Tag Archives: skincare

Dry Skin Picks

15 June 2016

products for dry skinI don’t know about you, but I suffer from dry skin even in the raging humidity of summer – dry face, dry legs, dry arms, dry lips – you name it, I’ve got it. I literally can’t get enough of moisture-giving products, but even makeup and skincare designed for dry skin often isn’t enough for me. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered the best genuinely moisturising products that keep me from looking like an old snakeskin bag, and today I’m sharing these with my fellow lizard-like gals!

THE ALL-PURPOSE MOISTURISER
I keep banging on about this but A-Derma Exomega emollient cream (£10.50 for 200ml) for face & body is the only moisturiser I’ve been using on a daily basis since 2016 began. Now, if your skin is not very dry, I absolutely don’t recommend this stuff for your face, but if it is (or if it’s extremely sensitive or eczema prone), this will make your skin act ‘normal’ and will stop any dry patches forming when you apply foundation (I use this as a moisturiser, as a primer or to mix with foundation to make a tinted moisturiser). Also, if you get scaly legs, this stuff will obliterate that until the next time you shower – I can’t live without it.

THE FOUNDATION
I reviewed the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation (£32.50) in full here, if you want to learn more about it or see what it looks like on. A lightweight, glowy formula, this is one of the few foundations that doesn’t completely dry my skin out. It’s a light-medium coverage so it’s a good one for summer when you don’t want to cake layers of makeup on.

THE BODY SCRUB
Another discovery that I haven’t stopped using since last summer is Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Salt Scrub (£1.75 for 60g sachet) – man this stuff is good. If you like coarse, oily scrubs I can’t recommend this one enough. It comes in a big old jar but it’s also available in these super handy sachets, which are perfect for travelling. It makes my legs look and feel infinitely smoother (even hubby notices when I’ve used this) and again, banishes scaly skin until the next shower.

THE CONCEALER
Concealers are notoriously cake-central even on normal skin so when you come by a heavy duty concealer that doesn’t leave your face looking like you’ve dipped it in sand, you know it’s a keeper. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22.50) is probably the only concealer I’ve come across that covers my dark circles effectively without the need for an inch-thick layer of moisturiser underneath.

THE FACE OIL
Prepping dry skin for a day of slap ideally starts the night before with a good face oil. This Works Active Oil (£45.00) is the one I’ve been using, giving me a decent moisture hit along with anti-ageing properties. I don’t find it too greasy, and it leaves my skin with a subtle glow come morning.

THE LIP BALMS
I’ve included two lip balms as I couldn’t narrow it down to one. At bedtime, I like to use Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (£12.00) (probably even more so than Nuxe Reve de Miel – it’s a lot more comfortable on the lips), which leaves my lips still moist come morning. Carmex Lip Tints (£4.49) are a dream to use, and are a great tinted lip balm if your lips are quite pigmented, and other tints struggle to show up. I reviewed the pink version here.

THE TINTED MOISTURISER
If you’re anything like me, you’ll rarely be able to muster up the energy to trowel on foundation on an average morning. However, if you feel like putting on a ‘lil somethin’, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm (£36.50) is a dream. Another warning here – if you’re not a dry skin sufferer, this will make you look like an oil slick in 30 seconds flat. If you do have dry skin and just can’t find a tint that glides on, you need to give this one a try (plus it’s got SPF 25). I do have to powder my nose with this one as it gets a bit shiny throughout the day, but if you’ve suffered from dry skin your entire life, this is actually a novelty!

What are your dry skin picks? I’m always dying to try new ones, especially for my legs!

Empties #5

30 March 2015

beauty emptiesI have quite the glut of empties today – does anyone else get a fuzzy feeling inside when you throw away a mountain of rubbish?

Radox Muscle Soak, £2.00
Not sure if this eases muscle ache any more than normal bubble baths but pleasant enough although nothing to right home about. Everyone has a bottle of Radox in their bathroom right?

Repurchase? Maybe

L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray, £2.60
I’ve tried countless other hairspray brands and this is the only one that doesn’t make my hair sticky and crunchy.  Forever repurchased – I’m never without it.

