Sunday, 18 December 2016

Jordan Samuel Skin - Simple but Effective Skincare...

Over this last year I have found a few new skincare brands that I have fallen head over heels for and this is one of them. Around September time I decided to take the plunge and purchase all 3 products in the JS range, he was having a fabulous sale on and I couldn’t resist! Even the shipping costs could not put me off!

I first heard about Jordan through reading Caroline Hirons blog and following Liz (lizalaskabeauty) on Instagram. His products really appealed to me, a 3 step skincare system designed to provide the skin with nutrients without being harsh or causing aggravation. This simplistic approach is refreshing to see within the beauty industry, and having heard nothing but rave reviews on all 3 of his products I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. 

His range consists of a cleanser, serum and facial oil. None of the products contain synthetic ingredients, fragrances or essential oils which is fantastic for sensitive to combination skin like mine. As you may have read in my previous posts my skin can be reactive to some essential oils so I do have to tread carefully!

If you don’t already follow Jordan on Youtube then you must! He is a delight to watch, extremely entertaining, friendly and full of excellent knowledge. His passion for skincare began when he was a dancer for the Northwest Pacific Ballet in Seattle. The harsh lights and makeup took a toll on his skin and he started realising the importance of a good skincare regime. He believes in a ‘less is more’ approach and that a non-complicated, consistent routine is where it’s at. Not everyone has the time to indulge in many steps each day, and his line is perfect for those that want to maintain excellent skin without the time commitment.

Before I go on to the reviews I would like to mention I have been using these products fairly consistently since purchasing them so I could give you a fair review. The serum has been in my routine every day and I am worried for when it runs out, which by the looks of the bottle will be soon! If asked I couldn’t pick which is my favourite! Anyway, let’s get onto the individual reviews of each:

Plie Treatment Cleanser 94ml - Around £19.22

First off, the thing that I immediately like about this is the packaging and the fact the product is contained within a tube. This avoids having to stick your fingers or spatula into a pot, which is much more hygienic and user friendly. Jordan advises to use this cleanser as a first step in your skincare routine, this explains where the name Plie came from as this is the first movement that dancers perform in preparation for their day.

The cleanser itself is a beautiful thick peachy coloured gel that melts into an oil upon contact with the skin, these kind of textures are huge favourites of mine as they usually rinse cleanly and this is no exception. It’s called a treatment cleanser as it’s designed to remove all traces of makeup whilst sugarcane, apple and willow bark extracts gently exfoliate the skin without actual grains or beads. The blend of ingredients which also include olive, jojoba and grapeseed oils are tailored to promote glowing radiant skin. I can confirm it certainly does this! My skin looks clean, fresh and calm after. 

The smell is unlike anything I have come across before in a cleanser, fruity, like a subtle mango/apple combination. So delicious! I get a lot of satisfaction massaging this into my dry skin and watching the day melt away! I like to go mad and use a big dollop; this seriously removes makeup very well without any irritation. I would use this on a daily basis for makeup removal alone, but I feel the cleanser is too nice for that. If I do use it that way then I like to use again as my 2nd cleanser or morning cleanser, so that my skin benefits from its ingredients. Normally I remove this with a hot cloth but it is worth noting this cleanser can be removed with water alone, just add a little water to emulsify and then rinse. This method leaves skin hydrated and soft without leaving any residue. Perfect!

To conclude I really have nothing bad to say about this cleanser, it’s simple and effective at what it’s designed to do which is remove makeup and grime without irritating the skin. From a price point it appeals to all and I will be repurchasing in the New Year for sure, it’s the perfect travel companion due to the packaging and it’s fantastic to use in both steps of the cleansing process as it saves me taking more products than I need.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Water, Sucrose Laurate, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Rhizome/Root Extract, Anthemis Noblis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Citrus Fruit Extract Blend, Simmodsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylhyroxamic Acid, Capryl Glycol

Hydrate Serum 30ml – Around £35.23

Next up is Jordan’s hyaluronic acid based serum, this is designed to drench your skin with moisture without clogging pores or causing irritation for sensitive/acne prone skins. It contains botanicals and humectants to hydrate deeply and keep the water locked in, stabilized vitamin c, hexapeptides combined with cucumber, tamarind and passion flower extracts aim to give you dewy, healthy skin. I believe it really does this and more.

Following a recent facial, I was advised that I do not need heavy serums and moisturisers as my skin is dehydrated but easily congested so I need to stick with simple, effective skincare. This is why Jordan’s line is perfect for me! This serum has been the perfect choice for my skin and I have been using it consistently on a daily basis. I’m almost near the end of the bottle, I bought this just over 2 months ago, so I reckon with regular use you could get around 3-4 months out of it.

Now let’s start with the texture of this, it’s a clear, gloopy sticky almost gel like consistency which feels so refreshing when applied to the skin. It spreads very easily (almost like applying water) and instantly feels soothing and provides an instant moisture hit! I use about 3 drops every morning after cleansing but before applying my moisturiser or oil. Straight away the skin feels plump and although it feels sticky/tacky upon application it soon dries down very quickly leaving a soft matte texture.

It is perfect for layering and I have never had a problem with using this under any other products. In fact, I feel it has really made a difference in the way in which other products work and boosts their effectiveness. I like that it doesn’t matter what type of skin day I am having I know it will always work for me and I can incorporate it easily into any routine. I will continue to purchase because up until now I had never found a serum which I love more!

