Category Archives: Skincare

Finish 5 by Fall TAG

7 August 2014

finish 5 by fall

I saw this tag floating around and it tickled my fancy as I’ve been considering a spending ban. Truth be told, that probably won’t happen but finishing up some products might make me feel a little less disgusted at the amount of stuff I have. Looking at the photo, I realise I cheated by picking three skincare products which tend to easier to use up than makeup…and the makeup products I’ve chosen are almost finished anyway. What a rubbish start.

MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation NC42, £25

This was my first ever MAC foundation. Actually it was my first ever foundation that matched my skin tone…and that was only two years ago. I realise I should have chucked this away by now but I couldn’t bear it. I’ve got it on today and so far my skin hasn’t fallen off. A trusty old friend that perhaps I’ve neglected recently.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 25, £5.99

I really like this concealer for brightening and highlighting the under eye area. I’ve had it for a few months and I use it several times a week. The packaging looks suspiciously like the NARS Creamy Concealer but certainly doesn’t feel as luxe. It’s also got less coverage than NARS but it’s a good choice for daytime.

Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser, £16.99

Pump? Check. SPF? Check. Zesty scent? Check. Fast Drying? Check. I’ve been using this as my day cream pretty much every single day since February and it’s still going. I can just about see through it in the light and I think it’s sadly coming to an end. I could buy another one or console myself by cracking open one of the others eagerly waiting in my drawer…we shall see.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, £14

One of the most effective exfoliators I’ve come across, I rub my face with with this about once a week. My face is genuinely brighter afterwards although this product feels a lot harsher than I first expected…but I’ll just take that as proof that it actually works.

Soap & Glory Peaches & Clean Cleanser, £8

I like this but I don’t love it enough to use it more than once or twice a week. I’ve got another one of these from the S&G Christmas set which hasn’t been opened so I feel Peaches & Clean will be with me for a while yet!

So, that’s your lot, you’ll hopefully be seeing these in an upcoming Empties post. If like me, you haven’t been tagged, you should do it anyway – break free from the shackles of etiquette! Don’t forget to leave me your links if you do.

I tag:

Francesca
Alice
Katie
Catherine
Laura

Review: Garnier Miracle Skin Cream

3 August 2014

garnier miracle skin cream before after
If you’re in the UK you’ll probably know how sweltering it’s been recently. Other than lying on the floor in my pants and being surgically attached to any ice-based foodstuff, there’s not been a lot I’ve felt like doing. Trowelling on layers of heavy foundation certainly isn’t on my list of priorities right now so I’ve been opting for lighter bases, and last week I bought the Miracle Skin Cream from Garnier as I’d heard good things.
garnier miracle skin cream
Garnier Miracle Skin Cream is supposed to be an instant skin transformer, making it look more even and firmer, etc etc. It’s also meant to be full of anti-ageing properties, although that remains to be seen. It also comes with SPF20 which is just as well as I almost always forget to put sunscreen on until it’s too late.

It comes out of the tube as a thick-ish yellow toned cream with little beads that burst with a slight tint when you rub it onto the skin – you know the ones. It’s meant to be self adjusting to every skin colour which is usually a pretty tall order. I found that the colour was fine for me, although it did make my face look a tiny, tiny bit lighter but that could just be the brightening effect. It’s super easy to put on and blends in quickly. I must say, that I absolutely love the results. It doesn’t drastically change my skin but it does even things out a little bit, especially around my somewhat ruddy cheeks. It feels fresh and light, and I just feel like it makes my skin look glowing and natural. I usually wear this on its own but it works well under makeup as it makes my skin SO smooth and soft. You can see from the before and after photos what I mean, the results are subtle but pleasant.
garnier miracle skin cream review
The only issue someone might have with Garnier Miracle Skin Cream is the colour. I’m guessing anyone much darker than me won’t like this, it might make your skin look a bit odd. Similarly, anyone with very pale skin might find it’s too dark or orange.

All in all, this is a great one for summer and has replaced my Benefit Big Easy (review here) and Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser this past week. If you’ve got good skin to begin with, you will love Garnier Miracle Skin Cream as a base, it’s so effortless!

