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Thank YOU!

Hi Guys!

I hope that you all had a pleaseseant and restful Easter break!  I have been a bit quiet of late as I have been updating my website….so to all my WordPress.com followers…you will now be directed to my new site at www.beautypulselondon.com !!  It should now be easier to navigate, to locate older posts and posts on specific topics that are interest to you.

I just wanted to thank you all for your support over these past few months; for your ‘likes’, your comments, your guest posts and your follows.  Please do re-follow my blog to keep with my latest musings!

Have a great day and keep smiling!

🙂

 

Natalie


Product Review: COVER FX Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum and Cream Foundation SPF 30

One of the newest cosmetic brands  on the market is the Canadian brand COVER FX.

The brand launched in the UK, exclusively in Harvey Nichols and is now also available at House of Fraser.  A friend of mine had a consultation at the Harvey Nick’s counter in London and was VERY impressed with the end result, so I was keen to try out items from the range for myself.

Founded in 2000 by Lee Graff, a Corrective Makeup Specialist with over 25 years of industry expertise.  Lee began the development of COVER FX together with Chemical engineer Jenny Frankel and leading dermatologist Dr. Neil Shear.

COVER FX Skin Care Inc. develops skin care powders and creams for men and women . It provides water-based foundations, mineral powders, bronzers, and lip protection products, as well as application tools for dark under-eye circles, blemishes, and redness.   If you are in need of extra coverage to conceal a skin condition or scars from previous skin traumas, this is a brand that could meet your needs.  It will even cover tattoos!

Lee states on the company website:

“As a camouflage specialist for over 25 years, I’ve taught patients to use makeup to effectively cover rosacea, acne, scars, and many other imperfections. I encourage you to take control of your appearance to enhance your self esteem and confidence to face the world. My dream was to help men & women with skin conditions face the world with confidence by offering them makeup products with therapeutic benefits that would perfectly match their skin tone, be affordable, well tolerated by even the most sensitive skins and achieve a perfectly natural, flawless effect.”

I was sent a selection of products from the lovely people at COVER FX UK – so I will split this review into two, I will be reviewing two of the items in this post: the Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum and the Total Coverage Cream Foundation, SPF 30.

I will then review the remaining products and the marketing support in a post next week!

Something for you to look forward too!

Skinprep FX Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum

Primers are an essential part of my daily make up routine.  I find that it really does make a difference to the longevity of my makeup.  I currently use Avon’s Magix Face Perfector, which is brilliant.

The Skinprep FX primer (£22) claims to:

  • Hydrate and smooth the skin to blur the appearance of fine lines and pores, facilitating the  blending and extending the  wear of foundation
  • Be suitable for all skin types, especially Normal to Dry
  • Be suitable for sensitive skins and paraben free, oil free and fragrance free

Avon Magix Skin Perfector (left) vs. Skinprep FX (right)

It is a clear gel formulation, which is very different to the primers that I am used to using, which are a silicone based, creamy texture, however I found that upon application the Skinprep primer dried quickly and did produce a smooth, velvety base upon which my foundation could be applied.   The gel formulation would really work well with all skin tones, as I know that some people can find that the white, silicone based formulations of typical primers can leave a residue on the skin.  I felt that the primer performed well when used in conjunction with the Cover FX Cream foundation, but to be able to give a more objective review I will wear it with my usual foundation and report on the performance in my next post!

Cover FX Creme Foundation

The Cover FX range has an extensive selection of shades for all skin tones which is coded by a letter to denote the tone and a number to denote the shade (a small number of the available shades are shown below).

There is also a handy shade selector online that suggests the right colour based on MAC and Dermablend shades.

Colour Match

I am shade B35.  The creme foundation  comes in a handy compact, not dissimilar to the MAC Studio Fix compact, however for the £37 that the product costs I think the quality of the packaging lacks a premium look and feel.

It is not a compact that I would flaunt at all!

The creme is thick, but  not  at all heavy and it blended well.  I do not suffer from any serious skin concerns, but I do have a few pigmentation marks that I like to cover.

I initially used the sponge that comes with the compact to apply the foundation but the product was too dense for the sponge and it dragged my skin, so I decided to use my fingers instead.  This enabled me to blend the product and to build it up where need, but due the consistency of the product it took quite a long time – so this would not be a product to use when you are in rush!!  Once it was blended in, I was happy with the colour match.  The finish was a tad on the shiny side, but I took the shine down with a touch of powder.

