Wednesday, 18 December 2013

L'Occitane's Angelica Hydration Face Cream £30

Our skin can feel dry this time of year (in the UK anyway). But whether the weather is hot or cold you are always in need of a good moisturiser.
I am a lover of serums but it could be said that your moisturiser is one of the most important products in your skincare routine. Your moisturiser creates a protective barrier that boosts our natural oils to protect from the elements. Facial moisturisers can dramatically change the texture and overall look of your skin. 

There are so many face creams on the market promising brightening, toning, protecting, clarifying, hydrating, smoothing properties. But what do I want from a moisturiser? Just all of the above! Is that too much to ask? Surely not these days..

I have been testing L'Occitane's Angelica Hydration Cream £30.,83,1,29954,272249.htm

This moisturiser can be used day and night and is for normal to combination skin types.

Angelica root extract- Hydrates, protects against the environment (free radicals)
Glycerin- Retains the moisture in the skin
Shea Butter- Protects and nourishes
Borage seed oil- anti-inflammatory, good on spots and redness
Peppermint- Antibacterial, good on spots, and balances the oils in the skin (good for oily T-Zones)

I was surprised at how many natural and organic ingredients this product contained. I love the smell of this cream, it reminds me of freshly cut grass, so refreshing. I applied the cream day and night. It has a light texture which absorbs quickly in to the skin.

I have only been using this product for one week and feel like I need to give it a chance because of all the goodness that it has in it. I have recently had a few blemishes, which is not great as this cream is supposed to help with spots! It may be a little bit too stimulating for me or it could have been those chocolates!

I have seen mixed reviews so what's the verdict? I will keep you posted!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Dr. Nicholas Perricone Super Cleanser

You have the creamy ones, foaming ones, gel ones, ones for sensitive skins, ones for dry/oily/normal skins. So many choices!
My preference is a creamy cleanser in the evening which will remove all my make-up and that is gentle enough to use on the eyes. I cannot be doing with a separate eye make-up remover. Then in the morning I use a gel or foam texture which all helps with the waking up process.

This is a creamy cleanser which I have never heard of so of course I had to try it! Again I purchased from TK Maxx for around £7.00.
So far my favourite cleansers to use in the evening are Lush's Ultra Bland and Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish.

What is the criteria for a creamy cleanser?
Texture- not too thin
Natural ingredients- LOTS
Removes make-up and dirt effectively

You will be surprised that I haven't added fragrance to the list, but that would be a bonus. It just has to be effective.

Ingredients: Blueberry, Blackberry, Apple, Grape, Raspberry, Apricot, Acai powder, Cocoa seed butter, Tamanu seed oil
The tamanu seed oil and cocoa butter help this product glide on to the face easily and to stop the skin from drying out. The fruit extracts are full of vitamins and have brightening properties. So your skin will not only be cleansed effectively but also look brighter.

It states to apply on to damp skin however I prefer to apply it on to dry skin. Two pumps in circular motions. You should always use circular movements as our pours are round and we want to deep clean them. Then remove with a warm, damp muslin cloth or flannel or cotton wool, whichever takes your fancy!
The smell is quite unusual. Very sweet, but I have grown to like it. It removes all traces of make-up and my skin has kept clear while using it.

Still think that Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish is my winning cleanser so far, but this will take a close second and was kinder to my purse.

Which is your cleanser of choice?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Argan Plus Body Lotion

What do I expect from a body lotion?
Easy application (pump or a tub container)
Quick absorbsion
Glides on to the skin for minimal effort
Smells nice
Uses natural ingredients
last longer than a month......Not a lot then!!!

Argan Plus body lotion, £8.00 TK Maxx
I purchased this product as I have never heard of the brand and I was interested by the quantity of natural ingredients as well as the size of it (500ml)
The application is dead easy as it comes with a pump. The texture is just light, quickly absorbing and it smells like a tropical cocktail of natural goodness. yum!

Argan Oil- Ant-Ageing and super moisturising
Mango butter- full of goodness! vitamin A, C and E
Acai Berries- Anti-oxidant. Full of vitamin C
Other nourishing ingredients- Coconut oil, glycerin, shea butter, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, more vitamin C and E
I'm loving this product and it cost me just over £8! Bargain buy.
I often use it as a hand cream and every time I shower/bath.