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream is available at Boots for £12.99 but is currently on sale for a much more enticing £8.99!

Empties #2

23 July 2014

beauty empties

Why is it that when you want something to finish, time seems to drag slower than a drowsy snail? But, we got there in the end and I can finally chuck out all these empty bottles and stop feeling like the Hoarder Next Door.

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel, £6

Great everyday shower gel, which lasted literally 3 months between two people (one being extremely generous with the pumping). Much more foamy and thick than Sugar Crush because of the built-in moisturising lotion. To be honest, you still need to moisturise after but this has been a joy to use.

Repurchase? Yes

Clarins Multi Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream, £42

This was a gift and has taken me almost a year to get through. It’s pleasant to use and I think it was one of the many things I’ve been using which has helped banish my big forehead wrinkle. It smells how I imagine a rich, middle-aged woman smells, it’s rich but fast drying and leaves the skin really soft and velvety. I find that makeup lasts really well on top of it too. My only complaint is the glass jar, when I was nearing the end, I had to scrape it out and half of it would end up under my nails.

Repurchase? Maybe

Garnier Miceller Cleansing Water, £3.33

You’re probably as sick as I am of Micellar waters but this is a good one. This jumbo bottle has lasted me a couple of months with daily use so its value for money is quite spiffing. Does what it says on the tin, and I can see this being a forever repurchased product.

Repurchase? Already have

Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover £2.33

This is a bi-phase eye makeup remover which apparently takes off even waterproof mascara. I don’t wear waterproof mascara but this seemed to struggle a little and some rubbing was required. A bit of a laborious task and nowhere near as good as the Dior one but if you’re after something purse-friendly, I’d say the L’Oreal one does a better job. But this does get a thumbs up for having a low oily factor.

Repuchase? No

Clean & Clear Morning Energy Daily Facial Wash £3.49

I’ve been trying to finish this for ages but it just doesn’t excite me. The little beads seems really pointless and didn’t exfoliate like I expected. This stings my eyes too and the last inch is impossible to get out of the bottle. As a face wash it’s not terrible but there are too many great ones out there to bother with this one.

Repurchase? No

L’Oreal Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Re-Plumper Night Cream, £8.66

Another glass jar which causes the dreaded under-nail cream entrapment. It does indeed make my skin feel quite ‘plumpy’ and when I stop using this I feel like my big wrinkle starts to rear its ugly head again. It’s thick and luxurious and feels more expensive than it is.

Repurchase? Maybe

Boots Smooth Care Facial Wax Strips, £4.42

I’ve been using these strips ever since an old passport photo revealed the horrific extent of my ‘tache, and they do the job to a satisfactory standard. A few hairs seem to linger but the bulk of my moustache is sufficiently ripped off. It does hurt but show me a waxing strip that doesn’t. These don’t make my skin red, blotchy or bumpy like other strips do, and the finishing wipes do a good job of cleaning up any sticky residue.

Repurchase? Yes

Lush Let The Good Times Roll Face & Body Cleanser, £6.40

My usual attitude to skincare is ‘more is more’ so I was a bit sceptical about this polenta-based cleanser. It smells like cookie dough (and looks like it too), and you can smell it on your face all day which is nice.  It’s a bit messy to use but it gently and effectively exfoliates. I used this on my face a few times a week and my skin looked genuinely clean and glowing, something I wasn’t expecting.

Repurchase? Yes

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Purifying Gel Wash, £2.99

Although this did leave me face feeling quite clean, it stung my eyes like a MOTHERLOVER. I also found the smell a bit too chemical-y. I’ve literally been counting down the days for this to finish and even though it’s not terrible, I did release a small yelp of glee when I turfed it in the trash.

Repurchase? No

My Skincare Routine: A Comprehensive Guide

14 May 2014

skin care routineFirst up, just a little disclaimer as I’m aware that people other than my mum read this blog. This is my skincare routine which obviously works for me and helps keep my skin clear and glowing (I have absolutely no base makeup on my face in the photo above) but it may not work for everyone, so don’t like, hunt me down if your face falls off if you entertain my suggestions. But people are always commenting on my skin and I always get questioned about what I use so I thought I’d reveal my routine.

