer the VisaPure to the Clarisonic. <GASP>

I would definitely recommend this system, although it's a considerable investment, to absolutely anyone who would like to maintain a really decent daily skin care routine.

If I could offer some advice to go with the VisaPure it would be to remember that the product effectiveness will vary depending on your choice of cleanser. I've been using the VisaPure with my Neutrogena visibly clear 2-in-1 wash & mask.

This is a cleanser that I know my skin loves and therefore it's a good cleanser for me to try this system with. If you don't see the results that you want, perhaps look at trying the VisaPure with a different cleanser and see how you get on.

You can buy this product online at or purchase in your local store.

Be sure to let me know if you decide to invest in a VisaPure; good luck!

Always Geek, Forever Chic.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Proactiv Cleansing Bar

Hello Lovely! Today I would like to bring you my review of another product which is new to the market here in the UK; the Proactiv Cleansing Bar.

Now I know what you're thinking... It looks like a bar of soap, smells like a bar of soap, probably tastes like a bar of soap (if you've been really naughty, that is) so why is it running around with it's £14.99 price tag and claiming to be something much more special...

Good question. Proactiv have been quite brave to put this product into the UK market at it's current price, however perhaps it's a good indicator of the brand that they have managed to build in this country. I am a big fan of their 3 step skin care system and if you'd like further information on that line you can read my review here.

The main winning ingredient in this 'cleansing bar' is salicylic acid, is a solid feature in the proactiv range. It's a little different to what you find in the American proactiv range though, so be aware that the ingredients do vary depending on where you purchase the product. 

This cleansing bar is billed as being suitable for teenagers and adults who suffer from blemish prone skin. It's supposed to take away excess oil, dead skin cells and impurities whilst unclogging pores, clearing blemishes and stoping future breakouts - which is quite a promise. 

I'll use this point in the review as an excuse to add a picture of Katy Perry, who champions the Proactiv skin care range to control her blemish prone skin, because Rhys who runs GadgetGeekBoy absolutely loves her. You're welcome Rhys...

Back to business. So starting from the top, the packaging. I can't profess to be super excited about the packaging but for a bar of soap, it is quite nice and the bar inside is wrapped in cellophane as you'd expect.

You use this bar in exactly the same way as any other bar of soap, wet your hands and work the bar into a lather - then massage over the skin and rinse thoroughly. This is supposed to be subtle enough to use twice daily although I have only felt comfortable with using this once a day. There are some gentle micro-beads and I did feel that if I used this product twice a day I would experience some dryness. 

After I use this bar, my skin does feel lovely and clean - it's also very soft to the touch. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't already have a cleansing routine in place and is prone to blemishes or acne as I really do believe salicylic acid is an ingredient that works well to combat this. 

My main bug bear with this product though is the fact that once I've used the bar, I don't know what to do with it. I don't like to leave soap on the side, so I put it back in the box but with the box being made out of cardboard it just gets soggy. I think the bar needs to be packaged in a more appropriate container. 

My Conclusion...?

I like this product, if there was a smaller version and I was going away for a few days, I'd be tempted to take it as a simple, quick cleanse before starting the day. 

However I am put off by both the packaging and the price tag. I think there are better cleansers on the market that justify a 'just shy of' £15.00 price point.  

You can buy this product online at or purchase in your local store.

If you're a fan of the 3 step skin care system by Proactiv and you really want to continue banishing the blemishes, then perhaps it's a good idea to give this a try. Maybe you could wait until you have enough Boots points to ease the pain though...

Always Geek, Forever Chic.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Kindle iPhone App Review.

Hello Fellow Geeks! Being an iPhone and iPad super fan, I am always on the lookout for a new App to download - much to my long suffering boyfriend's dismay... (Sorry Bubba)

So I have been really keen to do a technology blog post on my newest obsession, the Kindle App; which is free to download via the App Store. Everyone loves a good book and having an iPhone and an iPad means that I simply begrudge buying a kindle. (Justified though, right?) So what's the iPhone App like? 

My first impressions; a sleek, simple, 'does what it says on the tin' App. This really pleased me. There's nothing worse than an App which is over complicated, busy and jam packed full of unnecessary features and functions. Yes, I'm talking to you Kobo... (Oh no she didn't!) 

You can download books for your Kindle App via the Amazon website and when you purchase an ebook it is automatically sent to your iPhone / iPad. When you open the App you will see all the books you have downloaded. I really like the way that you can look over the covers in your collection like a 'virtual bookcase' when deciding what book to start next. You'll notice the lack of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in my book collection. I still cannot flip to a page in WH Smiths without blushing. Maybe I'll work my way up to it! 

When you select the book you would like to start reading you are then faced with another very simple reading screen with customisable features like text size, background colour and brightness. These features are very easy to navigate and a quick 'tap' to flick to the next page is all it takes. I like to read with the Black background, although the general consensus seems to be that Sepia as a background colour is the most easy on the eye. Who knew Sepia could be used for anything other than making a photo look 'vintage' on Instagram! 

