From the category archives:

-Boots

Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream SPF 15 5 Star UVA 1

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I have to say that, partly due to the lack of (law enforced) product labeling, the awareness of full-spectrum sun protection (against both UVA and UVB rays) in the UK is still lacking (especially compared with the strong awareness in many countries in East Asia, such as Japan). However, there has been some slight improvement partly thanks to TV adverts from Boots such as this:

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BootsNo 7 range has recently released Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream (50ml), which SPF 15 and 5-star UVA protection. (Boots uses a star rating system to indicate the level of UVA protection in a product. Products with a 5-star label offer the strongest UVA protection.) The cream has a relatively light creamy consistency and feels emollient on the skin. The consistency is likely to appeal to those with normal-to-dry skin.

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My natural makeup recommendations continue with items for cheeks and lips. (See my recommendations on eye makeup here.)

Items for Cheeks

Sometimes, when you don’t have time to deal with eye makeup, using a blusher can really give the face an instant lift. The key is to use a shade that is as close to your natural flush as possible. I personally prefer moderately pigmented blushers without visible shimmer and those that are either matte or luminous matte.

- RMK Ingenious Powder Cheeks in MT-02 Light Pink (top)

It is marginally the lightest and the most cool-toned of the three blushers featured here. The brush included in the compact is very soft and easy to use, making this item very suitable for touch-ups away from home.

- Lavshuca Cheek Color in PK-1 (left)

This is the kind of default PK blusher shade which we expect from most Japanese makeup lines. The sparse pink-toned shimmery particles visible in the pan is not visible when worn.

- Boots No. 7 Cheek Colour in 25 Petal (right)

It is slightly warmer than the other two and has a very soft peach undertone. It is among my favorite blushers from non-Japanese brands. This shade is particularly good for spring and summer when most of us pick up a little bit of warmth on our complexions.

Items for Lips

- SUQQU Blend Lipstick in 16 Mizuka (upper left)

Go for this shade if you like a warm milky nude-pink for the lips. I usually dislike nude shades for the lips (I don’t think they are flattering), but this shade has enough pink in it so that it looks gentle and natural.

- Maquillage Lasting Climax Rouge in RS310 (right)

Go for this shade if you want more color for the lips. It is a warm-toned rose and is more pigmented than the SUQQU lipstick featured here. It can be layered for more vibrancy.

- Makemania Curvy Lip Silicone in 501 (bottom left)

The ultimate clear lip gloss. It has a very good lip-magnifying effect. (It does not achieve the effect with skin-irritating ingredients that dilate the blood vessels.) I also like the spatula applicator.

- Bobbi Brown Brightening Lip Gloss in Popsicle (bottom)

This is one of Bobbi Brown’s new items for spring 2010. It is a gentle warm pink that should be flattering for most people. It is softly pigmented but the color does show up on the lips. It has a long-lasting glossy finish with a touch of shimmer.

The final part features my recommendations on base makeup.

(Items from Bobbi Brown, RMK, and SUQQU featured in this post are provided by their respective companies.)

Related posts (other wearable items):

For Cheeks:

Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact in 01 Baby Blush

Albion Eprise Water Face Color in 100

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in 04 Mauve

For Lips:

SUQQU Creamy Lipstick in 22 Benikoji

Lavshuca Jewelry Lips in PK-1 & RS-1

YSL Golden Gloss in 03 Golden Pink

Blue-Tinted Lip Glosses

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A Touch of Boots No. 7 Blusher

by PJ on Thursday, January 24, 2008

in -Boots,makeup,makeup - blusher

(My two Boots No. 7 Cheek Colour:
Soft Damson (left) and Petal (right))

Apart from my lovely Boots points, another thing I love about Boots is that they regularly give out £5 vouchers to be used on a variety of brands (with a transaction over 10 pounds), which usually include No. 7. So, I often use my vouchers to stock up my No. 7 favorites and to try new items at relatively small prices.

I got both of these blushers with my vouchers. The retail price is 7.5 pounds so I only paid 2.5 pounds for each of them.

I like the blushers from Boots No. 7 mainly because they are matte and because they are medium-pigmented. The two I have got, Soft Damson and Petal, are both very wearable colors.

(Left: Soft Damson; right: Petal)


I got Soft Damson first. It is a dusty pink that shows very well on my cheeks. It is a very nice shade with a sophisticated edge. But after I used it for a couple of times, I was thinking about getting a slightly lighter shade. So I got Petal, which is indeed like the shade of petals of a pink rose. This is a really flattering shade for me and I think I slightly prefer this to Soft Damson.

Another thing I like about No. 7 blushers is that the powder is nicely pressed. It is not pressed so hard that it is difficult to pick up the powder with a brush, and it is not too softly pressed that the brush can pick up too much powder and that the powder flies around. Also, the shape of the compact makes it very easy for the blusher to rest in the palm while I concentrate on using my brush and applying the color.

Overall, I like these two blushers and these are two more reasons why No. 7 is a wonderfully affordable and dependable line from the trusted Boots.