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice *Organic, Vegetable Glycerin *Organic, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Xanthan gum, Gluconolactone , Tamarindus Indica (Tamarind) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata (Passion flower) Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-51 Amide, Sodium Benzoate, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract *Organic

EtOILe Facial Oil – 30ml Around £42.44

This oil really completes the collection and stands out against many other oils on the market due to the wonderful well thought out ingredients and the exclusion of essential oils. Making it perfect for all skins. EtOILe is packed with multivitamins and antioxidants to really bring out the radiance in your skin, making you glow with a look of healthiness. It contains a high concentration of cranberry oil which is hugely beneficial for your skin and really is the star of the show in this oil! In fact, it’s the only oil to contain a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as all 8 vitamin e groups! Further to that Argan and Marula oils are paired with vitamin c ester (which is the cream colour in the bottom of the bottle – just shake to incorporate!) and CoQ10 proving you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Facial oils are one of my favourite skincare products to use and this in particular has quickly become one of the staples in my routine. It has a lightweight silky texture that really packs a punch when it comes to hydration! I like to use around 3 drops patted over my moisturiser or if I am using in place of a moisturiser then usually 7-8 drops. I find it really balances my skin and leaves it looking ‘better’, if used overnight my skin wakes up calm and glowing! Like the serum, it’s become a real trusted product that I know I can turn to whatever state my skin may be in. Like a trusted friend you can turn to in times of need :)

As it stands I am currently trialling this oil in place of my moisturiser to see how it handles the cold weather here in the UK, and to see if it can fight off the dehydrating effects of central heating! So far so good I have to say! Despite having to increase the amount I use it absorbs very well and leaves skin nicely prepped for makeup. Although there isn’t much of a scent which I usually enjoy when it comes to oils, there is something hugely appealing about that. I do not feel a scent is necessary when you can feel your skin literally drinking in the nutrients and thanking you for it!

Punus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil *Organic, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Argania spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil (Marula) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil *Organic, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil (Rosehip) Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Oil *Organic, Ubiquinone, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Squalane

So all I have left to say is well done Jordan, the results of your skincare line speak for themselves and I urge anyone with any skin type to trial these products! There is no faff or fake promises with these, they simple do what they say there are going to do.

You can purchase this line through Jordan's website only. He does not use stockists, this is to keep costs lower so he only sells directly to the consumer -

Have you tried Jordan’s line and if so what is your favourite product?


Monday, 21 November 2016

A Selection of 1st and 2nd Cleansers...

When I was first introduced to double cleansing through reading Caroline Hirons blog (hallelujah!) I got myself questioning what counts as a 1st cleanser or a 2nd cleanser? There are so many different types around so I thought I’d do a roundup of what are in my current collection. If any of you follow my Instagram you will know I have changed my strategy when it comes to cleansing. I have decided to be consistent with 2 or 3 cleansers till they are empty, and then move on to a few more etc. That way I can fully test a product and use it up within its expiry. I know many of you struggle with the same thing that I do, and that having so many on the go means you are not really using any up or fully appreciating the results they can give! Anyway moving on…

It’s worth noting I only double cleanse in the evening and always with a warm flannel. My skin cannot tolerate muslin cloths, they seem to irritate my skin and prove too harsh so a good cheap flannel from Asda or the such like does a great job! I gently sweep and buff it across my face, I don’t want to look like I’ve been scoured!

For me a 1st Cleanse is all about removing makeup and impurities, generally I will use a balm or oil to do this as I find these the most effective. Never a face wipe!! God no. For this step I try not to spend a lot of money as they don’t sit on the skin for long. The following are my current choices:

Clinique Take the Day off Balm – this is a freebie sample size – 125ml retails at £22.00 from Boots:

I got this sample as a freebie with another purchase, I have used the cleansing milk and oil from the TTDO range before and loved them, they are extremely effective at what they are designed to do. I was pleased I received this as I had been looking for a small pot to try before deciding whether to fork out on the full size (bearing in mind this is the most expensive cleanser of all my 1st cleansers). But to be fair this literally cuts through makeup like a knife through butter, so the price I think is justifiable! I love that its fragrance free and extremely gentle so suitable for even the most sensitive of skins. It leaves skin soft and not stripped. I love it but it is more than I would spend for a 1st cleanser, though saying that it probably is the best out of the bunch for makeup removal as it disintegrates everything including waterproof mascara, leaving skin super clean. It would also last you absolutely ages as only a small amount is required. Full review on this is in the pipeline…

Lush Ultrabland - £7.45 for 45g or £12.95 for 100g:

This is a fairly new purchase for me as I got it on a whim when I happened to appear in a Lush shop ;) I was originally looking at ‘Angels on bare skin’ but having decided that the ingredients were too harsh for me I picked up Ultrabland. The description really appealed to me. A basic non fuss cleanser that is made with gentle and simple yet effective ingredients (almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey). I love this! It is exactly what I look for in a 1st cleanser, it also helps that it leaves my skin so soft and glowy afterwards and doesn’t aggravate my sensitive skin! Bear in mind though that this doesn’t emulsify so it will need to be removed with a damp cloth or cotton wool.

Botanics Dual Action Hydration Burst Cleanser - £4.00 for 125ml from Boots:

This is a gel/balm to oil which removes makeup effectively. For the price you can’t go wrong! It appeared in my recent Bargain Buys post – link here It does take more massaging than the others, and it doesn’t really make skin feel anything special, but it does the job and I will continue to use this and may even repurchase at some point just purely because of the price point. Can’t comment on whether it removes heavy makeup as I haven’t used this on a full face, but for the price you can apply twice as there is no fear of it breaking the bank!

Una Brennan Vitamin C Cleansing Oil - £10.99 from Boots:

An oldie but a goodie, I have already been through 1 bottle of this cleansing oil. It is excellent for waking up the skin as its smells of oranges! I know for some it can be too overpowering, almost like kitchen cleaner! But I like it… Despite the scent it doesn’t break me out or aggravate me and it contains some lovely ingredients including grapeseed, rosehip and olive oils, rosemary oil, vitamin e and cucumber oil. You can get a really good massage with this lightweight oil and it does transform into a milky texture upon contact with water. Decently priced and you get a lot for your money, this will last you a long time. Highly recommend!  