Tip: you have just 3 minutes before your skin starts to dry out after being in contact with water. 
So be quick to apply!

I will be buying again. Thank you TK Maxx. You've done it again.

Tell me your favourite body cream? 

Monday, 9 December 2013

New Year, New Skincare Habits

So the New year is fast approaching us and what a great time to get in to some good skincare habits.
I often have customers that find it difficult to stick to a beauty routine. Here are my top tips:

1) Make it achievable! 
If you have never used a moisturiser then it more than likely you will not use a toner, serum and eye cream. If you are not used to using skincare then start off with the most important products- a cleanser and moisturiser, and build up your routine from there.

2) Fit it in with your daily routine
If you shower first thing in the morning then use your cleanser in the shower and then use your other products straight afterwards. If you love the feel of water on your skin use a cleansing foam or gel. If your skin is dry then try a cleansing milk. I know that this just sounds obvious but so many people start a new skincare routine that is alien to them which doesn't fit in with their lifestyle and the products go in the draw never to see light again! Get products that for your skin type and that will fit in with your day.

3) Force yourself for the first 20 times
Anything that's new will feel strange when you first start, but it is said once you get past 13 times it will start to feel natural. So bare with it! Maybe cross it off the calendar or mark it in your dairy. It will feel like an achievement I promise, especially when you start to see a difference on your skin.

4) Set up an easy access area
Make sure you are set with all the tools you need with cotton pads and all your beautiful products.
This could be by your side table in your living room or a shelf in your bathroom. Think of what has stopped you from using products before. Was it because the bathroom is upstairs and you are relaxing in the living room?  

Here is my bathroom.

I have baskets in my bathroom that I put my products in. These aren't all my products but ones I need to hand. I have a make-up bag for my make-up, then my first basket has my cleanser, lotion, serum, moisturiser and eye balm. In front is my fragrance I am currently using, which I have out of the basket for easy access. The middle basket is for my boyfriends products. The basket on the far right has all my hair care needs with brushes, clips, dry shampoo and so on.
I use muslin cloths, which I keep the clean ones in the airing cupboard and one that I am using by the sink area.

By my shower I have my face scrub, shampoo, conditioner, hair mask and shower oil that I use.

This is what works for me, but it will be different for others.

Here are some other examples.

My mother always has done her skincare regime in bed. She has a draw beside her bed that has all her products in and she uses a cleansing milk which she removes with a toner (so no need for the water). 

A friend uses a 3-in-one cleanser with cotton wool that she uses when she gets in from work while enjoying her favourite program on the box. 

A customer I know always checks her emails first thing in the morning so keeps her products by her computer.

What works for you? 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas Discounts at TK Maxx

I'm trying my best this Christmas not to go mad with spending hundred of pounds on gifts. I often make small gifts to go with my purchases, which this year will be fudge and candles. Lucky people!
This is also my first year of shopping online and I have been very impressed with the great offers TK Maxx has on top cosmetic brands. Why pay full price when you don't have to?
Here are my favourites:

Nail inc. Colour Collection, RRP £44, TK Maxx £14
I may split these in to two gifts! This is great value at just £3.50 each nail vanish. 

Christian Breton Eyelash Builder, RRP £36.44, TK Maxx £12.99
It's all about the lashes, and this would be a product that I wouldn't normally buy myself, but would love to have.

Lancome Paris, La Maison Make Up Palette £29.99
This is a beautiful limited edition which unfortunately I could not find it's original price. I'm transported to Paris. Stunning.

Parisax Profressional Make-up case RRP £29.99 TK Maxx £29.99
Who doesn't like to organise their make-up and cosmetics. So satisfying, especially in the new year.

