SAMPLE: Olay Total Effects Day, 50ml £14.99


My mum has only ever worn makeup on her wedding day. But what she did do was apply Oil of Olay (then Oil of Ulay) morning and night. She is in her 70s now and still doesn’t have any wrinkles! (she should actually be an advert for Olay!

I remembered her smoothing it on her skin, the iconic pink lotion (vs the heavier creams that were common back then) that worked well for Oriental skin. I remember it absorbed so well without residue or stickiness. It’s been interesting to see how Olay have developed their brand over the decades since then – building upon their classic reputation, even into cosmetics, without being banished to the more ‘fuddy duddy’ realms of their contemporaries such as Astral and Ponds.

Unsurprisingly, some nostalgic charm presented itself when we had the opportunity to test Oil of Olay’s modern day counterpart – Olay Total Effects Day.  We had the opportunity to test this ourselves as well as pass samples to friends and family.

What does it suceed at? True to its origins, it is a univerally effective product that can be a great addition to your skincare routine whatever your age or skin type. It is on the richer side than the old product, so normal to dry skin types would probably benefit most. It didn’t aggravate oil production in our combination skin type though. It absorbed well – we think it would be great layered with a moisturising lotion/toner…K-beauty style or with a moisturising spray for a refresh during the day.

Overall, we actually preferred the feel of the old product for combination skin, but Olay Total Effects works so much harder for you – brightening, refining pores, evening skin tone with built in SPF, as well as the usual moisturising properties. It’s a hard working product for modern, busy lifestyles.

A great allrounder.  The pump is easy to use, but leaves some product wasted at the end. We would love to try to the full skincare range to see how it works as a regime.

RRP £14.99 for 50ml


REVIEW: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel foundation 30ml, £10.99


We found this foundation when we trialled Chantecaille’s Future Skin gel foundation, but the price made us want to cry. We started looking for other oil-free gel formulas and the one that everyone was raving about was Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. It’s almost a dupe for the Future Skin.

It was hard to work out which shade we were as there were never the right testers in store, but we’re glad we persisted. This has become our drugstore foundation of choice. It basically does everything you’d want a foundation to do – provides good medium coverage that lasts well. It didn’t produce a ‘luminous’ or ‘dewy’ finish and can’t say we noticed the ‘anti-fatigue’ claims but it did look natural and didn’t separate or go patchy as foundations often can with combination skin.

Best of all, whilst it’s not weightless (but it is fairly lightweight), it feels pretty good and lasts relatively well even in the T-Zone on combination skin (would need a touch up during a full day). Best of all, Bourjois cater relatively well for yellow-toned shades.

This went straight in as our Holy Grail drugstore foundation.

PROS: Inexpensive, breathable, lightweight, well suited to combination skin

CONS: No added radiance

4.5 out of 5

REVIEW: Collection Fast Stroke Eye Liner (black) 3.8g, £2.99


We like the control of a pen, dislike the faff of gel liners with separate brushes. Our favourite liquid liners are definitely the dip style felt tip liquid liners. You get great control with these.

This Collection product was at a pretty good price but was very average. It stung our eyelids a little for the first couple of weeks, but the main issue was that the colour was not really as dense as we would usually like.

Not terrible/average in all. Our favourite so far is Rimmel Exaggerate (or the Clio Kill Black Eyeliner Pen, not available in the UK) which gives a really opaque line.

PROS: A good-quality tip for producing nice shapes/lines, relatively cheap

CONS: Colour bit watery

2 out of 5

REVIEW: Laura Mercier Primer 50ml, £29


Basically the best primer we have yet tried!

It’s weightless, transparent, you can’t feel it on your skin and it helps your makeup perform better and ‘stick’ to your skin. Because it’s weightless, we particularly recommend this for combination skin as it doesn’t aggravate it or ‘sit’ on the skin like some primers can.

It’s our HG primer but because of the price, we keep this one for more special occasions or when we need our makeup to last particularly long.

Remember though, that for a primer to work well, your skincare regime needs to already be sorted.

PROS: Does everything a primer should and does it well

CONS: Pricey, but a little goes a long way

5 out of 5

REVIEW: NARS Kalahari Duo Eyeshadow 4g, £25


This is just one of those products that we didn’t realise we needed until we tried it!

The shades are hard working, flattering and versatile – a pearly mid heather and a buttery, metallic mauve. The shades work really well on oriental skin for a made-up but natural appearance, that also works up really well with a black or grey for a super stylish smokey-eye

Highly-pigmented, these wear well especially when applied wet and basically do everthing you would want an eyeshadow to do.  This has become our go-to eyeshadow in combination with a matte black.

It has gone straight into our hall of fame.

PROS: Looks super stylish, wears well

CONS: A little pricey, packaging picks up finger prints and marks really easily.

4.5 out of 5