Now onto 2nd cleansers, these are where I spend the most money and I really do like to indulge in a bit of luxury here. I choose 2nd cleansers based on how I want to treat my skin and what ingredients I want to treat it with. I deeply massage the product in and allow it to sit on my skin whilst I brush my teeth before removing with a warm flannel (same as my 1st cleanser). Without a doubt, cleansing is my most favourite step along with applying facial oil! I just love the whole process of taking time to massage my skin and inhale beautiful scents. It helps me relax and have some ‘me time’. There are so many cleansers I have been enjoying recently, but the ones below are what I’ve been using in rotation:

Jordan Samuel Plie - $24.00, ships to the UK (currently on sale for $20.00!):

This purchase came from a lot of people within the skincare community on Instagram enabling me! At the time of looking Jordan had a fantastic sale on so I decided to go mad and buy his whole line and I can confess, I have fallen in love. (A full review on the line will be coming shortly so watch this space). I have been using this cleanser on and off for the past month or so and OMG I love it! In fact, I haven’t got a bad word to say about any of his products.  This cleanser smells delightful, think mangoes but not in an overpowering way. It provides a brilliant massage and treats skin beautifully. Can be used as a 1st cleanse as well (cuts through makeup exceptionally) but because of the lush ingredients I like to save this for a 2nd/morning cleanse. More to follow on this wonderful product…

Holistic Green Beauty Chocolate Balm - £45.00 for 100ml:

This is a new purchase for me, I cracked it open after I used up my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm recently (love! – see recent review). I found this company through following beauty blogs on Instagram and this cleanser really piqued my interest and sounded amazing! Who wouldn’t want to slather chocolate all over their face?! The brand bases themselves on creating luxurious and effective natural beauty products which are all 100% natural and organic. This particular product is 97.55% organic.  First impressions are that it smells very natural of proper cacao butter and provides an excellent deep cleanse. It’s a solid balm which turns into oil upon contact with the face. I like to massage it between my hands so it melts and then I apply, a little goes a long way! Some of the ingredients included are Acai Berry, Cacao extract, Green Tea and Rosehip plus many more natural ingredients. So far I’ve noticed my skin really glows after one use of this and appears calm. I am looking forward to using more and will be sure to do a full review once properly trialled.

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil - £54.00 from Cult Beauty:

I’m not going to say too much on this as I have a blog post coming up soon dedicated to Tata Harper cleansers, but I can honestly say this is a wonderful cleansing oil. It feels such a treat to use and smells beautiful. Although I use as a 2nd cleanse it does remove makeup very well, so much so I sometimes just use this cleanser for both steps if I am feeling lazy! I’m reaching out for this more now that it’s autumn/winter as it keeps skin soft and balanced. It is expensive but I would repurchase. The ingredients are worth it and the texture of this oil is so silky! Gorgeous! Full review coming soon…

Balmology Neroli and Sweet Basil Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm - £27.00:

This is a gorgeous, beautiful balm which leaves skin feeling fantastic. This doesn’t emulsify so it needs to be removed with a flannel or muslin, but I really enjoy the process. Inhaling the scent is so calming, so it’s perfect for use at night when you are wanting to wind down. The ingredients list is excellent (made with 99% organic ingredients). I reviewed this fully here - so won’t discuss any further  :)

So there we have it, a little round up of some 1st and 2nd cleansers in my current stash, I’ve just got to work my way through them all! Have you tried any of these?

Thanks for reading xx


Monday, 14 November 2016

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review...

Despite being a makeup lover and someone who has tried lots of foundations it is ridiculous that I had not tried Estee Lauder Double Wear till May this year! Having read so much about it and some dubbing it as their ‘Holy Grail’ foundation I just had to give in and see what all the hype is about.
Prior to testing a sample, I had always been slightly put off by the big claims of this foundation ‘Stay in place – 15hr wear’, ‘Lasts through heat, humidity, non-stop activity’, ‘A look that lasts all day without touch ups’. It just put me off for some reason, I think because although my skin is oily I hate heavy bases that make me feel like I am suffocating!

I went into my Boots store and got matched up to Ecru 1N2 which although looks scarily dark in the bottle, it was a perfect match for my skin! There are many shades available ranging from the palest to the darkest of skins and I like that. Even now there are so many foundations that don’t come in a wide range of colours and that really bothers me, I think this must be one of the reasons why this foundation has such a global following! It caters for all types.

The small bottle I was given had a fair few uses in it so I was able to properly test the product before deciding whether to purchase. I was warned that both the sample bottle and glass bottle that the foundation is housed in doesn’t come with a pump or dropper, therefore I would need to pour it out carefully! This is annoying but didn’t put me off as the actual bottle is so luxurious looking. I love the gold top! My preference would be for it to come with an optional pump but that’s a minor complaint, all things considered.

On first use I accidently poured out more than I needed onto the back of my hand (I learnt that I needed to pour very very gently!) I dotted the foundation over the main points of my face (forehead, nose, chin and cheeks) and blended it in with the Real Techniques buffing brush which seemed to work really well and created a flawless finish. The consistency is quite thick but certainly not gloopy or heavy feeling on the skin. A small amount goes a really long way. I loved how easy it was to blend and left my face looking matte and even without appearing flat or dull. First impressions were good! 

The next time I poured a much smaller amount onto my hand and that worked a lot better for me. The best way to use this foundation is by layering it little by little. Use too much and it will look heavy and dare I say cakey… Building up the coverage allows you to see how much you really need. Most days I can get away with the tiniest amount and that will cover any faded marks, blemishes and redness.

