Monday, 20 July 2020

Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum*... Your one stop shop!

Vitamin C is notoriously one of the hardest products to find great formulas of, and usually the good ones come with a fairly hefty price tag (Skinceuticals Phloretin CF I am looking at you!). As much as I love a fantastic performing luxe product there is nothing better than finding a gem that is easier on your wallet. Here is a perfect example, Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum, £32 for 30ml. I have now finished this so let’s discuss…

What is it?

An all-encompassing serum which claims to brighten, reduce pigmentation, and improve uneven skin tone whilst boosting elasticity, adding hydration, and reducing fine lines/wrinkles. 

What is in it?

Ascorbyl Glucoside - a vitamin c derivative. Ok a little science lesson for you that I hope won’t bore you senseless…
AG is a water-soluble form of vitamin c that’s combined with glucose, a sugar. Basically, once absorbed into your skin an enzyme is released which breaks it down into L-ascorbic acid. You know the famous derivative which we have come to know and love? The one that is a tricky little beast when it comes to stability and prone to causing irritation? Well because of the conversion process it means AG is less likely to cause irritation and it is far more stable when exposed to the elements. It’s not as potent, but the effects are still fantastic, it’s just gentler on the skin. All round winner!

Boerhavia Diffusa – a bio active ingredient which helps fade dark spots and improve uneven skin tone

Olive Squalane – absorbs deep into the skins layers, this boosts cell regeneration, smooths fine lines and helps boost collagen production

Hyaluronic acid – this contains 3 molecular weights of HA to penetrate different layers of the skin to help plump and add deep hydration

Full Ingredients
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Propanediol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Borage Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Smithsonite Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract,Squalane (Olive), Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Red) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Sweet) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Fruit Oil, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Maltodextrin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

My Thoughts

This is a creamy, deliciously citrus scented serum which is neither overpowering to the senses nor irritating to my skin. That is the key thing about this serum really, it is deliberately gentle so most skins can use it. That being said it does contain fruit and plant oils so sensitive skins should patch test, but the quality of this brand has meant I have never broken out or had irritation from their formulas (so far!) 

I have enjoyed using this throughout the winter months as it is wonderfully hydrating and tends to give more oomph than other vitamin c serums I have tried. This would suit drier/mature skin types very well. Oilier skin types maybe able to get away with just using this under an SPF. 

This is your one stop shop; I never felt the need to use a hydrating serum in addition to this so it’s a fantastic time saver. It was able to address both dullness and pigmentation as well as adding hydration. Instantly it gives skin a lovely glow but over time I felt it did contribute towards brightening my skin. Areas of pigmentation seemed to even out and lighten in appearance, although they didn’t disappear completely. Which to be honest is what I was expecting as it is very difficult to eradicate without other treatments. 

I loved that this worked extremely well under whichever moisturiser and SPF I used, absorbing almost immediately with no wait time required. Which means I will not hesitate to purchase this with my own money, most likely for next Winter!

*PR sample/unpaid AD

I’d love to hear which vitamin c serums have worked for you! 

Thank you for reading xx


Friday, 29 May 2020

Balance Me PHA Clarifying Mist* - First Impressions!

Balance Me have been one of my favourite brand discoveries this past year and they kindly sent me their new launch ahead of release so I could put it to the test! Now this is very much a first impressions, I've been using for around 2 weeks. I will share my final thoughts and further information in the next few weeks.

First off what are PHA’s?

Next generation of AHA’s! They perform the same role in that they work on the upper layers of the skin to provide a smooth, fresh surface. Over time they boost hydration and give a more firmer, refined look to the skin. Now PHA’s are different in that they have a larger molecule structure so have the ability to perform similarly but penetrate at a slower rate. Resulting in less irritation and redness that are sometimes associated to AHA’s. This is why they are an ideal option for sensitive, rosacea prone skins. The most common PHA’s are Gluconolactone and Lactobionic. I’ll go into their differences on another post. 

Let’s get onto what you came for!

What is it?

A lightweight mist which features PHA as the main component to help gently exfoliate along with antibacterial and soothing ingredients to balance, brighten and soothe skin

Who is it for?

This is designed with sensitive, oily, congested skins in mind but anyone could benefit from this gentle formula

What is in it?

