Winter Favourite and Current Fav Brand

I don’t believe in writing about something until I find a product that’s worth shouting about. In my last post I mentioned that ive incorporated a vitamin c serum into my skincare regime, using every morning underneath my usual moisteriser.   I have now used this serum for the past 3 months each morning and I am still so impressed by it.  The serum I have been using is the Balance Active Formula Vitamin C Power serum, pictured here (its a real shame that I didnt take before and after pics of my skin since using it but will remeber to do this for future posts):

thumbnail_img_9906

Vitamin C Power Serum

What can I say about this amazing serum?, for a start I love the brand. It doesn’t advertise much and doesn’t invest heavily in branding, so your are not paying for basic ingredient (many many – too many to mention brands have products made up of cheap basic ingredients that are proven to work, rename the ingredients and sell them at extremely high prices, what you’re paying for with some brands are not fancy ingredients, but the branding and advertising costs).. rant over, back to Balance Active. This brand seems different in a way that the product range takes ingredients that are proven to work such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C and sells them without the extortionate price tag.  The results I have found have been the same if not better. Using Vitamin C each morning has rid me of my usual winter dry flaky skin and replaced it with smoother more clear skin. I have used this for 3 months and will do until it stops working. It has completely faded some old acne scars, and has lightened some discoloration in some areas so that my skin looks a bit more eventoned.  I have seen visible results however this isnt the only reason to use vitamin C. It is a really good antioxidant so that all the toxins and free radicals that the skin is exposed to will have a less of an effect due to vitamin c protecting the skin. The good thing about it as that you could still change your moisteriser as this is only to be worn underneath. I also think the vitamin c in this serum has been stabilised in some way as doesnt seem to ‘go off’ once the bottles been opened.

The serum itself takes around 10 seconds to sink in and doesn’t leave greasy film as i’ve found with some serums, it also hasnt broke me out in spots how some others have. It’s really really good for dark circles but this will only be noticed after around 2 weeks use every day.

I will surely use the other products by this brand especially the moiserisers and will let you know what I think of them.

The Balance Active Formula website can be viewed Here

 

Thanks For Reading  X O X O

Advertisements

Liz Earle Product Review

Liz Earle I first came across Liz Earle as a skincare brand when I found out that my sister uses products in the range. She had been using the moisturiser for a few years and I thought I would give it a try myself. Back then the only place that I could find that sold Liz Earle in my hometown was House of Fraser, but nowadays it is available in John Lewis, QVC shopping and in the Liz Earle store. (also available on to buy on the Liz Earle website).

Over the years I tried most of the products in the range, some I found brilliant and continued to use, others didn’t suit me so much. Here are my thoughts and review for each product.

Cleanse & Polish
The star product of the range, This cream cleanser comes with a muslin cloth which should be rinsed in hot water and used to remove the cleanser. The cleanser removed all traces of dirt and makeup brilliantly, even very stubborn mascara. It has a nice fragrance and smells quite fresh. Once this is rubbed into the skin it emulsifies even more, making dirt and makeup melt off. The muslin cloth that comes with this is off good quality, i’ve had mine for several years and they get softer and softer every time they are washed. I have used other muslin cloths, however they were not half as good as this one. Using the cloth also keeps the skin clear from spots as it also gently exfoliates the skin. Dead skill cells is one of the main causes as spots and acne, therefore the cleanser would suit those wanting clearer and spot free skin. I love this cleanser, and each year it has won awards, which shows how popular it is.

Skin Repair Moisteriser
I’ve done a pros and cons list for this which should sum it up, I’ve used the one for normal skin, and I have used several jars of this over the years.
Pros – nice texture, feels very comforting and smells nice, gets rid of dry patches, skin feels thicker, stronger and firmer. Good ingredients that are natural.

cons – short-lived effects – after using for couple of weeks mY skin got used to the product and I wanted to switch to something else, no spf at all, sometimes too oily and made me come out in spots. Better for dry skin, maybe I should have used the light version.

Daily Eye Repair
One of my fav products in the range, this eye cream really suprised me as I did not think that I would like it as much as I do. It is white in colour and comes in a really good tube with a narrow nozzle. THis is good as it makes it easy to control how much comes out of the tube. You only need a really small amount as it spreads amazingly well and a little goes a long way. Once on, it makes eyes look instantly brighter, this is due to the light reflective particles in the cream. It has a spf of 10, and it is a mineral spf rather than a chemical one. This is great as chemical sunscreens can cause allergies when applied to the eye area, and also, chemical sunscreens are sometimes seen as unsafe and a cause of ageing. It comes in 10ml which is small but fine as a tube will last a couple of months at least.