In terms of staying power this foundation is good, it will last all day without oxidising too much. Not sure about 15hrs because I haven’t counted (that would be weird if I did!). Either way I always seem to oxidise around the corners of my nose and mouth, I think that’s fairly standard for me and I haven’t tried a foundation that beats that yet! Although I love that this keeps my skin matte for most of the day I would be lying if I said it didn’t need any touch ups. With this I usually need to powder my nose, chin and forehead at least once just to stop myself from looking too glowy! But come the end of the day the foundation is still in place and providing a good amount of coverage which is excellent.

I would say this has become my favourite foundation for the last 6 months and I splurged on the full size a few months ago. I just love the effect it leaves on the skin. It covers very well without hiding your actual skin. You can still see your skin underneath. Which is a good thing (well in my book it is!). I do use a tiny bit of powder to set my makeup but I find I don’t need as much; in fact, I’ve been embracing the more glowy look especially during these autumn months!

Until now I hadn’t discovered my ‘favourite’ foundation in terms of coverage, lasting power and finish so I am very happy! I think this could be my ‘perfect base’! Although expensive at £31.00 you only need a small amount so it would last you a while. I definitely recommend getting matched up at your local store as the ladies on the EL counter are generally very good and will give you a decent sized sample to get you going.

Have you tried this foundation before, what are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading xx

Thursday, 10 November 2016

October Empties....

Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches - £4.64 for 24 patches from Amazon

These have got to be my favourite blemish busting treatment. Ever since I read about them earlier this year on Ruth Crilly’s (A Model Recommends) blog I immediately purchased them from Amazon and never looked back. I will be doing a separate review on these but all I will say is they have been repurchased many times and I love them! They are cheap, extremely effective and are a hygienic way to treat spots that appear.

Elemis Skin Nourishing Body Scrub – 50ml Ebay! £28.50 from Look Fantastic for 200ml

As I say I purchased this from eBay as I was looking for a gentle scrub that wasn’t in a massive bottle or tub. Ebay is my go to for lots of beauty products, Elemis being a brand I follow to see what new things are being listed! I bought this scrub along with the Shower cream in the range and I absolutely loved it! It’s nice and gentle whilst still feeling ‘scrubby’, packed with lovely nourishing oils that leave skin super smooth and soft. The smell is what sells it for me though! Very relaxing aroma…

Elemis Skin Nourishing Body Soothing Shower Cream 300ml £25 from Look Fantastic

I also bought this from eBay but it’s definitely one I would pay full price for. The smell is gorgeous, extremely relaxing. Definitely one for an evening when you are wanting to unwind and inhale the beautiful scent. Leaves skin extremely soft. Will be a repurchase at some point I am sure.

Garnier Micellar Water 125ml £1.99 Boots

This is a bloody bargain and a definite dupe for Bioderma! It removes makeup so easily and feels nice and refreshing on the skin, I personally use the sensitive one as it’s so gentle and doesn’t irritate my eyes. I like that this bottle is very portable and despite the size it lasts a long time! Especially if you are like me and only use micellar waters to remove your eye and lip makeup.

Loreal True Match Touch Magique Concealer £7.99 Boots

I enjoyed using this concealer to brighten up my under eye area and hide those dreaded dark circles. It worked very well and blended beautifully without creasing throughout the day. I am trying to use up a couple of other concealers at the moment but this will definitely be a repurchase. For the price the quality is fantastic! In fact, I like most of the ‘True Match’ range including the foundation and other concealer.

Balance Me Super Moisturising Body Wash 200ml £9.00 Look Fantastic

I got this on one of my TKMaxx trips, whenever I go in that store I always pick up shower gels and hand washes for my bathroom! For me I didn’t love this. It’s not as moisturising as it makes out and the scent smells strongly of lavender to me, which is ok but it’s not a scent I look for in a shower gel. If you like sulphate free then this may be a good one for you. It contains yarrow, patchouli and shea butter plus other nice ingredients (99% natural) but for some reason lavender is the prominent smell for me in this. I won’t be repurchasing.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm 50ml from the Starter Kit £25.00 M&S

I have already recently reviewed this balm here so won’t go into too much detail but I love it! It will be a repurchase for me at some point as I love the smell, texture and think it works extremely well to remove makeup and impurities. My skin feels so clean and nourished after using it, plus I like it as a face mask as well. Next time I may try it left on my skin overnight as a treatment…

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II 50ml £72.00 Boots

Having fell in love with this serum back in the early part of this year it will always hold a special place in my heart, it was the first serum I loved and I have reviewed it in full here This will be a repurchase for me but not yet as I am currently trying other serums that better suit my skin age. I recently had a facial and was advised that this product wasn’t necessary for me to use right now and might be causing congestion as I was using it day and night :/ Like I said, I love this serum as it leaves skin so glowy and bright but this is something I may return to when I start reaching my thirties, farewell my trusted friend...for now!

Simple Micellar Water 200ml £4.49 Boots

Again another of these magic waters used up! I didn’t enjoy this as much as the Garnier, although gentle I didn’t find it as effective at removing eye makeup and had to apply a bit more effort. Great for sensitive skins but just not one I would repurchase.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II Eye Cream 15ml £40.00 Boots

Now this is one expensive eye cream but I always buy the 5ml pots on eBay, and that’s the size of the one here. I love it and have repurchased many pots at around £9 a pop. Not too bad and is less damaging to my purse strings than the 15ml version! The texture is like a whipped gel that feels soothing and hydrating on the skin. It brightens up the under eye area instantly and over time I believe it does reduce dark circles and fine lines. This will be a repurchase for me but I am testing out a few other brands at the moment. I don’t really need anything anti-aging at the minute but I am keen to continue using this as I think it will help prevent deep lines around my eye area as I get older.