Now for a bit of background, I don’t tend to suffer from breakouts apart from a couple of hormonal spots around my chin now and again. I don’t know if that’s genetics or having a good skincare routine but I’m guessing it’s a combination of both, although I’ve definitely had compliments on my bare skin left, right and centre since I ditched the face wipes and learnt how to clean my face properly. My skin is on the dry side and isn’t particularly sensitive which means I can be pretty heavy handed without suffering too many consequences. My nose is the only area that gets a bit oily during the day and I’ve had a lifelong, rather unsavoury battle with blackheads which I’m finally winning. I’m 26 so I’m at the stage where I want to be preventing signs of ageing rather than treating them.

DAILY

I blast in with the first step in my skincare routine after I have a hot shower to allow my pores to open, prepping them for the impending attack. I dampen my face with warm water and apply an exfoliating wash. I often switch these up day to day, currently I’ve been using Lush Let the Good Times Roll or Clean & Clear Morning Energy Daily Facial Wash, however my all-time favourite is Sanctuary Brightening Facial Radiance Exfoliator which gives a bit more of an industrial clean. I rub in the scrubbies for a minute to polish my skin, soak a white face cloth in hot water and press it on my skin for 30 seconds, sometimes longer if I’m feeling patient. Then I carefully rub off the face wash in circular motions until it’s all off. I cannot stress the importance of face cloths enough, I’m certain they’re the reason my skin has been transformed from ‘okay’ to ‘fabulous’.  I get mine for about 50p each from Asda, and get through one a day before chucking it in the wash. I follow up with a toning spritz such as Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz and wipe off the excess with a cotton pad. Next is eye cream or gel (I don’t really have a favourite but have been using Clarins Eye Contour Gel or Clinique All About Eyes) and moisturiser with an SPF if I’m heading out such as Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser or an SPF-free moisturiser if I’m choosing the hermit lifestyle for the day – I really like Clarins Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream.

NIGHTLY

If I’ve been wearing a lot of eye makeup, I’ll remove it first with a cotton pad and some kind of bi-phase eye makeup remover. I’ve tried the drugstore and high end offerings and they all do the same job with varying degrees of greasiness. I’ve been using both Dior Instant Eye Makeup Remover and L’Oreal Eye & Lip Absolute Makeup Remover. Once the bulk of my eye makeup is off I’ll go in with a micellar water to take the rest off. Again, Bioderma, L’Oreal, whatever, I’ve not noticed much difference between them and don’t feel the need to spend much dosh on this particular stage. I’ve been loving the jumbo sized Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. Once my face is largely free of slap, I like to use a cleanser with something a bit special going on. If my skin is feeling dry I want something rich and moisturising, so I’ll use Champneys Super Rich Cleansing Balm (review here), if I want to brighten my skin, I’ll go for a cleanser with some kind of fruit acid like Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean and if I simply want something fresh and soothing it has to be Sanctuary Fresh Faced Purifying Wash. Again, I’ll gently work these in with a hot face cloth and wipe off. Sometimes I’ll then spritz on some of the same toner I use in the morning. Then at bedtime, I delve into my little collection of bedside treats. This really helps when you’re tired as everything is within easy reach. First I pop on some serum (I’ve been using Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum), then eye cream (yet to find one I love but I’ve been using No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm), then moisturiser or oil. I really like Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Night Firming Moisturiser and This Works Active Oil For The Face. A slick of Reve de Miel lip balm then it’s finally sleepy time!

TWICE A WEEK

After my nightly cleansing, I’ll follow it up with some kind of microdermabrasion product, I love the more industrial strength exfoliation but my skin can take it. I either use The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion or Vitage Antioxidant Micro-Exfoliator to get a proper polish on. When it comes to moisturising at night, twice a week I’ll not do any of it and just use a glycolic acid treatment instead. I use Olay Regenerist Night Renewal Elixir at the moment.

