Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Products I've Used Up | Skincare

I love to see a pile of skincare empties as a reward to myself that I have been regularly following a skincare regime although it is sad to say goodbye to some of these products.

Let's start with cleansers and first Eloquence Beauty Purifying Cleanser*. I was newly introduced to the brand and enjoyed all of the products I was able to test. As a cleanser I preferred this for my morning cleanse and the packaging definitely makes it a product I would think of when looking for a cleanser to travel with as it ticks all boxes and would work well for removing make up.
You can read a full review of Eloquence Beauty here.

Next is an old favourite that I'm sure I've had far longer than I should it's a worry my face didn't drop off. Cleansing Balms are something of a 'thing' in blogger circles and I like to think I was unintentionally ahead of myself when I discovered Rodial Glamtox Cleansing BalmI initially saw this in Space NK, balked at the £50 price tag and then managed to purchase from QVC for half price. The problem is now I would happily pay the higher price because I really loved this cleanser. Whilst I enjoy using cleansing balms in there more traditional solid form found in pots which you 'dig out' and rub in, this is a balm 'liquid' which is dispensed via the pump. Far less faff in my opinion.

A pricey serum which I used as part of the Pycnogenol Challenge was Clarins Double Serum - Complete Age Control Concentrate*. We're told that if we're to spend our money on one particular skincare product it should be our serum and I would happily spend my pounds on this Clarins Serum. As I explained in my original post on the challenge I used this serum alongside supplements and couldn't deny that my skin was in the best condition it had been for a while, I feel that was down to the products I was using, namely the serum.

Transformulas Marine Miracle EyeZone* was the right mix of a light formula whilst packing a punch with its powerful ingredients which you can read about in my full review here. My eye area is the one I have most 'concern' for and I'm always conscious of keeping any fine lines in check and I can report that this product helped to do this.

A more affordable and subtle primer than say Benefit Professional is Nip+Fab Viper Venom Micro Blur* which I enjoyed using. I am using up my collection of primers which is made harder due to finding I've taken a step backward and am skipping the step! You can read a full review here.

I enjoyed the Nip+Fab Kale Make Up Removing Pads* for those nights when all I could manage is falling into bed. That said sometimes my eye make up would be irritating me and I'd reach for these in my bedside cabinet. My only major gripe is that they're quite small and I'd find I'd have to use a few before my face was clean. There's a full review here.

I wasn't particularly excited about F.O.Y Moisturising Day Cream* but nonetheless I used diligently that its made it's way into this post. Initially lacklustre about this day cream on use it did its job well and was a perfect cream for my mature skin whilst still wanting something light enough to combat the heat. You can read my review of the F.O.Y range here.

AEOS is a new to me brand that I've had an opportunity to try via their travel try me kit. I have a mix of the products in my travel minis draw and you will have seen the Hydrating Mist in my holiday skincare regime. Two products I used up swiftly were AEOS Gentle Cleansing Lotion (Blue)* and
AEOS Energising Conditioner*. This is a pricey brand with products around the £50 mark and whilst they have been nice to use I'm not sure if there's anything about them that makes me want to repurchase at that price. The cleansing lotion was akin to the usual wash off formulas and the Energising Condition whilst a nice step, was an extra one I don't think I want nor need.

Finally is the AVENE Micellar Water which I have little to say about other than it's handy size was perfect for nights away. It removed make up easily and I would repurchase but more than likely I'd go for a 'cheaper' option.

What skincare products have you been using up?

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Holiday Skincare Regime

A holiday can often be the perfect opportunity to abandon a skincare regime and reach for the face wipes but for me, despite the odd night at home when I forgo an evening routine on holiday I'm never more diligent. I don't know if it's the opportunity to work my way through the extensive stash of minis I have or the minimal luxury bathroom to pamper myself, but whatever the reasons I thought I'd share with you what accompanied me to Italy last month.

Disclaimer, I did take some face wipes with me, the Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Wipes* because despite the diligence sometimes that luxury bathroom is too far away. These tea tree wipes were more for freshening up on days sat round the pool or first thing in the morning. As a face wipe the tea tree is quite overpowering and for make up removal they're not the best.