Gluconolactone (PHA) is a powerful antioxidant and multitasker out of all PHA’s. It helps strengthen the skin barrier so irritation is reduced. It’s also a powerful humectant so keeps moisture locked in. Alongside that this formula also contains other notable ingredients including:
  •  Plant derived Zinc PCA to balance sebum levels
  •  Allantoin to soothe and hydrate
  •  May Chang helps prevent blemishes forming
  •  Kanuka Oil to help reduce congestion 
How I use and first impressions

I’ve been misting this onto my hands and patting onto my face. With this kind of product I much prefer this method as I feel it distributes the product better, and I don't like the idea of misting an acid based product onto my face. Of course that’s just my personal preference! I’ve been enjoying using this in the AM after cleansing before essence and serum. Texture wise it's non sticky, absorbs instantly and leaves no residue. It does give a mattifying effect to skin which will suit oilier skins. 
I feel like this routine has contributed to a slight reduction in congestion and allows other products to penetrate better. Typically I wouldn’t use a leave on acid in the AM but this is very gentle and I’ve experienced no irritation. That said I monitor my skin closely and have had breaks in between days if necessary. It’s a great booster and so far I can see it being the perfect product to rotate between stronger treatments. I did have a minor breakout this week and this definitely helped soothe and clear it up quicker. Will keep you updated!

*PR sample

RRP £18 for 30ml, you can buy here from Balance Me (non affiliate link)

Thankyou for reading xx


Monday, 27 January 2020

Good Molecules*...Effective and Affordable Skincare

Effective and Affordable Skincare

This brand has totally taken over the scene and you will find them popping up on Instagram all over the place and for good reason. Drawing from their experience Good Molecules is founded by a team of beauty veterans who want to provide solutions to skin issues without the high retail mark up. Effective skincare at reasonable prices catch people’s eye and GM have been one of the brands to really deliver. It’s great to have more choice in this market as The Ordinary have reigned the crown for so long! I was kindly sent a bundle of their products from Beautylish and have been trialling them for a good few months so here are my thoughts…

Niacinamide Brightening Toner – $14

This is my favourite product in the range, the headliner if you will. The brands bread and butter (in my opinion). I used this every day since I received it and now the bottle is empty so that tells you everything! This has a thick essence like texture that easily dispenses from the aperture lid (it doesn't pour out quickly, you need to gently shake the bottle which I love). Either pat on with hands or apply with a cotton pad. Instantly the skin is bouncier and visibly brightened. 

Over time with consistent use this toner helped fade scarring and reduce the appearance of pores thanks to Niacinamide being up there as the 3rd ingredient. The ingredients in this are really fantastic, Arbutin improves the look of pigmentation while Liquorice Root soothes inflammation. A stable form of Vitamin C promotes collagen production and provides antioxidant protection. In fact, if you are sensitive to Vitamin C or Niacinamide then I highly recommend giving this a go as a way to amp up your routine. I love that it plays well with products layered over the top and it provides something beneficial for the skin with noticeable results. Will definitely be purchasing this!

Hyaluronic Acid Serum - $6

HA serums can be hit and miss; they are an absolute essential for me but I have tried so many that are sticky and unpleasant to use. This is neither of those things, it glides onto skin, is lightweight but not excessively runny and absorbs quickly without any tacky residue. It is one of the best HA formulations I’ve tried, and the price just cannot be beaten. You can afford to be a little heavier handed with it! 

Overnight Exfoliating Treatment - $6

This potent 10% blend of AHA & BHA’s (glycolic, lactic and salicylic) gives you real bang for your buck. Think along the lines of Drunk Elephant Framboos without the high price tag. Honestly, I hate the word dupe, but this really is very similar in terms of results. I’ve been applying this serum straight onto dry skin after cleansing before carrying on with the rest of my routine. Long term (over the course of 4-6weeks) it has improved the texture of my skin but overnight it works its magic especially on congestion and blemishes. There is a little tingle upon application but nothing uncomfortable, I always make sure to follow up with hydrating layers.

Silicone Free Priming Moisturiser - $14

This naturally derived silicone alternative moisturiser is surprisingly hydrating whilst being lightweight on the skin. As you would hope makeup applies beautifully over this so would be a fantastic option for those that would like to cut out the primer step and just use one product. It truly delivers. It has a light gel/cream texture that is formulated with Shea (hasn’t clogged my pores) and Macadamia seed oil. Essential fatty acids from olive oil strengthens the skins barrier whilst maintaining moisture levels. I personally apply this before my SPF and I still see benefit from the priming abilities. 

Niacinamide Serum - $6

This is the one I’ve used the least purely because the packaging doesn’t seem to play ball. The pipette doesn’t seem to pick up any product and I really struggle to get it out of the bottle. Unfortunately, I cannot really comment on the effectiveness of this serum as I just haven’t used it enough. I will say it does apply nicely to the skin and seems to play well with others. I’ve spoken to others about this serum and it seems like a generic problem with this product so it may be worth Good Molecules looking into repackaging. It’s bizarre as I don’t have the same issue with the other bottles! 