I am currently using a Dr. Nicholas Perricone cleanser and love it. Again not everyone would buy themselves a mask, or may not have time. I like the idea of a speedy detox mask in just 3 minutes.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Melvita face scrub review £16

Facial scrubs are just as prescriptive as facial moisturisers and I am very fussy when it comes to purchasing one. Either the granules are too small/big or not there's not enough/too many of them!
Hopefully you have a scrub in your skincare routine. I would use one every other day or twice a week. A good scrub will also instantly brighten and smooth your skin, so it is essential for getting your make-up to glide on to the face and keeping your skin clear.,8,1,4945,4919.htm
Melivita Foaming Facial Scrub £16

I like my scrub to be quite rough and feel as though it is doing something. I am not too keen in the gel or foaming formulas, which this is, but I will give anything a go.

Melvita makes organic, natural cosmetics that is a sister company of L'Occitane. This is the first of it's skin care range that I have tried.

Glycerine and carnauba wax-  Keeps the skin moist 
Sunflower seed oil- Healing/moisturising
Bamboo tears- antioxidant, anti-aging
Silica- This is the exfoliant particles
Pink Corallina- A seaweed rich in calcium that promotes healthy cell renewal

This facial scrub smells of grapefruit, which was nice but not particularly special. I used a pea size on dampened cleansed skin, using circular motions. Wasn't sure on the texture as it was slightly runny (I now shake the bottle before using). I used a damp muslin cloth to remove.
I would have liked the scrub to be slightly more abrasive, but this would be the right texture I'm sure for most. My skin was definitely brighter and smoother.      

I purchased this product from TK Maxx for just over £4. BARGAIN! I am happy with it but wouldn't buy at it's retail price of £16.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Review, Divine eye cream, L'Occitane £46

How often do you apply a hand cream? Couple of times a day? Once a day?
What about an eye cream? Day and night? Once a day? Once a week?.... Never?
Just like our hands, our eyes are constantly being used, however I feel it is a product that is overlooked. I am one of those people!

Divine Eyes, L'Occitane £46
Your eye area is 6 times thinner than the rest of your face so it is really important to use a specific product for the eyes. Your moisturiser is too thick and can actually do more harm than good and should only go as far as your eye socket.
The product I have been testing is L'Occitane's Divine Eye Cream. This is a high end product costing £46.00 that contains natural plant extracts and oils. It claims to be a 'one does all' product, which I like, and be effective on puffiness, dark circles and lines.

Key ingredients:
-Rose to calm the skin. Also good for lines
-Buckwheat extract for puffiness
-Ash tree extract for dark circles
-Organic Immortelle flower extract for smoothing the skin
-Hyaluronic acid that is encapsulated so that you get 24 hour hydration
Sounds magical!!

I applied half a pump of the eye cream around the eye socket after moisturising. This felt very calming and cooling with a light creamy texture. I had no problems applying my concealer on afterwards, which is a big thumbs up. I also suffer from very sensitive eyes, and it did not irritate.

This isn't the colour of the product, just an indicator of where to put it!
I found this product moisturised my eye area. I am lucky that at the moment I do not suffer with lines or puffiness but I do get dark circles. I think you would need to use the product for longer to see results.
I would recommend this product to people with sensitive, dry eyes. 

Apply your eye cream with your wedding ring finger and dab along the eye socket with the lightest touch. Do not drag the skin!
Always apply your eye product after your moisturiser both morning and night.
Add your eye cream to your make-up routine. Make-up unfortunately is one of the biggest culprits for dehydrating your skin. Apply before your make-up and that way you will not forget about it.

So I am going to try and remember to use my eye cream. If you have a favourite I'd love to here about it.



Monday, 25 November 2013

Occo Dalmacija No.1 Hydrating Lotion

Sunday shopping trip to TK Maxx and I could not believe how many cosmetic brands I had not tried.
I love a bargain and I love the process of finding a bargain. It feels like you have worked hard to get your purchase, filtering out the rubbish and finding the gems, and I believe this has got to be one. Anything that states hydration tends to grab my attention.

Occo is a luxary spa brand that uses natural at least 96% natural ingredient. This product contains algae, conditioning wheat, nourishing pomegranate and plant anti-oxidants. Not only does it sound like you could eat it, the smell is something else!
This product has that spa like quality. The packaging was what got my attention with it glass bottle and Art Deco print.
Occo Hydrating Lotion £20.00, TK Maxx £5.99
What is a lotion?
Lotions are relatively new to the market but are a step that can be used instead of a toner or used after toning. The difference to a toner? It is slightly thicker in texture and contain far more active ingredients. It will penetrate in to the lower layers of the skin, like a serum and is particularly good at tackling dehydration. We all seem to suffer from dry skin this time of year so adding this step is really worth it.