Repuchase? Already have

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £30
I have a strained relationship with my hair and don’t feel like it deserves high end products. However, for this cult product I’ll make an exception. I bought this pot after trying out a travel size, and was hooked. It genuinely makes me hate my hair a little bit less.

Repurchase? Yes

Garnier 2-in-1 Express Eye Makeup Remover, £3.49
I was neither here nor there with this. It’s one of those bi-phase solutions which you have to shake up. It did a decent enough job of removing eye makeup without too much effort but was a little greasy. Nonetheless, one of the better drugstore options.

Repurchase? Maybe

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash, £6.50
Out of all the S&G body washes, this one is my most repurchased and probably my favourite. It’s fresh and uplifting and the bottle lasts months, depending on how often you wash yourself.

Repurchase? Yes

Soap & Glory Orangeasm Body Wash, £6.50
Again, very fresh and zesty. I thought I’d like this more than Sugar Crush, and whilst it is indeed, orangeasmic, I think I just about like Sugar Crush more.

Repurchase? Probably

Avene Eau Thermale Micellar Lotion, £13.00 for 200ml
Not a lotion, just a water. I honestly can’t tell the difference between most micellar waters. Does what it says on the tin, and this tiny size was great for travelling and lasted forever (probably because I haven’t done much travelling). But there are cheaper options that do the same thing.

Repurchase? No

Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser, £28 for 150ml
I got this in a set, so not one I’d buy individually. Apparently foaming cleansers are to be avoided like the plague so I’ll probably steer clear. It was an ok cleanser, did the job gently but it didn’t blow me away, especially for the price. Also, I think it has been renamed to Pore Reform Daily Cleansing Foam, otherwise it has been discontinued.

Repurchase? No

Lush American Cream Hair Conditioner, £4.50
This is one of those conditioners that doesn’t feel like it’s doing much in the shower but when your hair has been dried and styled, the softness and shine is incredible. I’be only ever used this in conjunction with the Lush Braziliant solid shampoo so I’m not sure which is the praise worthy party. Maybe both?

Repurchase? Yes

Boots Time Delay Daily Cleansing Micellar Water, £4.49
This has a suspiciously high rating on the Boots website but I suspect those reviewers haven’t tried other micellar waters? I said most are similar but this is one that I hated. So much so I chucked it away when there was still half the bottle left, which is unheard of for a hoarder like me. It stung my eyes and felt weirdly sticky on my skin. Bizarre.

Repurchase? No

Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator, £2.99
I’m never without this exfoliator and always stock up on the travel sizes. It’s nice and scrubby without being overly harsh but really gives my skin a good polish. Makes a visible difference.

Repurchase? Already have?

Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz, £5.99
I really grew to love this and now it’s gone I miss it. It’s refreshing, hydrating and is perfect for wiping away the last traces of makeup after cleansing. I don’t even like rose that much but this was a joy to use. Apparently it visibly tightens pores but I don’t have a pore issue so can’t verify.

Repurchase? Yes

RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum, £41.00

I need to do a review of this but this stuff genuinely works. My lashes are a fair bit longer and definitely fuller, but I find you have to keep using it to hold onto the benefits.

Repurchase? Already have

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Pink Tint, £4.49
One of the few pink tinted lip balms that actually show up on me. Lovely colour, minty and moisturising. I also like how it’s relatively quick to use up – there’s something very satisfying about finishing a product.

Repurchase? Already have.

Nair Argan Oil Facial Wax Strips, £5.69
I’m not especially loyal to one waxing brand but I liked the look of these. However, after using them, I wasn’t any less mustached than before. These literally pulled out about two hairs and lost their stickiness after the first yank. Next please.

Repurchase? No

Boots Cosmetic Cotton Buds, £1.40
Another constant repurchase. Here’s a tip (literally) – make sure you get the ‘cosmetic’ buds, not the normal cotton buds. The pointed end is perfect for cleaning up botched winged liner and too-fat eyebrow tails.

Repurchase? Already have

Superdrug Cosmetic Cotton Buds, £1.39
Exactly the same as the Boots ones, I just pick them up from wherever is easiest at the time.