Related Posts:

No. 7 Gentle Renewing No Grains Exfoliator
(another of my No. 7 favorites…see how it actually works)

Chanel Irréelle Blush in Tea Rose
(one of my all-time favorite blushers)

Ayura Aura Veil α in Sweet Pink
(a cutie in my blusher world)

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(My Boots Advantage Card…and what it got me.)

When it comes to shopping for cosmetics, living in the UK has crucial disadvantages. Things are more (or much more) expensive, and, once opened, they can’t usually be returned and refunded.

But there are a few positive things. One of them involves one of my favorite drugstores (which we call chemists in the UK), Boots.

Boots runs a loyalty card called Boots Advantage Card in the UK and some other countries. The customer reward system has often been accurately described as “generous” by the UK press.

Anyone can apply for the card for free. For every pound spent on anything in store, 4 points is earned on the card. Each point is worth 0.01 pound, so every 100 points is worth 1 pound (about 2 USD).

Customers can use their points to get anything sold in any Boots store for free (but not on Boots.com) and the points never expire. For example, 500 points are worth any 5-pound product in a Boots store.

I know this doesn’t sound very exciting. But it is all the extras that make the system more than generous:

1. There are usually 200 extra points for a transaction over 25 pounds, as long as I remember to print out the voucher at a kiosk in the store before paying for the items.

(or in this case…300 points)

I always try to do my Boots shopping either once or twice a month (instead of many small purchases). I make sure I go into the store knowing the amount I will be spending. If I plan to spend more than 50 pounds, I print out two vouchers and pay for them in two lots. (A calculator is always handy for a Boots visit.)

Extra points earned this way during a year: 3000


2. Both drugstore and premium brands sold in Boots stores do point giveaways. Each brand runs the giveaway several times a year. For example, Lancôme gives 1000 points for 2 skincare purchases, Clinique gives 1200 points for 3 skincare products, and Estee Lauder gives 750 points for 2 makeup products. (Dior, YSL, Clarins also run similar promotions.) Also, different promotions are run in store and on-line.

(a typical Boots promotion on premium brands)
(image from www.boots.com)


I have noticed that each promotion is run at about the same time during the year, so I plan my purchases accordingly to get the maximal points. (Shopping for me is a highly-organized activity. I am like Monica in Friends. The more organized, the more fun…)

Extra points earned this way during a year: 2000

3. Several times a year, there are triple-point weekends. 12 points are given for each pound spent instead of the usual 4.

Extra points earned this way during a year: 250


4. There are Boots magazines in store and occasional mailed newsletters with extra-point vouchers.

(a Boots extra-point voucher,
from Boots Health & Beauty Magazine Nov/Dec 2007)


Extra points earned this way during a year: 250

5. My favorite is Boots Christmas Shopping Evening. They are run two to three times before Christmas. Each Boots store advertises its own dates, which are well advertised in advance. In these events, 1000 points are given for each transaction over 50 pounds. This is usually on top of all the other extra-point offers mentioned above.

Extra points earned this way during a year: 2000

Total extra points during a year: 7500
This plus 4 points for every pound spent: about 10000
Cash equivalent: 100 pounds (200 USD)


These points are usually more than enough for me to use on what I want to have from Dior during a year. What is left would just keep accumulating and would not expire.

I have always been an extremely loyal Boots customer. (Apart from the point scheme, they have great customer services.) Whatever I want (general toiletries, premium cosmetics, electronics, exercise equipments, cell phone credits, light snacks), if it is available in Boots, I won’t buy it anywhere else.

But one strict rule that I do have for myself is never to buy anything just for extra points. Otherwise it would just be a waste of money.

One negative point I have come across about the Boots Advantage Card system is that it is a way for Boots to analyze a customer’s purchasing habits. The system helps Boots come up with new products as well as take on or stop stocking a certain brand of products. Some people don’t like their shopping habits to be monitored, and I perfectly understand that. But their system is essentially like any other loyalty card system in any other store. (London’s high-end department store Harrods started a similar but much less generous one earlier this year.) Overall, systems like this work for or against customers, and it all depends on one’s point of view.

I do enjoy getting and using my points and the reward system is more generous than those of any other drugstore, supermarket and department store I know in the UK. I think this is why a Boots card is quite an usual thing to have for people living in the UK. As long as customers (like me) enjoy planning purchases ahead of time, points can roll in quite quickly and we can use them on virtually anything sold in store. I am sure there are many people who save up their points to get more pricey items like digital cameras or MP3 players.

I could be wrong, but, in the US, Boots’ own brand products are sold in stores like Target and Boots doesn’t have its own free-standing stores carrying other drugstore or premium cosmetics brands. So maybe this is why Boots is not running the same system in the US. But things might change. We’ll see!

Related Posts:
(Some of the items I got with my Boots points)

Dior Pretty Charms

Dior Detective Chic and Diorissime Palettes

DiorLight Jewelled Necklace

Dior Addict Ultra-Nude Lipstick in Undressed Mauve

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(Boots Botanics Essential Oil Wash Off Cleanser;
with a separate pump dispenser)


This time, in my “Bring It Back!” Series, I am not going to talk about a whole line of cosmetics. Instead, I am focusing on a very good and affordable makeup remover that has been discontinued.