ONCE A WEEK

In the evening I’ll treat my face to a face mask, usually something clay-based. I find these make a massive difference when my face is looking a bit lacklustre. Current favourites include Una Brennan Super Facialist Tea Flower Pore Purifying Clay Mask (review here) and Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. Otherwise I’ll use something acid-based like REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask or the absolutely stunning at-home facial peel, Philosophy Microdelivery Peel.

TWICE A MONTH

Shock horror – a couple of times a month, apart from a quick cleanse, I put absolutely nothing on my face for 24 hours. No makeup, no moisturiser and no night treatments. I just like the thought of my skin breathing and having a well-earned break from it all.

ONCE A MONTH

As mentioned before, I’ve been plagued with blackheads for as long as I can remember but I’m now fighting back and tremendous success. I use Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips once a month which take out any lingering blackheads. If any are missed, I use The Body Shop Double Ended Blackhead Remover which despite looking like a Victorian torturing device, is a crude yet effective little tool.

I know this routine looks massive but it only take 10 or 15 minutes out of a regular day and I have seen massive results by taking care of my skin. Heck, even my big forehead line has disappeared and unless I’m doing anything special I don’t even have to bother with foundation anymore. Do let me know if you have any tips as I love trying out skincare products if they’ve been tried and tested!

Beauty Bargain Hunting at TK Maxx

19 April 2014

tk maxx beauty haul

Regardless of the slagging-off that TK Maxx seems to get on BBC documentaries, there are genuine bargains to be had if you know what to look for. You never really know what you’re going to get so it’s a bit of a lucky dip but that just adds to the excitement! Over the last couple of months I’ve popped into a few branches of TK Maxx and have collected up some beauty treats, most of them at utterly crazy prices which I will now reveal!

First up, there’s the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream twin pack (£12.99, RRP £29.99). These two little tubes are perfect for travelling plus I can give one away if I’m struggling to get through the first. I was really surprised to see Korres in TK Maxx and snapped up the Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum (£9.99, RRP £30) when I discovered it lurking on the shelf. I must say I was feeling smug when I saw it in Elys in Wimbledon later that day for the full £30. On the same shopping trip, I picked up Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£12.99, RRP £34) as I’m currently obsessing over chemical exfoliants. I definitely wouldn’t have forked out £34 for a cleanser but I’ll probably use this as a mask to let the acids go to town on my face. A few weeks ago I saw the Too Faced Beauty Balm (£5, RRP £27.50) and I almost had a heart attack. I’ve given it a quick try and so far I quite like it – I’ll be doing a review at some point! I also picked up Too Faced Snow Bunny Caribbean in a Compact (£5.99, RRP £25) which is an amazing highlighter/bronzer, a bit like the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick – I use this every day and I love it! I keep getting told that I should be using some sort of facial oil so the This Works Active Oil for the Face (£12.99, RRP £35) rolled into my life at just the right time. The smell is pretty noxious but I’m excited to incorporate it into my skincare regime. Finally, I almost wet myself when I saw the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£16.99, RRP £25). I didn’t even know TK Maxx even ever stocked Smashbox, and the discount wasn’t as barmy as some of the others but it was still enough for me to buy this tube of silicone goodness!

So there we have it, I heavily suggest you smash down to your local TK Maxx and snap up the bargains! Don’t be disheartened if your trip is fruitless, the Maxx is notoriously hit-or-miss but they do have deliveries several times a week – godspeed and good luck!