Repurchase? Yes

Dove Beauty FInish Anti-Perspirant, £2.99
Does the job, smells good and doesn’t sting. I get through these pretty quickly.

Repurchase? Already have

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm, £9.50
Don’t let the name fool you – this is most definitely not a balm, it’s more like a cream. This was ok, it left my skin feeling very moisturised and clean but stung my eyes horribly so not a good one for removing the last traces of mascara.

Repurchase? No

Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturizing Shampoo, £17 for 250ml
I don’t usually spend much on shampoo but this is genuinely one of the very few shampoos that actually felt moisturising on my coarse, dry hair. I’m in two minds about this as I’m pretty happy with my cheaper Lush option at the moment and I focus on conditioners and masks more when dealing with my dryness.

Repurchase? Maybe

French Pharmacy & Makeup Haul

23 March 2015

french beauty haulApologies for my hiatus, I was busy getting married and mini-mooning in Paris! I had the BEST time but I know how boring weddingy stuff is if it’s not on your radar so I won’t go on about it. Anyway, I was more excited to get to Paris and feverishly raid the pharmacies and Sephora. Looking at my bounty, I’m both shocked and appalled at myself for not going more wild in the aisles. However, I am rather pleased with my purchases and got my mitts on a lot of products I’d been fantasising about.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
I already have this in a smaller size but it was a bit cheaper in France so I popped the larger tube into my basket. A nice and basic moisturiser for underneath foundation and great for travelling.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc
Apparently it’s sacrilege to set foot in France and not load up on this spray-on toner so I bought three. I’ve just started to use it to see what all the fuss is about and so far it’s a pleasant enough spritz, much like the Avene thermal water, just a little saltier. I’ve got some blemishes on my forehead so I’m excited to see if this magic water clears them up.

Bioderma Micellar Solution
Need I say more?

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I’ve resisted giving into this for the longest time and still don’t really understand what it’s supposed to do but it was 7 or 8 Euros so of course I was going to buy it. Looks like a good one for the summer.

Caudalie Moisturising Toner
This French skincare haul seems to be full of things that have a very vague purpose. I’m not massively into toners but there was something about this one that caught my eye so I’m looking forward to incorporating this into my skincare routine.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation
This is what I was most excited about and despite a very dubious matching process with A LOT of language barrier issues, I came away with the perfect shade for my skin. I used this for the remainder of my time in Paris and it was flawless. I’m excited about using it more.

Makeup Forever HD Loose Powder
I’m not a big powder kind of gal but while I was getting the companion foundation, I had to stick my finger into this powder. And let me tell you, it was like stroking the undercarriage of angel kittens. I’m waiting for a decent night out with lots of sweaty dancing to put this to the test but holy moly, this stuff is special.

Review: L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream

9 February 2015

loreal skin perfection anti fatigue perk up cream review
loreal skin perfection anti fatigue perk up cream reviewloreal skin perfection anti fatigue perk up cream review
More often than not, I don’t have time to faff around with trowelling on foundation in the mornings so I’m always on the lookout for a quick-fix option. If you ever read my review on the Garnier Miracle Skin Cream, you’ll know how much I love it, so I thought I’d try the L’Oreal version of a very similar product.

I’ll cut to the chase – it is extremely similar to the Garnier one but with one main difference. Whereas the Garnier cream has a yellow tone to it (which I like), the L’Oreal one is a lot more neutral/beige in colour. This will get a big ‘huzzah’ from a lot of women because the yellow thing just didn’t go down well with a lot of people. They both come out as thick-ish cream with tiny balls of pigment which burst when rubbed into the skin (this sentence makes me feel ill).

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream looks and feels great on my skin. It give a little bit of coverage, makes my dark circles a bit less intense, evens out my skintone (making it less yellow) and gives my skin a healthy glow. I usually finish off my base with some under-eye concealer and the effects hang around for the whole day. I will say that I end up with a few rogue balls that get caught in my eyebrows so I sometimes have to comb those out but apart from that, it is a doddle to slap on. In my ‘full face’ photo, I have just this cream on and concealer under my eyes as my base – there is absolutely no foundation.