Eye Bright
use this on cotton wool and apply to eye area for 10-15 mins to refresh tired eyes. It works well, doesnt sting, and I feel that it should be used regularly for any benefit to be gained from this. It lessens the look of dark circles and can be used as a last minute treatment to make eyes look bright and fresh.

Smoothing Line Serum
Another favourite product for me! I use this as a light night moisteriser on some occasions because it works like an overnight mask and good to use the night before a big day to make the whole face look brighter and more radiant. However, it is a night eye cream, I feel that I can’t comment on its effects as an eye serum as I ended up using this on my whole face! I will be using this when I run out of my night cream and will post a review once i’ve used it.

Superskin Concentrate
I used this product and wasnt amazed by it, I think it would be good to use if you have dry skin concerns. It smells nice and is worth a try if you are an oil user, however I found other oils that sank in a lot quicker and where there was a visible difference.

Brightening Treatment Mask and Deep Cleansing Mask
I use both of these and they are good to use before an evening/day out as the effects can be seen instantly. Skin looks clearer and brighter with both of these.

http://uk.lizearle.com/

Farrah Tells….. Q&A

I have been thinking of doing a Q & A section for my blog for a while so I thought I would make a start this week. Reading other beauty blogs is something I enjoy doing when I have a spare moment or two; I particularly find it interesting reading about other products that beauty bloggers rate, especially as they’ve probably tried a fair few!.

One such blogger is Farrah Gray, author of the blog Farrah Tells….It Like It is.  Farrah has been blogging for a while and is a former MUA. So naturally, she would have come accross a range of products in her time and has developed blogging expertise.  I have personally followed her blog and always found it insightful.

In the Q&A, she gives her advise on successful blogging, and some of her favourite products.

Q:  What are your 3 dessert island skincare products that you would not be without?

A:

1. Sarah chapman cleanser 

2. A stash of flannels or sarah chapman ‘s cleansing mitts.

3. P50 exfoliating toner
 
Q: Same for make-up?
1. Tinted moisturiser with SPF (liz earle’s skin tint or chantecaille’s tinted moisturiser)
2. Blusher (either a nars multiple or Face Stockholm cream blusher)
3. Moisturising lip tint (carmex moisture plus in pink)
 
Q. How do you find new topics to blog about and how do you motivate yourself?
A: Gosh, this is a hard question. Finding a topic is easy, I have a book full of topics/subjects, it’s finding the time to do it frequently. If I was good at photography, I would blog way more than I do, I just find that part of blogging the hardest. Also, because I’m so eager to try products, by the time I’m ready to blog about them, they look so abused! Haha
As I work in the industry, I always have products to review and talk about but I mainly write about brands, products and treatments that actually work and I recommend.
 
Q: Which female celebrity fashion style inspires you the most?
A:  Hmmm, I don’t have one. I’m inspired by girls all around me, could be fellow bloggers, strangers in the street, friends, my sisters. 
 
Q:Pick one celebrity who does make-up well?
A: Gisele, she always has glowing skin which still shows her freckles – I love that. I hate to see caked on make up. 
 
Q: How did you get started in makeup artistry and PR?
A: I started working for Calvin Klein cosmetics on a make up counter when the brand first came to the uk and from there I worked for space.nk, Nars and jumped into freelance work. After working for years as a freelancer, I was ready for a new challenge and went to uni to do a pr degree.
 
Q: What would be your ultimate skin tip for women?
A: Make sure you wash every last trace of make up off- Double cleanse!
 
Q: What is the number one makeup mistake women make?
A:  I could give you so many examples here, but to give you one I would say wearing the wrong colour foundation. When being colour matched in store, go out the store into the daylight and check it is a match, lighting in department stores isn’t the best.
 If you’re really struggling for a match, mix two colours and create your own custom colour.
 
Q: Favourite skincare brands and why?
A:  Revive for it’s eye renewal cream, such an expensive brand but brilliant long term results.
Bioeffect for it’s serum, one of my fave products of all time. It’s pricey so can’t buy it all the time, due a replen so must start saving.   P50 exfoliating toner, my mother got me into this product, she’s been using it for years and I have recently started using it. My mother has great skin and has hardly ages thanks to this product.
 Sarah chapman for her affordable yet brilliant cleanser.
 