March 2014 Favourites

7 April 2014

march 2014 favouritesSally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle (£9.99, Boots)

I was dreading moving flat a couple of weeks ago, not because of all the packing and general strenuous activity but because I was fearing my nails would break. They were already peeling so I smashed down to Boots to get my hands on some strengthener. Not sure if the bold growth claims are true but it has definitely stopped any inevitable breakage. Fast drying and glossy too, it looks great on its own or under nail varnish.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips (£11.50, Space NK)

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve proffered this to my manager and him politely declining while looking quite frankly, disgusted. Thick and luxurious, this sorted out my chapped lips in no time. I just try not to think too much about what lanolin actually is because it makes me feel a bit ill.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (4.99, Superdrug)

A superb happy medium between the elusive and expensive Bioderma and rather average L’Oreal. It takes off the bulk of my makeup, prepping it for the second stage of cleansing. It won’t take off every scrap of eye makeup but it’ll give it a jolly good go. Jumbo bottle at a not-so-jumbo price, this is a winner in my eyes. The packaging doesn’t leak all over the shop either (I’m looking at you, L’Oreal) meaning the bottle will last ages.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Standout (7.99, Boots)

Yes, I know these are old news but I have just got round to using these. I bought a bunch of these in a bit of a pay-day frenzy and didn’t use them for weeks. I’ve been using Standout the most for night time looks. Creamy and easy to apply, this highly pigmented blue-toned red is a true joy to wear, and I always get compliments when I have it on. As long as you avoid eating slippery Japanese food, you won’t get too much awkward fading but I’d keep an eye out just in case.

Soap & Glory Bright Here Bright Now (£12, Boots)

Again, I bought this months ago and didn’t start using it properly until recently. If your skin is on the drier side, this, mixed with foundation will give you a beautiful, nay, ethereal glow. I cannot get enough. I’m quite heavy handed with it as my dry skin can take it, I use a little in the day and a lot for night to give my skin a Victoria’s Secret angel effect. I just wish I had the body to match!

Accessorize Baked Blush (£5, Superdrug)

I reviewed this a while back (here) but it kind of got relegated to the back of the drawer. Anyway, it was rediscovered and I’m liking it even more this time round. It’s pink with a gold sheen to it, making it perfect for summer. It’s so subtle and easy to wear, I’ve barely used any other blusher this month.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (£18 for the full size, Boots)

I received a sample of Smashbox Full Exposure mascara when I bought a couple of products and, being the hoarder that I am, kept this for ages without using it. Oh my, what a mascara. In terms of volume and length, this is one of the best I’ve ever used. The wand is HUGE and really grips the lashes. I LOVE this and will be buying the full size version.

Review: Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful CC Superfluid

10 March 2014

soap and glory cc cream review before afterHave you ever walked into Boots, saw something in shiny packaging and had the overwhelming feeling that if you don’t buy it you’re going to keel over and die? That’s what happened to me last week when I saw the new Soap & Glory CC Superfluid. I was mesmerised by words like “LIGHTSCRAMBLING SUPERBLUR MICROMESH” and I had no idea what they meant but I knew I had to have it. I was also heavily influenced by the rave reviews the Make Yourself Youthful range has garnered recently so into the basket it went.soap and glory cc cream reviewsoap and glory cc cream reviewIf you’re wondering what the CC Superfluid actually is, you’ve come to the right place my fair friends.  It’s a tinted CC cream that blurs imperfections, illuminates and evens skin tone, and has the added benefits of SPF 15, vitamin C, antioxidants and glycerin – crikey. It comes in a handy pump with an even handier window so you can see when you’re due a replacement if your heart so desires.

The first time I used this I was taken by surprise and almost ended up with product all over the place but my ninja reflexes caught it in time. This stuff is seriously a runny bunny, perhaps similar in consistency to L’Oreal Eau de Teint if you’re au fait with that slippery customer. However, this questionable consistency simply makes it easier to slap on and I didn’t find any need to faff around with a brush, my fingers did a damn fine job.soap and glory cc cream reviewNow, I don’t want to get ahead of myself as it’s early days but I freakin’ love this wonder-fluid, or superfluid, whatever its damn name is. You’ll see from the before and after photos that it’s nothing like a foundation as it virtually undetectable BUT take a look at the reduced dark circles and the natural glow on the cheeks. You’ll also see it’s enough to cover the various lumpies on my forehead too. Trust me, the photos don’t do this stuff justice.soap and glory cc cream reviewSoap & Glory CC Superfluid isn’t one for those who like a heavy coverage but if you want something light and easy for daytime which evens things out and brighten up your ruddy complexion this is the one. As for wear time, I’m the worst person to ask as I don’t tend to touch up during the day (except for lip products). Probably a combination of ignorance and laziness but I don’t notice my bags rearing their ugly heads throughout the day when I have this on.