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence 15ml (travel size) £54.00 for 50ml or £70.00 for 125ml

This face mist came as part of a trial set from Tata Harper, such an excellent way to try products before committing to the full sizes. I have a stickler for face mists/spritzes whatever you want to call them, but there is no way I would spend this kind of money on one. This TH essence is lovely and it does help hydrate your skin (I tend to apply in the ‘toner’ stage before serum) but it doesn’t do anything super amazing for my skin. I like the ingredients and the mist layers over the skin nicely absorbing without tackiness or leaving residue but £54 for 50ml! Come on! I just can’t. Don’t get me wrong if there was a good deal floating about then I would definitely repurchase as the scent is beautiful and it balances skin leaving a nice canvas for other products to follow. But for now I will be using up some other face mists that are lurking about in my collection…

That’s it for my October empties, I have some more products finishing soon so look forward to sharing those with you at the end of November! Can’t believe how quick the time is going!

Thanks for reading xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

October 2016 Favourites...

Autumn is probably my most favourite season and I like nothing more than snuggling up with a book and blankets. I start lighting some candles (which I only tend to do in Autumn/Winter) and begin to incorporate some winter skincare into my routine to ward of the effects of the changing weather.
Below are the things I have been enjoying this month so far, there are others but these are the most prominent to me for various reasons:

Darphin Intral Toner 50ml – Full Size 200ml £28.00 or 500ml £56.00 Escentual (1/3 off at the moment)

I bought this sample size in a kit from eBay as I heard that it was fantastic for sensitive and irritated skin. At the time I was suffering with irritation on my forehead which I think was caused by over exfoliation (stupid me!) so was in desperate need of something that may sort it out. In the kit was also the Intral cleanser. Upon use my skin was immediately relieved and the redness and irritation practically disappeared overnight! I love that the toner is alcohol free and super gentle and moisturising, no stinging. Plus, it smells amazing. A full size purchase has already been made of this and the cleanser! So pleased I found this before the harsh weather sets in.

Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Vanilla - £27.00 Feel Unique

I’ve had this multitasking foundation for a while and haven’t really been reaching for it over the last few months until October came around. I suddenly felt I needed something hydrating but lightweight. I go through periods where I like full coverage foundations and then switch to wanting something less so. I’ve used this nearly every day and have been enjoying how buildable it is but still staying super natural. It applies like a foundation but feels like a gel on the skin and is supposed to be the best of a BB, CC and every other letter of the alphabet all rolled into one ;) I also love that you don’t need to be a pro in order to apply as either fingers or brush works well with this. No dry patchy makeup for me this winter as apparently it increases skin’s hydration by 215% after 1 week. I don’t know how this is possible but if it says that then surely it must do! ;)

The Good Father by Noah Hawley

This is the book I am reading at the moment and I am really enjoying it. All about how a father deals with his son being charged with murdering the President of the United States. It focuses on America’s Criminal Justice System and details accounts of famous murderers, with the father in denial looking for clues of parental influence to understand why his remote but seemingly normal child would do such a thing. It packs an emotional punch and is very thought provoking, especially if you have a child yourself it will get you thinking what would you do in that situation. This is an account of a father accepting his child for better and for worse, until death do them part. Hankies are needed for sure. And I haven’t even finished the book!!

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme - £14.95 Boots (on offer at the moment for £9.97)

I bought these after seeing lots of Instagram posts about them. Even though they say ‘Extreme’ apparently their acid content isn’t too scary. Packed with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and hyaluronic acid these target oily and congested skin. Even though I have sensitive skin I was assured that using these a couple of times a week shouldn’t cause any irritation or breakouts. So far so good, these have created brighter more refined skin and only leave a tingle after application. I think my irritation was caused by using these and a flannel in the same routine which over exfoliated my skin and caused the redness and small spots. Therefore, I won’t be making that mistake twice! It’s a nice addition to my collection as I haven’t used acid pads before and I like that they are easy to use and a quick sweep over the skin is all you need for them to be effective. Less faff than topical/liquid acids and are a must over the coming months when skin is known to be duller and lacklustre.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Honey Lip Balm £9.50 Escentual (1/3 off at the moment)

This has got to be my favourite lip balm. Ever! This my second or third tub! Its ideal for autumn/winter months as it is super hydrating and comes in a delicious whipped formula that lasts a long time on the lips. Usually I apply overnight and come morning it’s still there! It protects from harsh conditions and intensively nourishes. This is a cult product and apparently 1 gets sold across the world every 28 seconds! Although it is thick it’s not heavy, the texture is non greasy and leaves a matte effect on the lips which I like. Will continue to be a repurchase time and time again as I haven’t found anything that beats it!

Clinique Moisture Surge 125ml £22.00 Look Fantastic

I bought this spritz at the beginning of October knowing that I would need a facial spray that packs a punch in the hydration department. It definitely does this! I like that it’s no faff and is gentle on the skin. There aren’t any outstanding ingredients, it’s just simple and does the job. I use this most nights after acid toning and any time I am at home/office and feel the central heating sucking the life out of my skin! Quick spray of this and all feels good again. Also it’s worth mentioning the spray nozzle on this distributes a nice even layer which is a must when it comes to facial sprays, I hate feeling drenched! All in all, it really works and I will continue to repurchase. The rest of the moisture surge range is also fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone as they have options for both oily and dry skins. 

That’s my round up of the month’s favourites, I would be interested to know what are yours? Happy Halloween :)

Thanks for reading xx


Monday, 24 October 2016

Autumn Bargain Buys Under £10...

I plan to do seasonal blog posts detailing some bargain buys that are under £10. I like seeing these on other people’s sites as I find it interesting what budget things they enjoy and it’s always nice to know you aren’t breaking the bank to purchase! Not everyone can afford luxury products and I personally like to mix it up with high street brands as there are some fantastic finds out there...

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for Sensitive Skin 125ml - £1.99 Boots

I love using micellar waters to remove my eye and lip makeup or when I want to remove my full makeup in a hurry. This one is my favourite and the closest one to bioderma that I have found. Cheap as chips and really does the job without irritating the skin. Don’t be deceived by the small bottle! It lasts ages and is so portable and doesn’t take up much space! Love it!

