Friday, 30 September 2016

Spa in a Spray - Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist

This is my newest discovery when it comes to facial mists and in fact I am completely new to the brand itself. I’d heard top bloggers like Caroline Hirons and Ruth Crilly (a model recommends) rave about this particular product, but I just never got round to purchasing. Guaranteed it is an expensive item but Omorovicza are currently selling a 50ml limited edition version for £25, which isn’t too bad, so that was my chance to snap it up.

Out of all the mists I’ve tried this gives the most even finish and comes out extremely finely. In fact, I could barely feel it going on my face! This for me is important as I hate the feeling of being drenched following application!

Anyway back to the mist itself… its packed full of wonderful natural ingredients, vitamins and essential oils which together create a beautiful smelling product. All without any alcohol. The base of the mist is the mineral rich healing Hungarian Thermal water which is the lead ingredient throughout the whole Omorovicza range. Orange blossom, sage and rose waters purify and tone the skin whilst apple pectin hydrates and increases suppleness.

My skin is quite sensitive and I have had some bad experiences with facial mists before (particularly using Caudalie Beauty Elixir) so I was hesitant to try this, but I didn’t need to worry, I think because it doesn’t include alcohol or harsh astringents it was perfect for me.

I use this morning and night after toning and sometimes I do another spray between my serum and facial oil just to sandwich in the hydration! It’s also becoming a favourite for setting my makeup and freshening up my skin throughout the day. It literally feels like I’m in a spa if I close my eyes and imagine! The smell just lifts my spirits and helps me to destress!

This is certainly a luxury item as it’s not cheap, but if you like your facial mists to be gentle, soothing and healing then I think it’s definitely one to try.

Ingredients - Aqua (Hungarian Thermal Water), Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Saccharomyces (Hungarian Thermal Water) Ferment Extract, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Mannitol, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Pectin, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Water, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Water, Phospholipids, Yeast Extract, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol.

Buy here - £25 for 50ml or £48 for 100ml - 

Have you tried Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist yet and do you have any other favourite facial mists to share?

Thanks for reading xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

I thought I’d do a little series on here called ‘My Most Favourite’ where I tell you about my most favourite products as and when I feel ready to declare them to the world. I am quite a hard person to please so it takes quite a lot for a product to be my ‘most favourite’. OK, now I will stop saying ‘my most favourite’!. On with the review….

I’ve always struggled to find a serum that suits my skin, either they are too oily/greasy, not hydrating enough, sticky/tacky or just don’t ‘do’ anything. I like to see results when I buy products otherwise what’s really the point? In comes Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II.

This has been a cult beauty product in the industry for a long time. It’s Estee Lauder’s biggest selling product and one is sold every 8.5 seconds! Now I’m not one to give into ‘hypes’ easily so hadn’t ever tried it till this year. I know! Talk about being behind with the times.

After years of searching for my perfect serum I ended the search around April this year when I finally caved in and got a sample. I think the reasons for resisting this was mainly because of 2 things, 1 - it’s expensive, 2 - it’s got the word ‘night’ in it and assumed it could only be limited to night time use so that kind of put me off.  How wrong I was.

As soon as I put the 4 drops on my fingers (one on each finger, not the thumb!) I knew I would love it. I rubbed my fingers together gently and massaged the serum over my face really concentrating on the T-zone areas. The product absorbs beautifully and leaves skin super soft, instantly my skin felt calmer, brighter and super hydrated. That will be the heavy dose of hyaluronic acid working its magic. Layering other products over it didn’t cause the serum to peel off my face or anything like that (another issue I had come across when trialling serums), so I was happy so far.

Come morning my skin looked good, in a natural way, nothing outstanding just calm and rested, which is what we all want after a night’s sleep isn’t it? So they are not wrong when they claim it looks like a good night’s sleep in a bottle. I feel this really does assist in making skin look good despite whatever kind of rough night you’ve had!

After a couple of weeks of using this I decided that I loved it so much I wanted it in my morning routine too, I’m so glad I did. Over time my skin looks much more even, glowing and hydrated. This packs a punch in the hydration department without ever feeling greasy or too much. It has helped heal some acne scarring I had and blemishes heal much quicker in general, which I think is why I keep coming back to this serum time and time again.

That aside, it is effectively an anti-ageing serum which uses exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology to maximise the power of the skin’s natural night-time renewal process. There is a lot of science behind this serum but rather than blabber on I have listed bullet points detailing the claims (tested and proven on over 520 women for 4 weeks):

  • ·         More than 75% of women felt their skin looked more youthful
  • ·         82% felt their skin was instantly hydrated
  • ·         83% of women felt their skin looked healthier, fresher and more rested

I believe that over time it would prevent the signs of ageing and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, if I continue to use this over the years I will keep you updated on whether I still look like a 26-year-old at the age of 36! But this really is a product I would recommend to all ages and all skin types.