Colour Match: 8/10

Coverage and Wear

The foundation is for a full coverage, but it is light and did not look mask like at all…however, the foundation did transfer when touched thus touch ups were required.  I was impressed with the fact that shine was kept at bay –  and I love that fact that the SPF is so high!  Many women of colour fail to take adequate defense against the sun and harmful rays and this is an easy way to make sure you are fully protected.

Coverage and Wear: 7/10

Marketing

I will be covering this in a future blog post so watch this space!!

Have you tried this brand… do let me know what you think!

*pr samples


Guest Post! Where the Beautiful Black Women of Paris Shop!

Hi all!

Here is my 3rd guest post of the week!

 I love the virtual world of social media, the fact that it knows no boundaries and that you can make connections with like-minded people in the far-flung nations of the earth!  Well, you will not be travelling to far today…just to gay Paris!

The fabulous Miss B Beautiful (whom I connected with via Twitter…really, if you are not on Twitter, you are missing a trick!!!), is a Parisian Black woman with a passion for hair and beauty and is the author of the blog  blackandbeautiful.fr  (which she writes in 3 languages!!! Very clever!).

I  asked Miss BB (as she is affectionately known), for the lowdown on where the chic Black woman of Paris shop for their hair and beauty items.   All I can say is that her shopping escapades made me want to book a Eurostar ticket straight away!!

Here is her account:

Hello Black and Beautiful Ladies,

There are many places in Paris to buy beauty products for black women.

Thanks to my blog I have had the opportunity to discover and explore the best of these.

And here they are:

PLACES TO BUY MAKE UP

Make UP For Ever Boutique

Make Up For Ever is a French professional make-up brand that has a range of make up for all skin tones.

I love their eye shadows, which are very iridescent.  They also have a waterproof liquid liner called Aqua Liner, which comes in an array of rainbow colours.

Their cream eye shadows are also among my favourites.  Their boutique in Le Marais is really nice.  If you go there on a Saturday, you can meet a make-up artist that will give you all the advice that you need!

Boutique MAKE UP FOR EVER

5 rue de la Boétie

75008 Paris

MAC Boutique

MAC is my one of my favourite make up brands. I love everything they do!

They have a stunning boutique in Le Marais. Their make up artists are the best!

 

Boutique M.A.C

13 rue des Francs Bourgeois
75004 Paris

PLACES TO BUY HAIR PRODUCTS

 Univers Phyto

Univers Phyto is a hair institute where you can receive intensive hair treatments, and superior styling and they also have a sophisticated machine that analyses your hair, prior to the treatment.

You can also buy all the product from the brands Phytospecific and Phyto.

Phytospecific? C'est magnifique!


Univers Phyto

109, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

75008 Paris


Nayenka

Nayenka is a boutique that specialises in Black beauty. They opened one year ago.

They have the best haircare products such as Miss Jessies and Kera Care and some good french brands such as TRUE COLORS Paris, a cosmetics  brand for women of colour.

French brand TRUE COLORS Paris

 

Boutique Nayenka

9 rue du Turbigo

75001 Paris

Merci Beaucoup Miss BB!

Follow Miss BB on Twitter

Like Miss BB’s Facebook Page

Follow Miss BB’s Blog


Guest Post! Black Singer Tops UK Classical Charts by Gillian King of The London Chronicler

 I have a few things that I love in life – of course one of those things is beauty, I am an avid reader, but music is also a passion of mine!  Music is such an intrinsic part of me it is very much a part of my identity.
I am a singer (purely an amateur mind you…I have no desire to make an appearance on a TV talent show any time soon!),  and I have sung for as long as I can remember, starting in church, but I also sang at school and college.  I have had the privilege to have sung many genres, from Gospel (see image!) to Rock, Motown to Jazz, and thus developed a love  for all types of music and I have a wide-ranging, eclectic taste.  One genre that I adore is Classical.  I discovered the beauty of classical music whilst I was a student.  It is truly emotive and has the ability to move you deeply.
When I heard that Noah Stewart was announced as the  first Black artist to top the Official  UK Classical Album Chart on Monday, I was over the moon! His album also entered the Official  UK Album charts at number 14!