Weleda Skin Food 75ml - £9.95 Naturismo

You can buy this cream from most health food shops (Holland & Barratt etc) and nearly all online beauty websites stock it. A lot of the time it’s on offer for around £7.00 which is such a bargain considering it is packed full of wonderful ingredients! I personally like to use this as a night cream in the winter or a foot cream all year round. It’s quite thick and smells herbal but I like that. Some of the ingredients are Vitamin E in organic sunflower seed oil, organic pansy and rosemary leaf extract both of which have mild antiseptic properties, whilst organic calendula flower extract nourishes and cares for the skin. Even though I have oily/combination skin I don’t find this aggravates or causes breakouts. A little goes a long way so a tube of this will last a while. It can be used on the face by gently patting it into the skin or elsewhere on your body/hands/feet etc. This is a lifesaver during the winter months and I would recommend it to anyone! Plus, if it’s good enough for Victoria Beckham and Rihanna then it’s good enough for me!

NYX Butter Gloss in Angel Food Cake £5.00 and Butter Lipstick in Pops £5.50 Boots

These lip products are such good value for money, the ‘Butter’ range from NYX is probably my favourite from this brand as they apply so silky smooth and leave lips looking and feeling hydrated without compromising on pigment. The gloss is non sticky and makes lips look healthy whilst the lipstick provides a beautiful satin finish. By no means do they last all day and touch ups will be required but the colour selection is fantastic and the look they give is worth it. I like using these two colours together and would suggest you experiment as the colour payoff is brilliant without feeling heavy on the lips. These colours I’ve mentioned are great for autumn as they create a plum shade that is easily wearable throughout this season.

Botanics Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser 125ml £4.00 Boots

I picked up this cleanser around 1 month ago and have only used it a handful of times but I think it is such a good buy for Autumn. It’s a gel that transforms to an oil providing a gentle cleanse that removes make up well without irritating my sensitive skin or stinging my eyes. It doesn’t leave skin dry or tight (in fact the opposite). The ingredients list is fairly small and isn’t packed with nasties, Clary sage is mentioned on the front of the packaging and this is targeted to hydrate and soothe the skin which I think it does. The texture is quite thick and it does take a little longer than some melting gels to warm up and turn into an oil, but it does encourage facial massage which is great for stimulating the skin. It emulsifies easily and rinses well with water or removed with a hot cloth which is my personal preference. I think for anyone that doesn’t want to buy a premium brand gel/oil cleanser then this a fantastic alternative, and it can be used as either a first or second cleanse.

Botanics All Bright Radiance Balm 50ml - £2.50 Boots

Another boots botanics purchase! I bought this at the same time as the cleanser as I heard that it was a bargain dupe for some of the expensive brands. This works well for my oily skin as it’s a light texture and isn’t particularly moisturising, which may or may not be an appealing factor for some of you. For me I wouldn’t use this to moisturise anyway so it doesn’t bother me. It contains natural AHA’s (alpha hydroxyl acids) which act as mild exfoliators to leave skin looking smoother and brighter. I think it does this and leaves a subtle glow rather than anything too illuminating or glittery (which I hate!). My only gripe with this is that it’s not really a balm, more of a liquid so you do have to be careful when squeezing it out the tube as it has a tendency to squirt out! But other than that it applies nicely, sits under makeup well and does what it says it does! 

That's my round up of this season's bargain buys, do you have any recommendations under £10? 

Thanks for reading xx

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm Review

I know this is a much talked about product in the beauty and blogging industry, but I couldn’t go without putting my two-penneth in seeing as it's is my ‘Holy Grail’ cleansing balm!

This was the first cleansing balm I bought and fell in love with, I had dabbled with cheaper options before but never really enjoyed the experience. I always felt there was a film left behind even after removing them with a face cloth. I also found most broke me out, but then again I was buying ones that probably weren’t right for my skin ingredients wise.

So after a lot of deliberating (and reading Caroline Hirons blog!) I finally purchased this and oh my! I am so glad I did! As soon as you open the lid you can smell the heavenly aroma and it makes you feel relaxed straight away. I don’t think I’ve ever smelt anything like it! It really promotes a sense of comfort and well-being which is exactly what we need, especially for those of us that lead busy lives!

The balm contains Moringa (obviously!) with essential oils of Orange, Neroli and Mandarin which work to rejuvenate and revitalise the skin whilst calming the senses...this it does! There is also the inclusion of Jasmine and Rose which helps to hydrate and condition the skin. I believe that this balm would suit all skin types even oily/acne prone as it balances and thoroughly deep cleanses the pores all without stripping the skin, leaving it beautifully hydrated and calm.

I use this balm as either a morning or second cleanser as I like my skin to absorb the nutrients rather than using it to take off my makeup. Although, it does do an excellent job at removing makeup and it doesn’t sting my eyes so I can really get in there and remove any remaining traces. A big thumbs up for gentleness! The texture is soft like butter and easily turns into an oil upon contact with the skin, I love giving myself a good massage with this, it’s one of my favourite parts of the day, applying and then removing with a warm flannel! You really don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never tried it! Inhaling and exhaling the scent has got to be done, it’s bliss! You can also apply the balm and add a touch of warm water to turn it into a milky consistency which you can then rinse off cleanly. So good for those that don’t like/or can’t be arsed with flannels!