I’ve loved trying this brand, they have worked well for my skin and their formulations prove you don’t need to spend a fortune to achieve results. I can gladly say that I will be replacing some of these products once finished!
Have you tried Good Molecules? I plan to try their Super Peptide serum next as I am getting into those in a big way! You can buy them through Beautylish here where shipping to the UK is free for orders over $35. 

*PR but all opinions my own, as always.

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Thanks for reading xx


Tuesday, 19 November 2019


When this parcel arrived from Skincity I could not believe the generosity. So many products all housed inside a large makeup bag! Literally the dream. I am so grateful to get the opportunity to try MaketheMake as their philosophy is totally me. They have been created by skincare therapists and this is what makes them unique. They are all about ensuring their products support and care for the skin whilst providing natural coverage. Which I’m completely here for. Each product is packed with ingredients that serve a purpose by improving the condition and appearance of the skin with every application. Ingredients include Hyaluronic Acid, Squalane, Peptides and Vitamin E. These are found in their range of makeup bag essentials (concealers, foundations, bronzers etc).

In addition to the makeup I was also sent a large collection of their own brand brushes which are made with a synthetic vegan fibre and Taklon bristles. Designed to provide flawless and easy application. They couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as my brushes have had their time and should probably be replenished! I’m not even going to admit how old they are. I’ve chucked most of my old ones and have been using these constantly since I received them. The results they give are so so good. Makeup blends quickly like a dream and they are super soft on the skin. The shapes of the brushes are quite unique, and they actually work. I would never have thought to try a flat bronzing brush, but it works amazingly! I seriously could not be happier that I have these, I will look after them and hold them dear.

Now onto the makeup. I am going to break it down by doing micro reviews of each one as I think that would be easier to digest! In no particular order…

Vitamin C Tinted Moisturiser - £22

This smells pretty bad, not going to lie. A little like hotdogs (something that you might expect if you are familiar with Vitamin C) and it comes out quite orange in colour. I didn’t think it would be the right match for me but surprisingly it blends imperceptibly into the skin! It’s a little darker than my natural skin tone but I can get away with it without looking like I’ve consumed too much sunny D!
It leaves skin feeling quite moisturised, isn’t greasy and settles down to a satin kind of finish. It’s one of those products you can pop on with your hands quickly. There isn’t much coverage, but it gives a lovely healthy look to skin and makes it look less drab. Unfortunately the smell has meant I haven’t been reaching for this as much and I have to make a conscious effort to reach for this which is a shame because it is a great product!

Niacinamide Setting Powder - £22

This loose powder is an everyday staple for me. As the name suggests it contains niacinamide and is fantastic at blurring pores and settling oiliness. I use under my eyes and on my T-zone using a small setting brush. It doesn’t crease or dry out the skin. Even though it is white in colour there is no cast or chalkiness and it blends beautifully with my skin tone. I wish they did this in a solid powder compact so I could pop in my bag!

Squalane Melting Foundation SPF30 - £22

This is a great base for when you want to add a little bit of coverage or if you want to build it up to something a bit heavier. It doesn’t cake, goes on effortlessly and isn’t a drying powder. I like to use the MaketheMake foundation brush to buff this in. It’s so quick and easy and more often than not I like to apply over tinted moisturiser for a bit more coverage. An issue I tend to have with loose foundations is that they settle into pores and look cakey but not with this. With it being infused with squalane this is what makes the difference I think as it gives a very smooth finish to the skin.

Ceramide Elastic Concealer - £18

This has been my go-to since I got it. Fantastic under the eyes and all over, it’s hydrating but doesn’t slip and slide everywhere. I find it has medium coverage and is very lightweight, I can barely feel it on the skin. It can be built up easily, a little goes a long way with this. It somehow brightens under the eyes but when applied to the face it doesn’t look glowy, more of a natural affinity with the skin. Just melts in.

Niacinamide Soft Focus Primer - £18

I’m a bit on the fence with primers, I rarely like any and most of the time I will skip this step. Not since I’ve received this one though. Seriously it’s probably the best one I’ve tried. It comes as a lightweight gel with pearl light reflecting pigments, it doesn’t feel silicone heavy and it doesn’t just sit on top of skin. It smooths and blurs pores whilst absorbing sebum and leaves a natural finish. Matte but not flat, hydrated but not greasy. It’s wonderful! The addition of niacinamide ensures it cares for skin more than a standard primer would, and rather than increasing the likelihood of a breakout this helps prevent them from happening. Would recommend this for most skins.