OK...OK...his voice IS amazing, but I have to admit that he is also VERY pleasant the eye 🙂

Of course, music should not see colour,  but it would be naive to say that the world of classical music and opera is not seen to be associated with a certain class and culture and to not acknowledge that few people of colour have been able to penetrate its ‘glass ceiling’  to the reach the pinnacle on the stage or in the studio.   This has never been an issue for me, but I was buoyed to see that here in the UK, slowly but surely, we are making progress and having a presence in all areas of society.
I was going to blog about this incredibly talented artist….but my good friend and fellow blogger.  The London Chronicler, is an excellent writer and is equally passionate about the genre, so here is her reflection on Noah’s historic achievement….
…. oh yes, and go buy his album too!
 ************

Black Singer Tops UK Classical Charts by The London Chronicler

Noah Stewart - Image from classicfm.co.uk

Noah Stewart - Image from classicfm.co.uk

I was browsing through my twitter feed the other day when I suddenly spotted a retweet from the Royal Opera House (Yes, I follow them as I love opera and all things classical, I’m out of the closet!). The retweet was from an up and coming black tenor announcing that his debut album, Noah, had reached  number one on the classical charts.  The Royal Opera House, where he has just finished his debut performance in Judith Weir’s Misfortune, promptly tweeted their congratulations, which is how I got to hear about it!

It was very exciting! I had seen him on Gabby Logan’s Channel 5, morning show and enjoyed his interview with Gabby, covering his childhood in Harlem New York and his love of music. He was charming, well-spoken, intelligent and erudite. He also performed an impromptu song, an excerpt from the album and was excellent, just like any other tenor.

So I kept asking myself, why did it make the headlines that a black singer topped the classical charts?

I’m not the only one to ask this question.  Many of the commentators on the Telegraph’s online piece on Noah, seemed to imply the same thing.  My son, when I shared a tweet from Radio 4 from their interview with him, where he said he had been told he couldn’t sing opera because he was black, was baffled as to why anyone would say that.

I tried to explain it by asserting that people generally stuck to stereotypes they are familiar with, and since there were generally hardly any black people in opera, I thought the advisers were probably only trying to be helpful, telling him to stick to a genre he was ‘more likely’ to be successful in.

Not terribly satisfied with my analysis, I asked myself another question, why aren’t there more black people in Opera, it can’t be all discrimination. Afterall, Noah got there in the end and has managed to play Carnegie Hall, the Royal Opera House and a number one debut album by the age of 33. No mean feat for anyone.

My experience of mainstream middle class, white activities in Britain is that black people don’t venture into that arena too often, and if they do, as soon as there is the slightest hint of criticism or resistance, we retreat, wondering if we really have the right to be there in the first place.

My own ‘mixed heritage’ background frequently causes me to deny parts of myself that are ‘too white’ for black company.  So it is only now in my forties, that I feel confident enough to indulge my passion for classical music. I was once in a gospel choir, where we sang Handel’s Messiah for Christmas. When I shared the story about the King standing up in awe of the Halleluyah Chorus, creating the tradition of standing when it’s played, a story that I thought was common knowledge, I did get a few funny looks.

My parents exposed me to an eclectic array of music when I was growing up in the sixties and as a result, there is only a very small part of any genre of music that I don’t enjoy. Now that there is a Black man in opera, no doubt I’ll make more of an effort to go and see one! (I’ve always wanted to see Puccini’s Madam Butterfly.)

I would suggest that it’s okay to be who you are, do what you do and be the best you can be at it and nothing or no one can stop you. That’s probably why Noah made the headlines, the fact that he overcame many obstacles, some of it has to be said, his own biased expectations, to achieve his dream.

For me issues of race can be summed up perfectly by a quote from Professor Patricia Williams, an American law scholar and proponent of critical race theory, who gave theBBC’s Reith lectures,

‘What a world it would be if we could all wake up and see all of ourselves reflected in the world – not merely in a territorial sense, but with a kind of non-exclusive entitlement that grants not so much possession as investment. A peculiarly anachronistic notion of investment, I suppose, at once both ancient and futuristic; an investment that envisions each of us in each other.’

This of course is an ideal, but I think it’s one that we would all do well to aspire to.


New Pin Board! Black Beauty and Style in the mainstream UK Media

Another day, another idea for a Pinterest board!