Q: You have been blogging for a while, what were the first few lessons you learnt to be a successful blogger?
A: Network! Network! network! Use twitter, instagram etc, go to blogger meets. Comment on bloggers posts. Blog frequently. Be genuine.
 
So there you have it, I must say i have read very good reviews of bioeffect myself and may have to try it out!..so I also must start saving!.
Below is the link to Farrahs blog here on WordPress….
 
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Thanks For reading ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Elemis Facials

I have only been for a couple of facial treatments in all my life. To be honest, I have found that although facials offer a relaxing experience, there are no significant lasting affects on my skin. For facials to make a true difference to your skins health and radiance, they need to be done at least once every fortnight or couple of weeks. The problem with this is that the majority of us can’t take the time out, and a decent facial starts at £50 and upwards. Also, I find when doing a DIY facial, you can leave the products on for a longer time and therefore they will probably work better.

As i’m a one-off facial kind of person, it works out better for me to do my own DIY facials using premium products.

My facial products of choice come from Elemis.  I love Elemis because they are a British brand and they put years into researching ingredients for their products. Elemis masks contain key ingredients that are naturally found and are proven to improve skin.

I have used all of the elemis masks in the past and my favourites are ones that I would buy over any other mask. The masks and exfoliator are around £25-£28 each, which may seem pricey, however worth getting even if you only have a couple of facials a year as the products will last more than 6 months with regular use.

My elemis facial regime

Start with Elemis Papaya Enzyme mask.  Made from, you guessed it, papaya enzyme, which is proven to melt away dead skin cells. This is a cream exfoliator, I would always use exfoliator before applying a mask, as this is one way for the mask to get deeper into the skin.  I would leave the exfoliator on for 30 minutes as this is a gentle exfoliator that doesn’t irritate my skin. This costs around £28 for 50ml.

The masks which are my favourites are;

Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising mask  (for dry skin, or skin that can use some added moisture, this one can be left on overnight and I would recommend doing so. Costs around £28 for 50ml)

Elemis Fruit Active Rejuvenating Mask (for dullness, great for Indian skin that tends to loose its glow and can look dull, I would leave this on for 30 minutes, costs around £25 for 75ml)

I would pick one of the two.

I tend never to go by the time suggested on the instructions and always double the time to get a better affect.

I buy my Elemis products from this website which does good discounts and has regular offers and free samples. 

http://www.timetospa.co.uk/

Of course there are always cheaper products that also deliver good DIY facial results, my recommendations are:

St Ives apricot exfoliator – this is my favourite non-cream grainy exfoliator and it really does get rid of even the driest dead skin.

No 7 Heavenly Hydration Moisture Mask (£12.50 for 100ml), and Origins Drink Up Mask (around £20 for 50ml), or Sanctuary Moisture Mask (£2.50 for 15ml sachet that lasts around 4 uses). All of these can be compared to the Elemis Moisture Mask as they can all be left of overnight.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Thanks for reading ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Say goodbye to winter skin…..

Botanics Super Balm

Botanics Super Balm

Hey everyone, its me again.. I thought today I would do a post on a product I came across about a year ago and is a bit of a winter skinsaver. 

I love applying Vaseline last thing at night to my face, mainly as I do get dry patches. Now I know very well how unatural it is to do this.. someone once said that it is like putting petrol on my face!!, therefore I wanted something with the same consistency but more natural. I also wanted a product that sunk in quicker and wasn’t as greasy as Vaseline.

Enter.. Boots Botanics Super Balm.   

This product used to be sold as ‘organic’, but someone somewhere discovered that It wasn’t actually 100% natural and therefore it was re-packaged as 93% organic. For me, this is fine as it is quite unreasonable to expect a product that costs under £5 to be 100% organic considering how much it costs to source naturally derived ingredients.

Anyways, onto the review.  This product is raved about and scored very highly on Makeup Alley skincare reviews. I would say after trying it for a year that it’s one that I always have in my draw.  It gets rid of parched dry skin instantaneously and the results can be seen when used as a night cream. I would not use this in the day as it is greasy, so be warned.

It smells very ‘natural’ and contains the following ingredients: shea butter, argan oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil canina seed oil. check out the makeup alley review here: http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/itemid=122582

 

It costs around £3.99 and is only available from Boots.  The last few times I have tried to buy this it has not been in stock, which shows its popularity!.  Other balms I have used are Elizabeth Ardens 8 hour cream and Balm Balm organic skin balm. I must say I prefer Botanics to both of these. However it is only an 11ml pot which is tiny, but lasts a while as you only need the tiniest amount. Its also great for carrying around 🙂

Boots Time Delay Wrinkle Prevention Day Cream

untitled

Hey everyone, my post today features my favourite day moisturiser, the one that I have been using since it was announced ‘best steal’ day moisturiser in the 21st Beauty Bible in 2006. 