When you close the App and re-open it, Kindle will remember where you left off in each book and return you straight to the last page you were on. A 'virtual bookmark' if you will. Pretty nifty... Not only that but you'll get a little % indicator on the book cover to show how far you have progressed in the book. Another feature I really like is the presence of an inbuilt dictionary so that you are able to check the meaning of any words by pressing and holding down on the word in question. Although I exclusively like to use this feature when I am in private and not being overlooked! Oh the shame. 

Amazon do a large range of free books as well as best sellers, short stories and less popular novels. For most ebooks you can sample the first chapter before you buy.  Prices are competitive, although I do think that digital copies should carry much more of a considerable discount over hard copies.

On the whole if you enjoy reading and you own an iPhone or an iPad I think the Kindle App is a fantastic substitute over shelling out for the e-reader. If you are still feeling the need to buy a Kindle (I've had a play, they are fantastic) you'll be looking at 89 pounds for the Kindle and 109 pounds for the Kindle Touch.

My only gripe is that there isn't an inbuilt store within the App to purchase books. Sure it's simple enough to buy them online but if this feature is implemented within the App itself and I have a sneaky suspicion it will be; the App would be truly great. 

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the App or indeed the Kindle itself!

Always Geek, Forever Chic.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

O.P.I. - Nail Lacquer I Have A Herring Problem.

Hello lovely! Today I have another nail lacquer review for you. (You lucky things..!) This time I have tried out 'I Have A Herring Problem' from O.P.I. which is from their Holland Collection. 

I have the 3.75ml / 1/8 Fl Oz bottle from the Dutch Treats mini pack (along with 'Red Lights Ahead...Where?' 'Kiss Me On My Tulips' & 'Pedal Faster Suzi' - reviews also coming soon!) 

This colour reminds me of your favourite old faded pair of jeans, with a silver glittery twist. On the first coat I wasn't feeling the colour at all as the opacity was poor and the appearance of the lacquer was 'watery' at best. But with the second coat the colour was transformed into a deep, rich, somewhat exciting blue shimmer. 

I don't adore this lacquer purely because I removed Dior Bikini (Dah-ling) in order to apply this and as Dior was my last application experience; I was left feeling slightly flat about O.P.I. The brush, consistency of the lacquer and need for more than one coat leaves Dior as a better choice for me overall. Having said that, the O.P.I. price point and vast range of colours is very appealing. 

The most exciting thing about this lacquer is how different it looks in different lights. Per the above picture, when faced with very bright light it turns a really beautiful sparkly sea blue, which I adore. It's colour in slightly darker lights, per the below, doesn't really float my boat though. (See what I did there?)

However, at 12.95 in the Dutch Treats Mini Pack (for FOUR mini's x 3.75ml) or 6.30 for the 15ml full size lacquer - you can't go wrong to add a bit of shimmer to your nails. This isn't my favourite of the O.P.I. range, nor in the Dutch Collection so keep your eyes peeled for more 'affordable' lacquer reviews from O.P.I. coming soon. 

What do you all think about 'I Have A Herring Problem.'?

Always Geek, Forever Chic,

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Dior Vernis - Nail Lacquer Bikini 231.

Hello lovely! Today I would like to bring you a review of my favourite Nail Lacquer from the Dior 'Croisette' Summer 2012 collection; I present to you Bikini 231.

As soon as I saw the product launch pictures from the States, I knew that Bikini by Dior was instantly my new favourite summer coral nail varnish. I took to Twitter to post a gush about my new love affair with Dior and a friend of mine bought 'Bikini' for me as a birthday present when it launched in the UK before I had chance to purchase it. (How amazing!)

If you are not lucky enough to have incredibly intuitive, generous friends - then Bikini by Dior will set you back £18 and you can find it in all good High Street cosmetics stores, Boots, Debenhams, Selfridges, etc. 

On the picture above you can get a really good idea of how truly amazing the tapered brush is... It's one of my favourite things about Dior nail lacquers. There's almost always no need for any 'clean up' when applying. Even when you use your left hand! (Honestly...)

Most notably, since wearing Dior Bikini for the last 3 days I have been inundated with comments about how lovely my nails look - whilst currently utterly innappropriate for the current dismal UK weather.

The coral colour is somewhat unrivalled (I strongly believe) this Summer, it's only real competitiors shown below in the form of Orange Fizz by Chanel, Distraction also by Chanel which has a pink tinge, Cabana by Laura Mercier which for my money is much more baby pink than coral and a slightly darker version from Dior called Riviera which has much more of a Red undertone.

Having said that, if you have any of the above in your collection, you may want to hold off on purchasing Bikini in favour of another colour that adds further depth to your collection.

So how does it look on the nails? Exquisite...

My name is Laura, and I am a Dior-a-holic.

Always Geek, Forever Chic.
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