Now despite me raving so much about this, it does have 1 con for me. I think the packaging sucks. It looks beautiful upon first glance but once you start using it you notice that the product is housed in a plastic case which is inside another hard plastic casing. Sounds strange? It is. Don’t get me wrong the packaging feels luxurious, but the outside plastic has cracked on nearly every pot I have owned. Not good. Especially for my poor hands! Here’s hoping Emma Hardie will listen to her customers as I know many have complained about this. Anyway let’s move on past the negative! …

The pot in the picture is 50ml as I bought it in the Starter Kit, and this has lasted me a fair while (around 4 months so far using 3-4 times a week), a little goes a long way, but the standard size is 100ml which last ages if you don’t scoop out tons at a time! If you buy the bigger size it comes with a cleansing cloth, but I personally only use the cotton side as the muslin side is quite harsh for my sensitive skin.

At £38.00 the price is steep but I would say it is 100% worth it! It has really made a difference in reducing congestion for me and brightening up my dull, tired skin. The smooth silky balm is such a joy to use and I can guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by this little pot of magic. You can also use this as a mask leaving it for 10 minutes or so to allow the ingredients to penetrate, hydrate and soothe. Usually I just leave it on whilst I’m brushing my teeth and that way it gives my skin a boost! As an addition within this range there are rosehip exfoliating seeds which you can purchase for around £15, these can be mixed in with the balm to transform it into a gentle exfoliator. I have never done this though so cannot comment on results, it’s just something I thought I’d mention.

£38.00 for 100ml which includes 1x dual action cleansing cloth or £25.00 for the 4-piece starter kit which contains a 50ml balm, cleansing cloth and 15ml Age Support Cream all inside a nice travel bag.

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-8 Beeswax, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Sorbitan Stearate, Palmitic/Stearic Triglycerides, Limonene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Silica, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Juniperus Virginiana Oil, Aqua (Water), Lecithin, Linalool, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl PCA, Menthyl PCA, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Disodium Phosphate, Citronellol, Citric Acid, Geraniol, Citral. 

Have you tried this cleansing balm or do you have any other recommendations for me? I would love to know any other balms you have enjoyed using!

Thanks for reading xx

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

My Current Collection of Face Oils...

When it comes to face oils I am very fussy, this is mainly because I have had so many experiences of them breaking me out. I find that many are full of fragrances and are high in essential oils which tend to cause a reaction on me, causing small red spots and under the skin lumps. Not pleasant! Nowadays I usually go for high quality face oils that are full of natural ingredients as opposed to ones packed with fragrance and carrier oils, which surprisingly even some expensive brands use. Proving that expense doesn’t always mean quality.

Before I purchase a face oil these days I make sure I research the ingredients and try to go for 100% natural, unless I’ve heard lots of rave reviews then usually my intrigue gets the better of me! The oils listed below are the ones I currently have in my stash (not all successful purchases) and in fact I have learnt a lot from these, I think they have influenced my choices going forward. I do have a couple of other new ones that I am loving and currently trialling so will review these in due course.

Usually I would use oils nightly in between my serum and moisturiser but recently I have started incorporating oils into my morning routine. After serum in the morning and either using more drops than usual in place of a moisturiser or using around 3 drops and applying a light layering of moisturiser after. I have seen such positive result using oils and like using different ones to target different issues, I have seen them help reduce blemishes, deeply hydrate yet balance the oil production in my skin and over time even out any areas of pigmentation.

The below oils are the ones I have in my current collection….

Pai Rosehip Biodegenerate Fruit and Seed Oil Blend- £22.00 from Pai Skincare

This oil is a fairly new purchase for me, it has been raved about a lot within the beauty community but I have always been reluctant to buy because I have had bad experiences with rose as an ingredient before. I think its rose oil that’s been a problem for me which is different to rosehip oil in the sense that one comes from the actual rose petals and the other comes from rose hips which are the fruit of the rose plant. The oil from the rose petals are very highly perfumed which is why I think it causes a reaction on my skin.

This oil is unique in that it uses concentrated fruit hip oil with twice the regenerative sterols (which apparently have benefits to the immune system) and five times the caretonoids of seed oil and is rich in concentrated trans-retonoic acid which is an essential fuel for the skin’s natural repair function, delivering pro-vitamin A to the skin without causing irritation. I can confirm happily that this is the case, I have had absolutely no reaction to this at all. Apparently this particular oil is the most concentrated rosehip oil on the market today, premium CO2 supercritical extraction delivers the complete and concentrated properties of the plant, making this oil more powerful than any other simple cold pressed rosehip oils.

Now all of this information is well and good but the important part is whether it actually works or does anything beneficial. The first thing I noticed about this oil is obviously the bright orange colour! I was concerned that I would turn out looking like a tangerine/oompa loompa but after massaging in a few drops it does disappear from the skin and your left with super glowy skin! FYI it doesn’t really seem to smell of anything, kind of like herbal tea!

I did seem to get a couple of spots after the first few uses but I think this is fairly normal as it contains vitamin A which is commonly known as retinol in it’s over the counter form. After this the breakout subsided and I was left with clear skin.  I have continued to use this oil on nearly a daily basis as I love the light texture, it’s non sticky/non greasy and easy to massage in and I have found that it has really helped my skin when going through a breakout phase. It leaves my skin feeling well-nourished and hydrated without causing excessive oiliness which is isn't what I was expecting. Definitely do not rule this oil out if you are oily or acne prone as I really believe it would be beneficial for you, it balances excess sebum and really works wonders on blemishes.

Another good point to mention is rosehip oil is excellent for scarring and I have noticed that some scars I had from past blemishes have significantly faded and I believe it’s down to all the rosehip that I have been putting on my skin! I think most skin types will see great results from this oil and think it’s perfect for especially around this time of year! At £22 this is excellent value as it will last a long time, it’s a fantastic product worth buying. I will repurchase this for sure.