Moving on to 'proper' cleansing, when travelling I like to use a cream cleanser or facial wash to serve as double duty for morning and evening routines. This trip I was trying out Gatineau Melatogenine Refreshing Cleansing Cream which is a 'triple-action formula' as a cleanser, toner and exfoliator so perfect for travel. Apparently its Gatineau's patented youth molecule, Melatogenine which helps remove make up, impurities and provide anti-ageing benefits and whilst I don't know if I look any younger at the end of the week away I can report that its make up removing capabilities were great. I'd liken this to the older sister to Liz Earles Hot Cloth Cleanser and for those who are looking for some more intensive ingredients.

Whilst Gatineau Cleansing Cream claims to offer toning I still took along AEOS Refreshing Hydrating Mist*. I was sent a travel size kit of the AEOS skincare regime and almost immediately on testing I liked the products and decided that I wanted to have them on hand for my travels due to their petite size.  Perhaps an unneeded step in my skincare regime and more suited for my long haul in flight make up bag I'll need in October but it's a product I've liked to use no doubt due to it refreshing and balancing the skin 'and mind' with its blend of essential oils and other premium ingredients.

The next step, again from Gatineau and the Collagene Expert Ultimate Smoothing Serum. I'm pretty certain a week is not long enough to speak to whether a serums is working it's magic but it did claim to plump up skin and smooth out wrinkles and I did find I was reaching for a primer of an evening less so than normal so I was happy with what was looking back at me in the mirror.

Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair* is an oldie but a goodie that I reach for whenever I'm travelling. Whether it's to be applied in flight or during the trip due to one too many late nights it tackles my fine lines perfectly. Many nutrients combine to create a hydrating cream that is light to use, doesn't interfere with make up and ensures that my eyes doesn't give away how many late nights I may have had.

For moisturiser I was using Algenist Power Advanced Wrinkle Fighter Moisturiser which had a lovely whipped texture that was neither too light nor thick for the weather. For mature skin, it is designed to diminish fine lines and wrinkles providing a plumper looking skin. Again a week isn't long enough to really give a thorough review and this little pot didn't last the full seven days but the combination of skincare I was using all worked well to ensure my skin was still looking great during my holiday. In fact since my return, being ill, tired and general suffering from post holiday blues my skin has been a mess!

My trip to Italy was in part to attend the christening of my friends son so the morning of I dished out sheet masks from MaskerAide*. I often take a long a hydrating mask when flying long haul but it's not something I think of when short haul but that will change. I chose the MaskerAide Pre Party Prep Hydrating Sheet Mask* to ensure my skin would look hydrated and be in perfect condition for piling on the make up. As sheet masks go these are fun to look at, perfect for a girls night in, and work a treat. I enjoyed the 10 minutes of bliss when I lay on my bed wearing the cooling mask even if Ben said I scared him!

Do you follow a skincare regime when you're on holiday?

*this post contains press sample and affiliate links

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Monthly Beauty Favourites | August 2016

Favourites posts always seem more difficult when I've been on holiday as I try and remember the products I loved before I took flight, or question whether the fact I took something on holiday makes it's a favourite. Here's the products which made the list.

First up is Champneys Citrus Blush Enlivening Shower Mousse* from the 'A Little Pick Me Up' range designed to add some zing to your shower routine and it's been doing just that. It's lemon scent is perfect for the mornings when I need all the help I can get. I'm enjoying using the mousse which feels lighter than a gel and for some unknown reason feels quicker to use!

Such a favourite was Palmer's Cocoa Butter Sunscreen Spray* and one I wanted to share that I carried the empty can home from Italy with me. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Sunscreen Spray is quite simply amazing and changed my life, certainly where holiday's are concerned.

Like many I find applying body lotions a chore, and none more so than when on holiday when it's necessary to apply your sunscreen before a day in the sun. Tacky formulas you have to wait to dry, white casts are a thing of the past as Palmer's have combined the new trend for quick and easy body lotions dispensed as spray with SPF.

A new launch from Palmer's (including your more traditional lotion which also got some use during my trip) and their first ever foray into suncare and I'm sold. I was concerned that perhaps the spray would mean I'd find a patchy tan or worse burnt patches from areas missed with the mist but I can report there were now. A light mist and a little massage of the skin to ensure all areas are covered and I was good to good.