Again, like Garnier’s Miracle Skin Cream, L’Oreal Perk Up Cream comes with SPF 20 which I feel is enough for me, especially in the winter. I had a workout in the strangely hot sun yesterday after using Alpha-H Liquid Gold the night before for the first time – I did have fears that my face, that was in direct sunlight for an hour, would be burnt off, but I had the Perk Up Cream on which seems to have provided enough protection.

If you like the effects of the Garnier Miracle Skin Cream but find the colour a bit off, I’d really recommend L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream. It does indeed perk up the skin and if you have decent skin already, you’ll probably be happy to leave the house with this as your base.

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Anti-Fatigue Perk Up Cream is on offer at the moment in Boots, available for the bargainous price of £7.99.

Empties #3

1 October 2014

beauty empties

There’s something very satisfying about finishing products and discarding the empty carcasses. I’ve been buying less skincare in particular, in an attempt to get through the mountain of hoarded products and I’m sure you’ll agree I’ve certainly given it a ruddy good go.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £27.50 (full size)

I’ve raved enough about this in the past (here and here) so won’t bore you again with it. This travel size version came in a handy set along with a shampoo and conditioner, and lasted me a good three or so washes.

Repurchase? Already bought the full size

Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturizing Conditioner 75ml, £7.45

I got so attached to the Elasticizer that I never actually used this conditioner without it so am unable to offer you a completely fair opinion. However, I LOVED this and the ‘slip’ it offered was unbelievable, something that’s hard to achieve with coarse, dry, thick hair like mine. Expensive but this combo is genuinely nothing like I’ve tried before.

Repurchase? Yes

Bourjois 1 Second Magic Nail Polish Remover, £4.99

If there is one beauty chore I hate (apart from moisturising) it’s taking off nail polish. This pot of joy makes the whole experience quick and fun. Smells great at first too, before the saturation happens then it’s potent enough to burn off your corneas.

Repurchase? Already have

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, £19 (full size)

Does anyone miss the old-fashioned fibre-y mascaras, rather than the plastic wands that seem to be everywhere these days? This wand is fat and juicy and because it’s bristles, really grips the lashes. I love it on the bottom lashes, it separates and lengthens but doesn’t clump. Not hugely volumising but I feel it would be good layered underneath something else.

Repurchase? Yes

Benefit They’re Real Mascara, £19.50 (full size)

Possibly the most talked-about mascara of recent times. This wand really get into the tiniest lashes and gives volume and length. I really like this but for some reason go through phases with it. Sometimes it works better than others, does this happen to anyone else?

Repurchase? Probably

Gosh Boombastic Mascara, £8.49

I reviewed this here so won’t go on about it too much. Quite simply, I love this and find it similar to Benefit They’re Real, but a bit better. I use this everyday and feel lost without it. I don’t like spending too much on mascaras so this one is perfect.

Repurchase? Already have

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, £7.99

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you will be fully aware of my lifelong battle with blackheads. The situation is 100% better than it used to be and these pore strips deserve credit for helping to clear things up. I’ve tried imitation brands but these are the best and don’t leave that unsavoury residue you get from cheaper brands.

Repurchase? Yes

Cherry Chapstick, £1.29

You don’t even want to know how long I’ve had this but the truth would horrify you. I started using this as a base for matte lipsticks and it did the job pretty well. It’s not super moisturising and won’t give you a slippery surface so lipstick sits nicely on top. To be frank, there’s nothing wrong with a Chapstick and I’ve got more sophisticated tastes now darling.

Repurchase? No

Dove Beauty Finish Deodorant, £3.50

My first spray deodorant in about a decade as I find roll-ons more industrial. However this works just as well and smells really good.  It does last way less than a roll-on but the it’s more refreshing and dry.