I just put one pump on to a dry cotton wool and swept over my skin after cleansing. It feels like your skin is drinking a smoothie. It absorbs very quickly and I found I needed to use less moisturiser. 

I tend to have a combination skin and have a slightly dehydrated forehead. This particular product is for dry and sensitive skins. Now I don't particularly have that skin type so I am just using it on my forehead, but if the weather gets colder then my whole face will be treated.
tip: always adapt your skincare to the weather. I am not sure I would need this in the summer,  but I may just use it because I love the smell.
I will be purchasing some of the other products in this brand. Any recommendation?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Dry skin + Shea Butter = Soft Skin Review

I have been a big fan of Shea butter for years. Ever since a friend recommended using L'Occitane's shea butter for my dry lips I was hooked. This product WORKS.

L'Occitane Shea butter 150ml £26.00

Shea butter is close to the natural oils in our skin and so it puts back what is needed. Whether it is for you lips, face, knees, feet, hair, anywhere, it works. Whatever your skin type there is always room for a tin of this in your beauty stash. It is also said to have healing powers and is great on scaring, eczema and cirrhosis.

There are so many uses for this product. I have even used it as a shoe polish! However for the skin I love using it as a face mask.
For very dry skin apply after cleansing heat a pea size in your hands and massage on to the face. Leave for as long for about 10 minutes. I sometime do a 3 minute express mask which is great if you have little time. Then remove with a damp muslin or cotton wool. Use warm water.
Tone, serum and moisturise afterwards.

No more dry patches. Your make-up will glide on.

Other uses- lips balm, eye brow shaper, cuticle cream, hair masked, hair serum, hand cream, foot cream, body cream, after shaving balm, scarring, bites, eye lash cream, cleanser.... any others you can think of?

I use L'Ocitane's Organic and Fair Trade Shea Butter which is from Africa. The company was one of the first to bring the ingredient to the UK and take pride in the high quality. I have had this tin for about 2 years now and it is still going. Impressed

Monday, 18 November 2013

Review Ren 3-in1 cleansing water


Ren 3-in-1 cleansing water £13

This product was given to me as a present and I have used about half of it now so I feel I am worthy of giving it a review.
I am a fan of Ren products so I was excited to use this one.
On the bottle it states that it is a gentle 3-in-1 cleanser, make-up remover and toner that is suitable for the most sensitive skins.
I followed the instructions and applied it over the face, eyes and neck area with a cotton pad.

This product contacts Rose flower water to calm and sooth the skin, as well as acting as a natural anti-ageing ingredient. It also contains citronella which is great for acne or oil prone skin.

I am used to using creamy cleansers, so the watery texture was different but pleasant and you can really smell the rose water in it. It did remove some of my make-up, however I still used another cleanser afterwards as I felt there was product still left on my skin. I wouldn't use this around my eyes as it made them sore.

Other Ingredients
Polysorbate 20 - acts as a detergents and emulsifier
Sodium Chloride - salt to thicken the product. This can also dry out the skin and make the skin sore (could have been why it made my eyes sore)
Phenoxyethanol - a preservative 
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate- preservative. Can react on sensitive skins in more than 0.1% used instead of parabens
Lactic acid- brighten the skin. Is derived from fruit or milk

I would use this product as a toner rather than a cleanser and not apply it to the eye area. I have also used it as an on the spot treatment using a cotton bud after moisturising.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Lip Scrub- Lush Bubblegum Sugar Scrub

Winter cracked lips is not a good look, especially when wearing lipstick.
I have had this lip scrub from Lush hidden away since last Christmas!
So I have dug it out to give it a review to see if it really works.