So there you have it, my favourite serum and the one that I will be investing in for a long time. It balances, hydrates and doesn’t interfere with any other products you decide to use over it. Despite my rave review I am always on the lookout for new things to try (being the skincare junkie I am) so if you guys have any recommendations then please do let me know!!

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II is available at Boots and most leading department stores for £52.00 for 30ml or £72 for 50ml (this is the size shown in the pictures) - link below

I wanted to post an up to date ingredients list but unfortunately Estee Lauder do not have this information to hand, they need to contact the 'lab' and then email me! Wish I had kept the box now! Such a long winded process to get ingredients.

Thank you for reading!


Monday, 26 September 2016

Brand Discovery - Bravura London

As my first proper post I wanted to give you my review on a brand I recently discovered. Bravura London is the genius creation of Amanda Elias and focuses on luxury skincare without the price tag. I am so glad that I came across them when following other skincare enthusiasts on Instagram! I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited about a brand for a long time. I really like supporting smaller companies with true ethics and knowledge about what they are selling.

Bravura provide free, no obligation skincare advice where they will recommend the correct products suitable for your skin issue and type. After years of trying so many different products I feel I have a good handle on what my skin type is, and what I should treat it with, so I went ahead and decided to buy a few products.  This enabled me to give them a fair trial and understand if their products actually worked for me. I have been using these for just over 3 weeks….

Before I start with the reviews of each product I would like to mention another appealing factor of this brand. The packaging. It’s beautiful!! The products are housed in different colours of frosted glass jars or bottles with the brand symbol of a dragonfly on them. Feels like luxury but doesn’t weigh heavy on your purse strings! Bonus! Right let’s get onto the reviews….

Hot Cloth Volcanic Mud Cleanser - £15.00 - This claims to be a gentle PH balanced facial cleanser which can also double up as detoxing face mask, recommended for all skin types. It contains glycolic acid, fullers earth and a blend of natural active botanical extracts to provide gentle exfoliation and lift impurities.

I personally use this as a second/morning cleanse as I don’t think it would remove heavy makeup, nor does it claim to. The texture itself is lovely and soft and can easily be spread and massaged over your face with ease (apply to dry skin). I love clay based cleansers anyway, but this is a delight to use. It leaves skin feeling deep cleansed without being dry or tight and I was quite surprised at how soft it left my skin after rinsing it off. The best way I can describe the scent, is fresh and earthy.  

Ingredients Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Diatomaceous Earth, Fullers Earth, Glycolic Acid and Sodium Glycolate (5%), Glycerin, Avocado Oil, Squalene, Lauroamphocarboxyglycinate and Sodium Trideceth Sulfate , Chamomile and Saponaria Extracts, Amino Acid Condensate, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, *Hazelnut Oil, *Sesame Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Guar Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Natural Fragrant Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

Azulene Cleansing Milk - £14.50 – This is a beautiful soothing non foaming cleanser which is used to remove make up. This lotion is suited for all skin types especially sensitive as it contains Azulene which is why it’s blue in colour! Azulene is a healing botanical extracted from fresh chamomile flowers which helps with any skin allergies or irritation because of its anti-bacterial properties.

This cleansing milk is what you’d use as a first cleanse, I prefer to use this on days when I am exfoliating or using acids as it’s so gentle and really lifts dirt and impurities well without the use of a flannel or muslin cloth. I just rinse it off with warm water or use a cotton pad.
I’ve also used this when my skin is feeling a little temperamental as it’s just so calming and really brings down any redness. I think everyone needs a cleanser like this for pulling out when skin is feeling a tad fragile. A note to mention, this cleanser wont remove eye makeup as it’s not suitable for that area. This isn’t a problem for me as I like using a separate lotion for this anyway, but for those of you that like an ‘all in one’ then this may not be for you.

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Decyl Oleate, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Soap Wort and Marshmallow Extracts, Camellia Oil, Glucose and Fructose and Sucrose and Alanine and Glutamic Acid and Aspartic Acid and Hexyl Nicotinate, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Glycosaminoglycans, Fragrant Oil, Guaiazulene, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid

Revitalising Ginseng Toner with Glycolic Acid 5% - £12.40 - Now the toners from Bravura are what encouraged me to try the brand, I’ve seen them appear in lots of instagrammers skin routines, so I had to try one as I have yet to find an acid toner that suits my oily-sensitive skin.
There are 3 varying strengths available from 15% AHA/BHA (for non-sensitive oily-spotty skins), 13% AHA (for normal – oily skin) and 5% Glycolic (for normal dry – sensitive skins).

