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