Repurchase? Already have

Sanctuary Illuminating Moisture Lotion 15ml, £2.99

I’ve been having a lusty affair with Sanctuary products for a while and this was one of the first things I succumbed to. This stuff is so brightening and is the perfect base for foundation, although I often don’t even bother, it’s that glowy. But if you’re into a matte base then this isn’t for you. And don’t let the mini size fool you, it lasts ages.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, £14

This has quite the bounty of rave reviews on the Body Shop website and I was hankering to try it for a while. I used it after cleansing to exfoliate – it’s made up of really fine gritty bits in some kind of lotion. It kind of feels like scrubbing wet sand into your face, and my face can usually stand up to harsh treatment and is by no means sensitive, however this left my face looking like a baboon’s bum. It did feel extremely cleansing and my face looked super clean afterwards but it’s the only exfoliator I’ve used that left my skin red raw…and not in a good way

Repuchase? No

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

Pump? Check. SPF? Check. Amazing scent? Check. This moisturiser lasted my about a year with daily use and I’ve really enjoyed it. It brightens and hydrates really well, but isn’t as glowy as the Sanctuary one mentioned above so it’s a good happy medium. I’ve got a million day creams to get through but one day will love to be reunited with this orange-y baby.

Repuchase? Yes

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

Empties #1

18 May 2014

emptiesI’m not sure how I feel about doing an Empties post as I don’t think anyone particularly wants to see my bruised and beaten empty bottles which might have seen better days. However, I realised that quite often, when I chuck something out, it’s chucked out of my memory too because something else usually takes over and I easily forget about the gems over time. Anyway let’s get started!

Dior Duo Express Instant Eye Makeup Remover, £21.50

I bought this in a moment of sales assistant pressure-induced madness. This is one of those bi-phase removers which is excellent and does what it promises. It’s slightly more effective than its cheaper alternatives, you need much less of it and it’s noticeably much less oily but do you need to spend five times more than normal for an eye makeup remover? In a nutshell, no.

Repurchase? No

L’Oreal Eye & Lip Absolute Make-Up Remover, £5.49

Another bi-phase eye makeup remover but with a price tag much less likely to give my mum a heart attack. It does what it says, although I did get through this a lot quicker than the Dior and it’s a bit oily but I can handle that. It’s usually on a ‘two for £5’ offer at Superdrug so weirdly it’s cheaper to buy two. Not that I’m complaining, I’m just heavily confused. Anyway, it’s a great staple, and although it’s not perfect, it proves that you don’t need to spend stupid amounts to get a bit of mascara off.

Repurchase? Yes

Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Firming Night Cream, £14.99

Plumpy and surprisingly luxurious feeling, I really enjoyed using this. I can’t really decide if it did wonders for my skin (it MIGHT have been responsible for getting rid of my forehead wrinkle) but it was pleasant to use, the pump being a star feature. I used it almost every night for literally months on end so it ended up being a good little investment. There are far too many night creams I have on my list to try so this might be going on the back burner for a while but may well be revisited at a later date.

Repurchase? Maybe

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter, £13 for 200ml

Technically this wasn’t completely empty but it was beginning of smell a bit funky so I turfed it out along with the other empties. Satsuma is my all time favourite Body Shop scent and I’ve been through a couple more tubs of this in my time. The world and his wife had tried one of these body butters so I don’t need to tell you how good they are.

Repurchase? Yes

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash, £6.50

After the plethora of rave reviews I read about this, I succumbed to the peer pressure. The scent, I can confirm, is to die for. It really does make Monday mornings a bit less depressing and helps put me in a good mood. My only gripe was that it didn’t foam as much as I thought it would. I really do love a good lather and this just didn’t do it. But the smell alone alone is enough for a repurchase and it lasted a good a couple of months even with Mr TBL helping himself to it every day.

Repurchase? Yes

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!

Evening Cleanse Routine

20 January 2014

I’m ashamed to admit it but up until I had my relatively recent skincare epiphany I was definitely a face wipe type of girl (actually I used baby wipes). I’m going to put this down to sheer laziness. Half the time I wouldn’t even bother, I’d give my face a quick wipe in the morning after my shower. Looking back, I can’t quite believe I used to sink that low. But, that’s all in the past and you’ll be pleased to know I’m now a skincare fanatic.