Now I’m not overly loyal when it comes to products, and do believe in switching products, but here is one that Ive yet to deviate from.

Some of the numerous reasons it was voted best moisturiser is because it is full of antioxidants, some of which are only found in quite high end moisturisers. Boots claim that it ‘boosts skin radiance’ which I have found to be true. The best thing about this moisturiser is that it does keep skin exfoliated and radiant probably due to its ingredient retinyl, a form of vitamin A.

It is SPF 15, it was SPF 8 in its original formula, which in my view was a downside however they seemed to have increased the SPF over the years.  The cream itself is not too thick and not too runny. Its a good consistency and sinks in quite quickly on my skin. It has a nice fragrance which reminds me of sweets. Its a fruity/sweet kind of smell almost sherbet.

Despite the cream being an oldie, it is still written about which shows its continuing popularity. The Daily mail newspaper listed it under its article on best affordable skincare, it came in best for sun protection. The sun newspaper also gave it a mention in its article on the 5 ingredients that will change your skin forever.

Its usual price is around £11, and I tend to stock up on this when Boots have a 3 for 2 offer on or when its discounted. As I use the eye cream as well, it works out better to do this.

All in all it is very easy to continue using this moisturiser as it contains the main things required in any good anti-aging cream. A good level of SPF and antioxidants. Its also very affordable which makes repeat purchasing easy. Especially when you go through as many jars as I do!

 

My must have products!!

002

Ok, so this is not so much a review but more of a list of products that I swear by….

I seem to have accumulated and tried my different cosmetics over the years,  so I felt now was the right time to pick some of my favourites. These are the ones I would always go back to.

So here are my favs and the reason why I love them so much…..

Favourite Radiance booster/Primer: so far, it has to be Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. A best selling, award winning radiance booster from Clarins. Retails for around £24 in UK cosmetic counters, Boots and Superdrug.  I must also mention here that I have managed to find a pretty good dupe for the beauty flash balm, in the form of Boots Time Delay Radiance Booster.. which is around £6-£7.  (More on Boots Time Delay in later reviews).

I use this as a primer and prefer it to Smashbox Photofinish, Mac Strobe Cream and Estee Lauder Spotlight.  In my view it delivers more noticeable results and has a nicer texture. I find Smashbox products a bit on the greasy side.

The reason I love this product is because it really is a multi-tasking product. It makes a brilliant primer base for make up, it is quite moisturising and has good glow factor.  It has a salmon colour, but will look clear once it has been applied. This is a great plus point as far as I’m concerned, because the salmon colour works on the skin as a colour corrector. The colour counteracts any dullishness you may have going on, it seems to also counteract yellow tones and redness, which is especially more noticeable in pictures!. I would recommend wearing this one on days when you will be photographed!.

 

Best Foundation:  Bare Minerals I.D.  The range is now on the shelves at Debenhams and some Boots, and is widely available at online retailers. Anyone who has used this will know why it is a favourite. It has good coverage and feels very light on the skin. Almost feels like you have nothing on!.

The colours range is fair, medium, medium beige or dark.  You do not have to be very precise with the colour, picking the one you think is the closest match will work as they are all highly blendable. The finish is good and very long lasting.

 

Best mascara for under £10:  My favourite in this category is Maybelline Great Lash and Maybelline Colossal Volume Express. Reasons why? not clumpy, lasts all day, never found bits of mascara on cheek!, comes off fairly easily with cleanser, not runny despite not being waterproof.

Favourite blush: I have many great blushers and find that most on the market are quite good. However, one that I thought especially note worthy, mainly because of the price and quality is Lacura Powder Blush. There are only a couple of colours in the range, I use sunset which is a peach tone and will work will with most skin tones. (I have asian skin and it works well). It is around £2 from Aldi stores. 

Favourite liquid liner:  For me, a black liquid liner must be highly pigmented and not budge of out of place. This favourite does both: Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner. It retails for around £8 in most boots/superdrug stores. I have tried many, and found most are not dark enough, leave gaps in the line, do not go on well or just come off too quickly.