Boots has various lines of skincare and makeup ranges. While one of my favorite Boots lines is No. 7, it doesn’t have a cleanser that I really like. On the other hand, the slightly cheaper Botanics line used to have the Essential Oil Wash Off Cleanser (seen above), which is a great overall cleanser for me.

It works just like other cleansing oils like Shu Uemura’s, as it takes off all the makeup, including water-proof items, at one go. I tend to like cleansing oils because they involve much less tugging and massaging than most cleansing milks, and they are much more gentle on my sensitive skin.

What was also fantastic about this cleansing oil is that it used to only cost 2 GBP (about 4 USD). Even though I slightly prefer RMK’s cleansing oil, this one only cost about one-tenth of its price at the time and I would gladly keep using this if this were still available.

I stocked up quite a few when it was being phased out, and now I am on my last bottle. My only minor complaint is that if it gets into the eyes, it can sometimes make them feel a little dry afterwards. (This is why I slightly prefer RMK’s.) But it is not something that bothers me very much.

The Boots Botanics line seems to still be doing well and there have been new items added to the lineup every now and then. I do hope Boots will consider adding a cleansing oil back to Botanics or any other skincare line…

Related post:

Another Boots product that I love using:
Boots No. 7 Gentle Renewing No Grains Exfoliator
(Find out how it actually works.)

Some “Bring It Back!” highlights:

Shiseido’s Inoui ID

Cynthia Rowley

Calvin Klein (See the new counter in Hong Kong!)

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(No 7 Gentle Renewing No Grains Exfoliator)
(photo from www.boots.com)

My sensitive skin can’t really tolerate regular exfoliating, but from time to time I do feel like a bit of scrubbing.

Among the samples I have used, I quite liked Estée Lauder’s Idealist Micro-D Deep Thermal Refinisher and Chanel’s Gommage Microperlé Élat. But I was still searching for something even milder.

I felt I hit the jackpot when I tried Boots’ No 7 Gentle Renewing No Grains Exfoliator.

No grains? So how does it exfoliate? Enzyme? No. AHA? No.

The main exfoliating agent is mica. Yes, it is the kind of mineral powder that gives your eyeshadows and foundations a bit of shimmer. (I can see the shimmer when I have a bit of the product on the back of my hand.) It is this fine powder that is doing the job.

So, technically, it is not “No Grains”, since mica is still a kind of physical particle. But it is so fine that I don’t feel that my face is being scrubbed. (It goes on simply like a liquid-y lotion.)

For me, it does a sublime job! My face feels and looks smoother after each use, and it is so gentle that it doesn’t give my face any redness, dryness, or discomfort.

I am in my second tube now and this product will continue to be a proud resident in my bathroom for quite some time to come!

Some other skincare posts:

My Daily Skincare Routine
(Do we share favorites?)

Rose & Co. Apothecary’s Rose Petal Salve
(A great lip balm that looks so adorable…)

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White eyeshadows are some of the key items this season. In Shu Uemura’s Spring 2007 makeup look, white is the only color around the eyes. This season, a white eyeshadow is not only used as a browbone highlighter but also all round the eyes to create a clean, sophisticated and edgy look.

I have some eyeshadow palettes that feature a white eyeshadow but I decided to experiment different finishes, so over the last couple of weeks, I have bought some more:

1 Rimmel Color Rush Mono Eye Shadow (241 Matte White)
2 Rimmel Color Rush Mono Eye Shadow (244 Moonstone)
3 Boots Natural Collection Eyeshadow (Sea Shell)
4 Boots No. 7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow (25 Opal)
5 Lancome Color Design (904 Pearly Angel)

(I was tempted to buy Maybelline Dream Mousse Shadow (in 00 Vanilla Veil) just to try a different texture, but the finish was a bit too glittery for my liking.)

Finish-wise, 1 & 3 are completely matte, and 2 & 4 have a pearly finish. 5 also has a pearly finish but with minimal glitter.

Between 1 & 3, 1 is completely white, while 3 is a very pale beige, which doesn’t show very much on my skin.

Out of these five, I am particularly impressed with the texture of the two Rimmel ones. Very smooth and velvety.

So far, I like 1 the most. The matte white looks very good on me and I think the matte finish is the concept in Shu Uemura’s seasonal look as well.

Don’t go overboard with white eyeshadows, though. It should look like there is a soft and flattering spotlight around your eyes, which makes your eyes pop.

Also, sporting too much of a glittery white eyeshadow all around the eyes can backfire spectacularly under heavy pale florescent lighting…You don’t want the reverse-panda look!

I think it is best to use a matte white eyeshadow as an overall base and to use any pearly or glittery white eyeshadow sparingly and strategically (on the browbones or in the inner corners of the eyes), especially when you have to switch between daytime and nighttime looks.

White eyeshadows have always been very basic items, but now you can use them to create a whole new (and flattering) look!

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