This would be a perfect SPF to accompany on City Breaks as you could easily put on clothes immediately on applying and there was none of the staining you can find with other products. The only downside for some may be the scent which is the familiar one expected from Palmer's Cocoa Butter. As my friend commented after he used 'I smell like chocolate brownies' this is amazing.

The next three make up products were ones I was using leading up to my holiday and ones, the only of their type to take on holiday with me. Make Up Revolution Vivid Baked Highlights in Rose Gold Lights is such an amazing product I'm telling everyone they must buy. At only £3 the quality and finish is amazing and one I've had to consciously 'hide' away so that I can make a start testing and using other products. I love how this looks on my skin, accompanies any make up look and saves the need for highlighter if you're feeling a little lazy.

I've finally tracked down the L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Gold Obsession range on Feel Unique and am very tempted to purchase Pink Gold and Plum Gold for Autumn. It's Rouge Gold I'm feeling the love for right now and was the red I chose to accompany me on my holiday. It's 'wrapped in 23 carat gold pigments' formula creates a look to my red lip that is different to any others I own and makes a change from the matte lips that are dominating lately.

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation was one I wanted but couldn't justify purchasing. Lady luck stepped in in the form of my friend Rose who recently visited from the US last month. I'd asked her to pick up the Glow version which she was unable to track down so picked up this one for me instead. I'm even happier now I've been looking online and see that some people are saying the UK version isn't as good as the US one but I'll have to wait to pass judgement on that but on the tube I have I love. I'm always cautious when trying out a new foundation, especially if its a week day, what looks 'ok' at home could end up looking quite the opposite under the office lights but I'm pleased to say that L'Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation did not let me down.

Coverage is medium and when I take my time to apply it's flawless. As you'd expect if I'm a little slapdash, skip setting powders and have a particular rough day it might not wear as well but generally it's a foundation I can rely on and one I am reaching for often, so much so I committed to taking this on holiday with me. As such I can report it faired well under warmer conditions too.

Paired with this foundation has been the Primark PS Pro Medium Oval Brush which I didn't have very expectations for. These rather odd looking brushes are popping up on the high street following the higher end versions appearing to go down a storm. I have to confess I've thought them quite a gimmick and scoffed at peoples glowing reviews but when I saw this brush for only £4 I thought I'd give it a try. Whilst this was not a fair assessment as one will assume that the quality differs as much as the price I thought I'd at least get to experience it, rule it out and move on. Obviously that hasn't happened. I don't know if it's the brush head itself or design but it works. I do find that make up takes a little longer, and I do only mean by seconds, to apply as I find I'm more attentive when using this brush. It's dense brushes help create a flawless finish and foundation is buffed easily into skin. As you can see from the photo I haven't even had time to clean it before it was able to make its appearance on these pages.

There are more holidays ahead and plenty of products lined up to test before I jet off so stayed tuned for one or two hauls coming up. Let's see what makes September favourites.

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Back to School with HEMA

Back To School Stationery

It’s been a long time since I’ve gone ‘back to school’ following the holidays but that doesn’t mean I can’t take advantage of the shops updating their stationery lines and adding a few pieces to my stash. I know it’s something of a blogger cliché to claim you love stationery but it stands to reason if we’re into ‘aesthetics’ and having to constantly prep and plan blog posts we want something pretty to write our never ending to do lists down in.

I’m also sure I’ve shared with the story of when I was a child I didn’t like chocolate(!) and instead of receiving Easter Eggs I would be given various stationery items as I liked ‘writing’ so much. My nostalgic stories aside HEMA got in touch following my thumbs up of their Beauty Range and asked if I’d like to receive some items from their Back to School range. Never one to turn down the opportunity for a new fancy pants notebook I said yes!

As I said when first introduced to HEMA it’s a brand much like Flying Tiger and similarly priced. The items I’m sharing with you today are all priced around £2 which, whilst I have a lot of love for Paperchase makes it slightly more affordable – especially if you’re anything like me you go through notebooks a rapid rate.