I went with the 5% to be on the safe side because I haven’t had much luck when it comes to acid toners. Every single one I’ve tried seems to break me out and cause soreness. Funnily enough this one is compared to Pixi Glow Tonic as the ingredients are almost identical, in fact having compared them I believe they are exactly the same! This comes as a big surprise to me as I didn’t get on with the Pixi GT but for some reason my skin loves this Bravura one!

This toner has a PH of 4.5 and is alcohol free which is a big bonus, it’s lightly scented with botanical extracts and really does help balance my skin and leave it prepped for treatment products. Since using this my skin feels a lot smoother and blemishes are reduced, I haven’t really had any breakouts apart from the odd 1 or 2 spots (touch wood) and this has helped clear them up quicker. I use this toner twice a day and haven’t had any allergic reactions or complaints. This will definitely be a re-purchase for me!

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts, Glycolic Acid and Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Ginseng Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrant Oil.

Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid 5%, partially neutralised by Ammonium Hydroxide.

Chemical Exfoliators: As mentioned previously my skin can be super sensitive to acids and exfoliators so I was very cautious when buying the 2 products above. I picked ones that I believe would be suited to my skin and I made sure I read the instructions thoroughly before applying! I use these acids twice a week (sometimes 3) and alternate between the two or whatever my skin is feeling like on the day. There are 3 different chemical exfoliants available through Bravura (10% Glycolic acid, 10% lactic acid and 2% salicylic acid). I would recommend buying the special applicator for around £3.50 as it makes applying so easy and foolproof.

10% Lactic Acid (infused with Rose) - £9.59 - This is a mild chemical peel with a PH balance of 3.75. Apparently it’s the most accepted acid by the skin compared to other AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) as our body naturally produces lactic acid. It’s alcohol free and is infused with Rose water. Seeing as my skin tends to fall on the dehydrated side of life I thought this would be the better option for me. I wanted something that gets rid of dull skin and exfoliates gently without stripping the skin.
This does exactly that, it feels lovely upon application (no stinging) and is easily removed with warm water. Lactic acid has been known to help acne, dry and sun damaged skin, hyperpigmentation and fine wrinkles so believe it would help various skin types. It also encourages the skin to produce more collagen which helps keep the skin elastic and line free, which can’t be bad!
I believe that this acid has really helped de-congest my skin and the oiliness I had seems to have reduced and I think it’s down to this product and the toner.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Rose Floral Water, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Citrate.

2% Salicylic Acid - £9.59 - Buying this acid was a no brainer for me, I loved the idea of having salicylic acid available on its own. Normally I would buy masks or skincare with it in, but never on its own so it can work directly and effectively. This particular acid is fantastic for treating oily/acne prone skin and has amazing pore clearing action. I use this on spots as and when they come up as it’s a regular use peel.
Apparently salicylic acid is much stronger than other acids and therefore it is highly effective in lower percentage solutions, hence the 2%. I find this acid really works at calming inflamed spots and after a 5-minute application the blemish has reduced in size and redness calmed! Amazing. Although salicylic acid is a more powerful peel compared to glycolic acid, its less of an irritant so this was perfect for me.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Salicylic acid, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide. 

Azulene Moisturiser - £9.90 - I’m not going to lie I bought this because I liked the sound of slathering a blue moisturiser all over my face and seeing if I turn out like a smurf! That aside, I was enticed by its ingredients and claims that it provides moisture relief with a long lasting soothing effect without harsh chemicals.
Again, Azulene is the main ingredient here which really works to calm skin and has natural and healing properties which help soothe sensitive skin and prevent the formation of inflammations, blemishes and blackheads. It is also fragrance free and unscented.

I have been looking for a non-faff moisturiser that is light enough for my oily skin but is hydrating enough to combat dehydration. This is it. I absolutely love it and cannot sing its praises enough!
In fact, this moisturiser is ideal for most skin types except very dry and flaky skin. It provides instant moisture without greasiness and leaves almost like a matte effect which means it’s excellent under makeup. It can be used day and night (I have been using it both) and really recommend it after using acid or exfoliators. This will definitely be a re-purchase as I don’t want to be without it, it really is a beautiful moisturiser!

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Alginate, Hops Extract, Rosemary Leaves Extract, Sage Leaves Extract, Hazelnut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Triethanolamine, Avocado Oil, Azulene, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate, d-Panthenol, Ginseng Extract, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.

Overall Review – I am so happy to have discovered a brand that is such good value for money with products that really work. I can see these always being in my stash  especially the Moisturiser, Toner and the 2 acids. I’m planning on trying the cleansing oil next...

Has anyone tried anything else from this brand?

Thank you for reading!