Rosa Canina Seed Extract* - Rosehip CO2 Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract* - Rosehip CO2 Fruit Extract, Tocopherol - Natural Vitamin E, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract* - Rosemary Extract (Anti-Oxidant)

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate - £37.00 from Kiehls

After singing the praises of the Pai oil I have to say this next oil is a thumbs down for me. I had such high expectations of the Kiehls Midnight Recovery. I think it’s because it’s a such a highly coveted oil which so many people love, not mention the numerous awards its won. But unfortunately it just hasn’t worked for me.

Let’s start with some of the main ingredients, these are Evening Primrose which helps boost radiance, Lavender essential oil which helps soothe inflamed and irritated skin and provide a more even/brighter look and finally Squalene which is a botanical lipid that is similar in molecular structure to the skin’s natural lipids, easily absorbed and helps restore moisture balance. All of this sounds fantastic but I was wary of the essential oil aspect because as previously mentioned my skin doesn’t always agree with products that have a high essential oil content.

The oil itself is clear and quite runny, I absolutely loved the smell (very relaxing and soothing) but found that when applied over serums it would cause peeling. This is a big pet hate of mine. I tried it over numerous serums and it still had the same effect. My skin did feel nice when applied, but I didn’t see a noticeable change in how my skin looked upon application, like I have with the other oils mentioned in this post.

Due to the name I was expecting to wake up to a radiant restful complexion but found this wasn’t the case. Overnight I developed some whitehead spots which is usually a tell-tale sign for me that the product isn’t suited for my skin, as my skin is very reactive. Despite this I persevered but every time I used it I always awoke with troublesome skin, and gradually my skin got more congested. I definitely put this down to the fragrant oils that seem to load this product. There are some very purifying oils in there - coriander, lavender and rosemary are notorious for presenting irritation. So for the price I personally wouldn’t recommend this, there are so many other lovely natural facial oils that have better ingredients! Definitely consider your skin type before purchasing this as I don’t think it would suit sensitive skins. Or at least carry out a patch test which is what I failed to do myself! You live and learn!

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lavender Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Linalool, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Limonene, Citral, Sclareolide, Rose Flower Oil, Jasmine Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil

Nude Progenius Rescue Oil – £58.00 from Space NK

Firstly, I purchased this in a sample size from eBay as I wanted to try it but didn’t want to fork out on £58 before knowing if I liked it. I am so glad I did as this bottle lasts a while and gives you a decent amount so you can really decide if it’s for you. This is my second small bottle, they are so portable and ideal for not taking up too much space!

What I like about this oil is the texture, it’s extremely lightweight (almost water like) so perfect for the summer months and times when you don’t want to feel overloaded with product. The formula contains bakuchiol which is natures answer to retinol, this really interested me as I am wanting to dabble in anti-ageing products without the use of harsh chemicals or ingredients. Prescription medication is absolutely a no no for me, but each to their own! I would much rather go down a natural route that has less side effects etc. So this is where Nude’s Progenius rescue oil comes in. It helps repair and refine skin’s texture using purifying coleus root and organic rosemary extracts which clarify the skin and antioxidants provides protection against environmental aggressors.

Nude’s statement is that they are ‘beautiful without’ – parabens, sulphates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, Proylene Glycol, Phthalates, Petrolatum, Synthetic colour, Synthetic fragrance, mineral oil and silicones. Sounds exactly what my sensitive skin would love! And it does. Although there are some purifying ingredients in this it does seem to calm skin, reduce blemishes and prevent breakouts without causing irritation. I put this down to the quality of ingredients.

I personally wouldn’t use this oil every day or on the days that I exfoliate, just because I wouldn’t want my skin to freak out (due to the bakuchiol) but this is perfect for 2-3 times a week to brighten the complexion and clarify. I have used this under my moisturiser in the mornings because of how sheer and super-fast absorbing it is, but generally would recommend this as a night treatment.  Over time I think you would see that it creates smoother skin and reduces pore size, but because I don’t use this regularly enough I can’t comment too much on that. Also it’s worth mentioning that it’s all natural, vegan and cruelty free and is recommended for all skin types - although I wouldn’t rely on this oil to hydrate as I would say it’s more of a ‘dry oil’ as opposed to a typical face oil. But if you’re looking for something a little different and perhaps more ‘natural’ than Sunday Riley’s Luna then I would definitely check this out!

Inca Gold Oil, Rosehip Seeds, Safflower Seed oil, Bakuchiol, Thyme leaf extract, papaya extract, hibiscus flower extract, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, citronellol, linalool, isoamyl laurate, fragrance (parfum), squalene, coleus root extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary leaf extract), carrot root extract, macrocystis pyrifera extract, rose canina fruit extract, citral, limonene

Balmology Rose Beauty Oil - £30.00 from Balmology

I won’t go into too much detail with this oil as I have already recently reviewed it, see here - but I have to say it’s one of my most favourite discoveries! I love how super nourishing this is without ever causing me to breakout. The ingredient list is delightful and it smells incredible!

I’ve been using this almost nightly usually either on its own (using 1 full pump) or using half a pump and applying a light moisturiser over the top. There is something so comforting about the scent and you can really give a good massage with this oil. I’ve also enjoyed applying this to my d√©colletage as it’s so beautiful. I may even start adding it to my body creams or just applying it alone after the showering….

I love the ethics behind this brand and the customer service is second to none. I urge you to invest!

Argania spinosa kernel (argan) oil*, Macadamia ternifolia (macadamia) oil*, Corylus avellana (hazelnut) oil*, Rosa canina (rosehip) oil*, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil*, Tocopherol, Cymbopogon martini (palmarosa)*, Pelargonium graveolens roseum (geranium bourbon)*, Boswellia carterii (frankincense)*, Rosa damascena (rose otto)*, citral**, citronellol**, eugenol**, farnesol**, geraniol**, limonene**, linalool**.
*Certified Organic. **Naturally occurring in essential oils.
 Made with 99% certified organic ingredients.

What are your favourite face oils and have you tried any of the ones I’ve listed?

Thanks for reading xx