Best concealer under £10:  Now, concealers are tricky business. Most people tend to stick with the same concealer once they find the ideal colour match.  Colour is definitely the number one deciding factor when it comes to concealers.  But we all know texture and staying power can be equally as important. My current favourite is Maybelline Super Stay 24hr Concealer. I wear it in shade medium beige (I am NC40 skin tone). This one is good for wheatish indian skin tones. It is a yellow base concealer, which does not budge until you wash it off.  I am on my 5th tube of this after using Mac, My Face (discontinued at Boots) and Physicians Formula Double Ended Concealer (not available in UK).

Favourite Nude Lipliner: I have not found better than Marks and Spencer Autograph Nude Pink Lipliner and Rimmel Eastend Snob. Favourite nudes generally?  I would have to say Revlon and Mac especially Mac in shade Velvet Teddy. (Revlon do many nude Mac dupes!!)

So there you have it, my current favourites. 

I have found that all makeup brands have a line of product which they make particularly well, such as:

Maybelline: love their mascaras, eye liners, concealer. Good staying power, no clumps.

Bourjois: Best textures and colours for neutral coloured make up. Especially eye liners if you like golden/olive/khaki/metal/grey colours as an alternative to black. Powders in the range do not look chalky, have an expensive looking sheen, good texture and highly pigmented. 

Revlon: I wear a lot of nudes as mentioned earlier and I find Revlon do good nude lipsticks.

Mac: good for products such as skinfinish.Good lipsticks.

Marks and Spencer Per Una do good eye shadows, as do Autograph. Very good neutral colour palettes, as well as deeper shades.

Asda’s own brand mascara V’s one that used from Loreal:  The Asda mascara came out on top as less clumpy! So it goes to show, cheaper products do not mean lower quality some of the time!.

Rimmel: Really good nude lip liners colours. I also think they do well in concealers although one of the best concealers is now discontinued!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥Thanks for reading!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

my HD BROW treatment..

002007003

HD Brows have been around for a while, for those of you new to HD brows, this is what the treatment consists of… HD brows in a multiple step process of brow shaping and defining that is done by threading, tinting, plucking and waxing, in order to create the most ideal shaped brows to compliment ones face.

 

I had my first treatment today at a local skin clinic.  I found my local HD brow specialist by firstly checking the HD BROWS website. 

http://www.hdbrows.com/

So before my appointment, I was required to do a skin patch test to ensure that I was not allergic to the dye that will be used.  This was an over the counter test for which an appointment was nor required.

On the actual day of the treatment,  I was a bit anxious about the dye being too dark and the possibility of walking out looking as if I had a Caterpillar sitting on my eyebrows… however as my treatment began I felt more at ease.  My therapist briefly talked me through the process and began by dying my brows.  The dye does actually tint the skin too, ensuring that any gaps in the eyebrows appear ‘filled’.

The dye was on for 10 minutes, and once removed my brows were waxed from above and below, with any stray hairs plucked. 

All in all, the waxing took the longest amount of time (around 20 minutes), and the application was very precise. 

At the end of the treatment, I was quite happy with the result, but do decide for yourself by checking out my before and after pics (the pics on the left are the HD brows, the one on the right is my ‘before’ pic..  I liked the fact that my brows looked darker, more defined  and arched.  My brows now framed my face better than they used to, and gave my overall eye area more definition.  Overall, I would recommend the treatment if you are concerned with the shape of your eye brows, and like me,  cant seem to change the shape on your own by growing, filling etc..

The HD Brow treatment cost £25, but this is not a standard price, and prices for HD brows do tend to vary, many salons who are just starting out in HD brows will also offer introductory offers.

 

 

 

Drink yourself to good skin!…..


Those who know me well know that I love tea.
I have been drinking Red Bush (aka Rooibos tea) for a while now since I switched from my usual black tea a couple of years ago.  It takes a bit of getting used to but for me, has now become a tasty and healthier alternative to my usual cuppa….

Red bush tea is naturally caffeine free and is low in tannins.  Its great to drink last thing at night as it will not keep you up.  It contains similar amounts of polyphenols and has been shown to have anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity. This tea originates from South Africa, where its skin benefits are widely known. Red bush tea is applied directly to skin to treat all kinds of conditions in South Africa. It is great especially if you have a problem with acne, eczema, scarring, imflammation or tend to suffer from skin allergies. It makes the skin more stable and more resiliant. Red bush tea it is great for neutralising free radical damage caused by sunlight and environmental factors due to its high antioxidant level. Another name for red bush tee is rooibos, which means ‘red bush’ in afrikaans.

Click here to visit the red bush tea company site to find out more, where it is available and to order your free sample.