As an increasing number of black models are being used for the beauty and fashion features in the mainstream British glossy magazines, I have decided to capture these images over the remainder of the year.  Follow this board here!

As well as featuring vetran supermodels such as Naomi Campbell  and newer faces such as Leomie Anderson, I will also pin the press features that depict a positive representation of the modern Black British woman – women like myself, who are educated, professional and wish to make a valuable contribution to the British society – as unfortunatly such coverage is still few and far between.

I have added this pin to my  board which was featured  recently in InStyle magazine’s SS12 Get Smart Workwear Special supplement.  ‘How real women Get Smart’ was the title of the feature and it showcased 4 professional women and their working wardrobes.  It was great to see Paulette Stephens, an interior design consultant, included in the group.  I am looking forward to showcasing more women such as this!

Is there anyone missing?   Do let me know!


Guest Post – Event | Gidore Multi-Textures Hair Workshop with Felicia Leatherwood – The Inside Story by Fiona Onanuga of Love Your Tresses

I really love London!  There is SO much to do and see in this fabulous city.

An event that I reall wanted to atted was the Gidore Multi-Texture Hair Workshop that took place last Saturday, however I was unable to attend.  I didn’t want my lovely subbies and followers to miss out on what I knew was going to be an awesomeevent, so I asked Fiona of the brilliant blog, Love Your Tresses to write a guest post for me!

Here it is!

Enjoy!

The Saturday ‘Multi-Textures Hair Workshop’ hosted by Gidore was superb to say the least. It was my first large-scale UK hair event, and I definitely left feeling even more inspired and encouraged to strive on with my healthy hair journey and transition.
Highlights of course were many! For one, I got to meet the effortlessy beautiful Lukwesa Burak, founder of Gidore and our favourite face of Sky news, as well as finally meeting Pelumi of Care For Your Hair, Akua of SheaButterCottage, Miss Laila J of Fusion of Cultures, Crystal of United KinKdom and Joycelyn of Afrocenchix – a fantastic group of women who have and continue to make progressive steps in encouraging healthy haircare practices in the UK. It was also lovely meeting some LYT Blog readers [whoop whoop]! My younger sister trodded along and it made my day knowing that she genuinely enjoyed it!
The main part of the workshop was taken and led remarkably by natural hair specialist & celeb stylist Felicia Leatherwood, who despite having spent most of the past few weeks on planes, still shared her chunk of hair knowledge with smiles. She discussed hair topics spanning from how to wash hair, right down to the pros and cons of weave wearing and child haircare. What I enjoyed most was the fact that we were reminded over and over again of how much versatility there is with natural hair care and that most importantly, however you chose to wear your hair, you should do so with ‘loving yourself’ as the focal point. The second half of the event was taken by Jane Carter and KeraCare who gave demos on how to use their products- the queues to buy some of the demoed products were ridiculous!
As for note taking, here are some of the interesting points I picked up…
* Good way to trial which conditioner works best for you is to part hair in 4 sections and try
4 different conditioners per section, and see how your hair feels afterwards
* Soap residue from facial washes can cause issues with your hairline. Check that your
face has been rinsed thoroughly after washing
* Avoid any products containing Phylates  whoopsie I mean Phytates, they manipulate hormone levels in females
As for my hair, you will see in the pictures below that I wore an oddly messy bun! My curly bantu knot up do completely backfired on me so this was the last minute fix I decided to sport.
All in all the event was fantastic and definitely needs to take place again. There is so much to learn and unlearn with regards to everyday hair practices, and this truly was a learning experience. Thank you Gidore for your hard work and efforts in making this possible! Oh and of course for our yummy goody bags from your sponsors too!
Miss Leatherwood in action and the buzz in the hall!
Jane Carter and KeraCare product and styling demos
Moi and the beautiful Laila & Joycelyn
After many months of talking I finally got to meet Pelumi!
Crystal [such a sweetheart] & Fiona
Isn’t her fro so spicy! Wunmi of Woman in the Jungle
Any thoughts Nubians? Laila & Kaila – stunning as ever
Kulchicbeauty – a friend of a friend newly discovered!
Made my day finally meeting Akua from SheaButterCottage
Joycelyn, Ayo & I
Photo owned by naturalselectionblog
Photo owned by naturalselectionblog
Goodies!
For future hair events check out Gidore and Loving Your Hair With Natural Care