Before you get too excited, heed this warning – it only comes in two shades, A Good Light and Nude Peach. HOWEVER. Every cloud… When it comes to drugstore products, you can bet your granny the darkest shade will still be too light for me and I’m by no means the darkest on the block BUT the shade Nude Peach works for me perfectly. This leads me to believe that unless you’re very fair or a bit darker than I am (MAC NC42 for reference) one of these shades will adapt to your skin tone.

Soap & Glory CC Superfluid is available at Boots for £14

Review: Champneys Spa Skin Super Rich Cleansing Balm

7 March 2014

champneys spa skin super rich cleansing balm.jpgHaving mentioned the Champneys Spa Skin Super Rich Cleansing Balm in my February favourites, I thought I’d make myself useful and write up a full review. Before buying this wondrous pot of joy, I was a cleansing balm virgin, and after being subjected to constant hype for Emma Hardie and Eve Lom, I began to feel like a lesser human being for not owning a cleansing balm. Although I’m usually a massive money-waster, I didn’t particularly want to spend £40+ on something as useful as a cleanser. After some basic Googling of things like ‘budget cleansing balm’, ‘eve lom dupe’ and ‘I really want a cleansing balm but I’ve spent the dregs of my wages on air-dried beef’, I came across Caroline Hirons’ review of the Champneys version and stormed to Boots to get my filthy mitts on it.champneys spa skin super rich cleansing balm.It comes in a generously large 100ml pot, which for £13 is unheard of in this day in age. It also comes with a muslin cloth, which I haven’t used. In fact, I have never used a muslin cloth which I know makes me dead to some people. Upon opening the pot of cleansing goodness, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was greeted with a delightful yellow solid balm with a slightly grainy texture. Looking at it, it reminded me of Philosophy Microdelivery Peel which I ADORE, but maybe a little less grainy. As for the scent, if you’re into heavy florals, you’ll be all over this like a rat. It’s not over-powering as such, but it’s definitely one for aromatherapy fans and much more of a relaxing evening scent than an invigorating morning one.champneys spa skin super rich cleansing balm
The balm almost immediately starts to melt into a very luxurious oil upon contact with warm flesh. But before you get too excited, I’d highly recommend taking off eye makeup first because those little grains cannot be good for your poor eyeballs. Once that’s done, I like to use my fingers to ‘swirl and scoop’ a bit out (not sure if that’s the official term) onto my dry face and use circular movements to gently exfoliate and cleanse. After a minute or two, I take a hot, damp flannel and hold it against my face for 30 seconds. I go pretty hot with this as I like to feel the full force of the heat – my skin is as resilient as a rhino’s bum so until something catastrophic happens I’ll probably continue with my brazen heat-loving ways. When I’m done, I rinse the flannel with warm water and carefully wipe off the cleanser which reveals perfectly clean and moisturised skin. I finish with a quick splash of warm water as sometimes I find the finish a bit too.moisturising

I’m truly sorry I don’t have any other cleansing balms to compare this to but I did read somewhere that this Champneys cleansing balm is a dupe for the Eve Lom one. I have no idea whether this is true or if it’s mindless slander but what I can say is this is stuff is fabulous, especially if you have dry skin (it could potentially be too rich and dreamy for oily skin). I don’t usually feel the need to moisturise after which is amazing – it really does leave my skin moist, bright and nourished. The only thing I’m not a fan of is the scent but it’s my no means unpleasant – I’m just not big on florals. Definitely a repurchase!

Champneys Spa Skin Super Rich Cleansing Balm is available from Boots for £13.