In this post, I’m sharing my current evening cleansing regime which I’ve pretty much stuck to for around four months. And in that time, I’ve definitely had compliments left, right and centre. I’m putting that down to my fastidious approach to cleaning my face properly and investing in a damn flannel. The products I’ll be mentioning are a few of my favourites but I do change these up now and again.
evening cleanse routine
Whether I’ve worn makeup or not, I follow the exact same routine every night. First, I’ll take my eye makeup off with a bi-phase remover, on a cotton pad, such as the L’Oreal Eye & Lip Makeup Remover. Next, on a fresh cotton pad, I’ll use some kind of micellar water usually Bioderma Solution Micellaire to quickly remove the first layer of makeup off my skin. Then, on dry skin, I’ll massage in my face cleanser. I’ve been using Sanctuary Fresh-Faced Purifying Wash which I absolutely adore, plus it’s safe to use on eyes. Next I’ll grab a flannel, soak it in hot water and place it onto my face until it cools, before polish my face with it, really massaging in the face wash. Rinse and pat dry. To be honest, I’m yet to see the benefits of toner but I was given the Clarins Toning Lotion with Camomile for my birthday and have been using it, hoping that one day I’ll see the light. Once dry, I’ll go in with a rich night cream that contains some kind of acid rejuvenating acid. I’ve got pretty dry skin and like my night cream super thick, like Fade Out White Nourishing Night Cream which contains Niacinamide to help even out skin tone. And that’s it!

I have to admit, there are days when all I want to do is take my clothes off and pass out in bed. But, 7am is bad enough without the added feeling of regret. So if you’re still depending on face wipes I highly suggest you chuck them out right now!

Review: Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer

19 December 2013

Express-Hydration-Primer-3I first bought this Nivea Express Hydration Primer about six months ago and have been meaning to write this review for a while. I’d been in one of those moods where I was in Boots just chucking things into my basket willy nilly and ignoring the consequences. Needless to say, it was a very mixed bag, but this little saviour has now become one of my most used skincare products, and i’m now on my fourth pot. It comes in Dry/Sensitive Skin and Normal/Combination Skin. I’ve used both and can’t really tell too much of a difference, although I tend to buy the Dry/Sensitive only because it was the first one I’d ever bought and I loved it, so why fix it if it ain’t broke?

Firstly, what I will say is the packaging is a bit misleading – the box is much bigger than the pot so unless you sneakily open it in the shop, you won’t experience the disappointment until you go home (or the bus, if, like me, you get too excited and open everything en route). A bit annoying but hardly the sort of thing that will keep you up at night. Plus, there’s 50ml of product which is quite generous, and the chunky glass pot gives it a more high end feel.Express-Hydration-Primer-8
Right, on to the good stuff. The primer has a gel-like consistency, a bit like if you were to mix your moisturiser with a normal primer. It’s light and fresh, with Nivea’s usual cucumber-y scent. It really slides onto the skin with ease and it does dry very fast. It’s my product of choice in the mornings because it sinks in so quickly (I’d say in less than a minute) and leaves the skin smooth and really soft. If it’s just for a daytime look, I’ll use this one product instead of a separate moisturiser and primer, perfect for when you’re doing a bit of a rushed job (pretty much every day for me). It leaves a perfect base for foundation and keeps everything in place for most of the day, as long as I’m not doing anything particularly sweaty or strenuous. On days when I really can’t be bothered, I use Nivea Hydration Primer on its own as it helps me feel and look little more polished.
nivea express hydration primer reviewnivea express hydration primer review
I’ve read lot of reviews for Nivea Express Hydration Primer and generally, people rave about it but a handful have mentioned a problem with pilling (I think that’s what it’s called?). This has happened to me on occasion with this product but only when I’ve either used a dedicated moisturiser first or slapped on my foundation too soon. If I avoid doing these two naughty things then I don’t tend to have a problem. I’m pretty sure the recommendation from Nivea is not to use any moisturiser beforehand so it was my own fault!

Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer is definitely something to have on your makeup shelf, especially as it’s so cheap. I always think of good skincare when I think of Nivea, and it has been a joy to use. It’s one of the things I often recommend to friends and genuinely don’t see pricey primers as being much better.

Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer costs £3.99 from Boots and Superdrug.

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