Vitamin E Illuminating Balm and Hyaluronic Gloss Pot - £22.50

This is a double ended little wonder. The illuminating balm is perfect as a dewy highlighter, it sits beautifully on top of skin and is what I use when I want to give my skin a little lift. A beautiful product, if you are a highlighter fan you must try this one. And it would be even more perfect for someone with dry skin as it melts in and infuses moisture. The gloss pot is such a cool product. If you love the ‘wet’ look then this will be right up your street. I personally use this on my eyelids to give a glossy sheen that is on trend right now, but you could use it as a highlighter giving you more of powerwatt sheen than what the balm would. It isn’t sticky in the slightest. This duo is the ideal travel companion.

Vitamin C Soft Compact Bronzer - £26

When I first looked at this bronzer I honestly did not think it would be the right shade match for me. It looks so much darker in the pan than on the skin. I have SB1 and it works with my skin tone perfectly, I use the bronzer brush to apply and the pay off is fantastic. I only need a small amount to give me a natural glow to the skin. It isn’orange and it doesn’t contain any glitter or shimmer. A perfect matte bronzer. There is something so attractive about the large packaging with a mirror. It's partly the reason why I wanted the Marc Jacobs O!Mega one so now I have this I'm content! 

Oil Absorbing Sheets - £9

These are a great thing to keep in your handbag, I’ve been opting to use these instead of powder to touch up my oily t-zone as they take up less space in my bag and they work. Makeup isn’t disturbed and they genuinely work at absorbing shine without drying out the skin. I’ve never used a product like this before so cannot compare to other brands but these are a great price and do the job! Highly recommend!

As you can see I’m absolutely loving MaketheMake. It is rare to try a collection and enjoy every single one! I am totally surprised and grateful to have been gifted so many products. I still want to try more though! The Melon Moisture Mist sounds gorgeous and I’ve seen people wearing the Vitamin B Flawless Filter Foundation so that’s one I want to try. The finish looks beautiful. The Bisabolol Hydrating Oil Primer looks like a must have for winter so I may have to put that on the Christmas list!

You can purchase this brand from Skincity here


Thank you for reading!xx


Thursday, 31 October 2019

Klairs Watery Oil Drop*... a serum which works like an oil?!

A serum which works like an oil? You bet I wanted to love this and spoiler, it didn't disappoint!

This product is somewhat of a hybrid between an oil and a hydrating serum but bizarrely it doesn’t contain any oil whatsoever! It has totally blown my socks off and has become a firm staple in my morning routine. With the richness of an oil in a watery base serum this is a complete winner and a great multitasker. If you are short of time this is perfect as won’t need a separate serum or oil unless you want to add them for the joy of it! 

Klairs aren’t a brand I’ve tried before, but rest assured my head has been fully turned! They are widely known throughout Asian Skincare as being a trusted brand that specifically focuses on sensitive skins. Ensuring that their products are free from unnecessary ingredients which can exacerbate skin issues. This ‘Fundamental’ range is all about just that, bringing things back to basics and ensuring your skin has what it needs to glow with health! Don’t be fooled that the formulations are basic though! They most certainly are not as they include some of the best skin loving ingredients around. Klairs philosophy for this range is all about hydrate, repair, protect and boy does this do just that!

This watery drop is seriously dreamy for those of you who have issues using an oil, maybe because you loathe that oil slick feeling, or are concerned about clogged pores. It performs as serum, absorbing deeply into the skin and boosting the effects of other products layered on top but with the added benefits that an oil gives. There is a definite glow to skin following application but not in the same way as what it’s like to look greasy. You won’t get any stickiness or residue with this, just a plump firmer feel to the skin which is immediate.

It is formulated with some of the best ingredients, I got super excited looking at the inci list! Ceramides, Green Tea, Ferment Extracts and Peptides along with Hyaluronic acid provide antioxidant benefits as well as helping repair the skins barrier. Due to the extremely lightweight texture (literally like water) it gives a lovely light layer that would be perfect for all seasons to prevent moisture loss and increase the skins ability to protect itself from the elements. 

I have plans to now try their Ampule Mist as I love a good mist and it sounds a perfect accompaniment to this serum!

Full Ingredients

Aqua(Water), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Bifida Ferment Extract, Betaine, Dipropylene Glycol, Sorbitol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aspergillus/Rice Ferment Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Arginine, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Ceramide NP, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8

You can buy here from Skinsider for a very generous £30 for 50ml.

Have you tried anything from Klairs? Let me know your favourites!


Thank you for reading!