Getting Rid of Blackheads

23 February 2014

getting rid of blackheads 1 This evening’s topic is blackheads. Quite an unsavoury subject of conversation but one that needs to be addressed. After many years of suffering from the hideous black speckles on my nose, around the nostrils (vom) and on my chin, and fearing others would assume my hygiene levels were substandard, I’m glad to report I’m in a much better place now and they are all more or less gone from my life. Despite the claims of loads of products promising to get rid of blackheads, I can’t say my blackheady transformation was due to any specific product, but rather just learning to clean my damn face alongside using more specialised products.getting rid of blackheads 1
If you’re going to go through the more industrial route and don’t mind low to moderate pain levels, I’d highly recommend the Double Ended Blackhead Remover (£4, The Body Shop). You might have assumed this to be some sort of torture tool from the 1800s but it is in fact the most effective thing I’ve found to remove blackheads. Takes a little getting used to but gives instant results. In the same vein, we’ve got the infamous Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips (7.99, Boots). Painful and a bit gross but you can see a substantial amount of blackheads left behind on the strip before your very eyes – satisfying. I try to use a clay-based mask once a week to help keep the little rascals from rearing their ugly heads (literally), like the Quick Fix Exfoliating Scrub Mask for Blackheads and Blocked Pores (£4.99, Boots). Despite its claims, it won’t remove blackheads but it will certainly help unblock your pores and smooth things out a bit. While we’re on the subject of masks, I love the occasional peel-off mask, such as the worringly named Tropical Cocktail Peel Off Mask (99p, Superdrug). Again, using it once won’t sort out stubborn blackheads but regular removal of dead skin will definitely help keep them at bay. Prevention is much better than cure, I learnt that the hard way.

If you’ve battled blackheads successfully do please let me know your tips, the more hideous the better!

Review: Una Brennan Super Facialist Pore Purifying Clay Mask

21 January 2014

una brennan super facialist clay mask reviewI’m currently sitting on the sofa watching EastEnders and getting increasingly frustrated with every single character. How come Cindy managed to get away with stealing Phil’s thousands? She needs to be taught a lesson! Before I give myself an aneurysm, let me get started with today’s post.

I stumbled across the Una Brennan range in Boots a few months ago and I spent quite a while perusing the stand, having great difficulty trying to choose just one product – everything is so nicely packaged so you end up wanting everything. I went with the Super Facialist Pore Purifying Clay Mask seeing as I’m on this mad quest to achieve flawless skin. I was drawn to exciting words like kaolin, honey, salicylic acid and avocado oil. At the time of purchase I was actually on the look out for a kaolin-based face mask to help unblock my pores so was pleased to see this. Also, the squeezy tube was a bonus, we don’t want those grubby fingers digging into big old pots do we?
una brennan super facialist clay mask reviewuna brennan super facialist clay mask review
I’m generally a pretty lazy person and don’t bother with face masks as often as I should, especially clay ones. I always find them a massive pain in the bottom to remove and the mere thought of this messy business puts me off. However, I was delighted to find that the Una Brennan clay mask’s consistency was a lot thinner, a bit like a thick moisturiser, with the tiniest little particles mixed through (I’m assuming this is the silt). It’s super easy to apply, and takes mere seconds. The instructions say to leave it on for five minutes but I did 15. I always leave everything on for way longer than suggested, you know, to give it something to aim for. When I’ve had enough, I take hot, damp flannel and wipe it all off (very easily), giving my face a quick rinse to finish off.

The results are pretty good. I’m not great at objectively assessing any change but I genuinely notice my skin being brighter (and temporarily lighter) each time I use it. Even Mr TBL commented on how smooth my face looked (even without being prompted) last time I used this. And I have to admit, I can’t stop touching my face after I’ve had this mask on. It is a little drying but that’s to be expected what with the salicylic acid. If you’ve got oily skin, you’ll love this and its mattifying effect. If you have quite dry skin like me, you’ll want to follow up with a rich moisturiser or just stick to the T-zone.

Overall, a very nice and easy to use face mask that gets rid of any excess oil and helps to unclog pores. I’ve definitely used more effective treatments but for the price, this is a fantastic buy and looks and feels like it should be more expensive. A lovely one for your bathroom shelf,

Una Brennan Super Facialist Pore Purifying Clay Mask is £8.99 from Boots.

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