Lush Lip Scrub in Bubblegum £5.50

This is one for those of you who have a sweet tooth. It contains organic sugar and jojoba oil and natural flavourings, yum. Jojoba oil is great on dry skin as it is very close to the natural oils in our skin so it will replace any oils lost. The sugar will remove the flaky dry skin cells to give a smooth finish.
I use this product this morning. I love the bright pink colour and bubblegum smell. It is so mouth watering. I recommend using before applying your make-up, as it gets a bit messy!
I applied a pea size to my lips using circular movements. Had a little lick to taste and removed the rest of the sugar with a towel. It tastes just like bubblegum!! Then I used L'Occitane's Shea Butter lip balm and a coat of lip stick. Done


The product made my lips really soft and removed the dead skin, however I did feel the need to apply a lip balm afterwards. My lips started to get slightly dry around lunch time, which is not bad.
I recommend using this product before a night out as my lip stick went on really well afterwards and it temporarily made them look fuller. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Up-Cycle Your Hand Cream in to a Hand Scrub

The cold weather is harsh on our hands. This will get them silky and soft in no time.
If you have not tried this before, please do. It makes your hands feel like new and only takes one minute! I recommend to do this once or twice a week.

All you need :
Hand Cream/body cream/body oil
Sugar (any)

1- Add hand cream in hands (grape size)
2- Add 1 tea spoon of sugar
3- massage together on dry skin for one minute
4- wash off with water

What this is basically doing is removing the dead skin cells so will brighten, soften and moisturise your hands.

I like to add a little hand cream after just to finish.

Tell me what you think

Monday, 11 November 2013

Make-up Preparation

Having a Christmas party and want your make-up to look fabulous? Whatever your occasion to get your make-up to have the best finish possible it's all about the preparation. Even with the best make-up if your skin is not prepared it can clump, make your skin look dry and ever worse add 10 years to you! Here is my tried and tested party prep. Give it a go and tell me how you got on.

Cleanse the skin first using one for your skin type. I recommend Ultra Bland from Lush as it is for all skin types, even the most sensitive.
 1. Massage a pea size directly on to the skin (don't forget the neck) in circular motions and remove with a damp cotton wool/flannel/muslin cloth. Use warm water as it will help remove dirt and impurities but also your skin will like you for it (the skin hates anything too warm or too cold)

 2. You can tone the skin at this stage to make sure that you have removed all dirt however I reapply Ultra Bland and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes. I absolutely love products that do more than one thing, this can be used as a mask, cleanser, lip balm, cuticle cream, eye brown shaper, the list is endless. If you are not using this product apply a mask after toning.
3. Remove the product. I love using a damp flannel and to used circular motions to slightly exfoliate the skin. This is going to give your foundation/powder the smooth, natural, no clump finish. Be gentle as you don't want a red face!

4. Apply a serum, I love L'Occitane's Precious serum. Sweep a pea size over the face and neck and lock and seal by patting it in to the skin.
5. You are ready for your moisturiser! pea size again. A little goes a long way with concentrated products and I recommend the L'Occitane's Divine Cream which is for all skin types.

Leave applying your make-up for about 5 to 10 minutes. Use a tissue to remove any access oil and you are ready for your make-up.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Divine Walking Days

I have always had a great interest in natural beauty products and I feel as though it is time to share my secrets! I have worked in the industry for over 13 years and I hope I can let you in on a few secrets. My main passion is facial skincare. Since I was little I had draws filled with creams and I know the frustration with products that just don't work. I hope this will filter out those that what work. 

Today has been a 13 mile walk in the cold. My skin couldn't have survived it without my L'Occitane Divine Cream. The silky, quick absorbing texture is dreamy and it smooths, hydrates and brightens the skin all in one.
I am a great fan of 'all in one' products. There are so many on the market that have high claims of doing this, that and the other but a really good cream should cover all. The Divine cream just does that! It Contains 40% natural oils and extracts with Immortelle extracts of the highest quality (L'Occitane have their own fields of the flower in Corsica). The Immortelle flower acts as a natural anti-ageing ingredient, and products your skin from the environment. The smell is herbal with daisy extract to brighten the skin and encapsulated hyaluronic acid to not just have an instant hydration, but droplets of hydration throughout the whole day. Say goodbye to those flaky dry skin days. It does what it says on box.