Back To School Stationery

The bunny print notebook* is very cute and typical of the style I like. Lightweight, A5 sized and with ruled pages. It’s just the right blogger companion. There are a variety of designs and prints available from HEMA whatever your taste although if you like something smaller, the A6 sized two pack of notebooks* is a great fit. Again it’s lined, something of a must for me when it comes to notebooks and it’s elasticated closure allows some stashing of additional paper notes. The one colour design means you’re able to customise if that is your preference and again, HEMA have you sorted with an array of stickers. I’m a bit of a fan of these sticky notes which decorate my ramblings and make things look a little more pleasing. In fact my niece took one look at these and whipped them away before I was able to enjoy thoroughly.

Interestingly the product I’m enjoying the most is the 12 pack of highlighters*. I’ve currently got quite a good notebook system in place, certainly not to bullet journal standards but something that works for me being able to make all my blog notes whilst covering off the everyday life to dos. Highlighting various sections has been necessary to draw my eye to various points and being able to use a variety of colours has been even more effective for my notetaking.
Unlike you’re ‘regular’ highlight these have a finer nib so I don’t find my page is overtaken with more highlighter than the actual ‘note’ I’m making.

What are your back to school essentials and where do you shop for them? 

*this post contains press samples

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

On The Desk Beauty Essentials

Carmex New Flavours

Today I’m back to work after a wonderful week spent in Italy – apologies for the social media spam of my trip – so I thought it was appropriate to share with you some of my essentials I keep either on the desk or close to hand.

First up is two less than sexy products, Tweezerman Pointed Tweezer and Elegant Touch Cuticle Nippers and both for less than sexy reasons. Both these are new additions to my ‘on the desk’ beauty after many occasions where I’d see or feel a stray hair or have a hang nail which would be cause of irritation, no amount of chewing (see, sexy!) would tackle or I’d make it worse meant I needed the tools on hand to do the job properly and mean I could carry on with my work for the day.

Tweezerman and Elegant Touch are both great brands that create the ideal tools for these types of jobs. Yes it was difficult spending £20 on ‘tweezers’ but when I think about how often I use them and that they do the job properly – we’ve all had a dodgy pair of tweezers right – I don’t mind so much. And cost per use is always fair.

Moving on to the more pleasant products and it’s no surprises a hand cream is featured. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I think if there is one ‘favourite’ beauty product of all time it’s hand cream. For someone who had previously never bothered with hand cream I now go through tubes of the stuff and I need one close to hand (pardon the pun) at all times. Currently I’m enjoying another scent from Roger & Gallet Bois D’Orange Hand CreamSublime* and I’m a big fan of their hand creams. Non greasy and a variety of scents to please everyone and even better for this time of year there’s an SPF of 15.

Interestingly this Sublime fragrance will take you on a ‘radiant journey through the sun-filled orange groves of Italy’ that it’s a timely reminder of my recent trip. I love orange scents and this is just the right note without being overpowering or my hands smelling like I’ve peeled an orange.

Another fruity scent, and reminder of the cocktails I indulged in on my trip is the newest flavour from Carmex,Peach and Mango Burst*. I’ve been enjoying Carmex recently as their Cherry favour resides in my sofa stash and is reached for regularly and then of course there’s the Leopard Print Pot I keep in my handbag. This newest scent, if you’ll allow me to state the obvious is a delicious ‘tasting’ Peach and Mango that feels like Summer every time I apply. I wasn’t, and am not really a fan of the way these tubes dispense the product as I do find them a little messy but I like the product enough that I disregard that and slather on with abandon. As I say the Cherry flavour sits at home and is popped on at night when I’m not too worried about mess and in work I favour Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me as it has a sheer tint that allows me to hide any diminishing red lipstick and saves reapplying when I’m feeling lazy. That said on some occasions I’m finding lips a little drier because I’m perhaps wearing a matte lip and need to moisturise before reapplying on a night out and that’s when I reach for Carmex Peach and Mango Burst.

Of course there are many other products I keep to hand in my desk draw, even a spare dress for impromptu nights out! Do let me know if you’d like a further peek inside my desk drawers and what I have to hand in case of a beauty emergency. 

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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