Category Archives: Beauty Review

Premium Skincare Mini Reviews

I dealt with the first lockdown in no small part by indulging my love of skincare. I bought both the Caroline Hirons Spring and Summer Kits with savings on the contents of  55%. I probably purchased enough skincare for several faces and still have plenty to see me into 2021. No regrets though. I got a chance to try some products I’ve wanted for ages and it was an excellent distraction. Here are my brief thoughts on some of them.

 

Peptide K8 Power Cream by Kate Somerville £127

Previously known as Deep Tissue Repair, Caroline Hirons has said she’d like to be buried with a tub of this. At £127, I waited 7 years to give it a go at a hefty discount. It’s supposedly a lot more than a moisturiser; essentially a serum strength ‘power cream’. Now, I’m not good with creams that have a heavy artificial fragrance and this has a strong citrusy scent. It’s not unpleasant but it feels odd to me to be putting perfume on my face. It’s listed as ‘Parfum’ on the ingredients list rather than it being the aroma of the natural materials. It certainly feels nice on the skin and I use it on non-tretinoin nights. However, I don’t think it’s quite what it’s cracked up to be. The ingredients just don’t seem to back it up. Would not repurchase at that price.

Protini Polypeptide Cream by Drunk Elephant £57

Unlike Peptide K8 this moisturiser really does have a stellar ingredients list with 9 signal peptides. The cream is a water-gel but it feels richer than this suggests. A little goes a long way. I would consider repurchasing because I want peptides in my routine for their collagen boosting properties and I like that I can do this in the moisturiser step rather than add another serum. It also has the genius push dispenser in the top so you don’t have to put your finger in it.

The Skin Recovery Blend by de Mamiel £95

Now this really does feel luxurious. I don’t know if it would appeal to everyone but I love the slightly chocolately, aromatic scent which comes largely from Blue Tansy essential oil. This also helps give it its stunning blue colour. This is a pressed serum which turns to oil with the heat from your fingertips. I find it very relaxing to apply and it soothes my sensitised skin which can get irritated from tret use. I like to take my time to apply it on a Sunday when I’m having a self-care spa day. If I had the money to splurge I’d repurchase in a heartbeat but can’t justify buying it largely for the sensorial experience.

Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser by Kate Somerville £32

This is a cult cleanser and in no small part because of the fragrance. I imagine for most people it’s love or hate. Those who love it find it positively swoon-inducing while those who dislike it compare it to the smell of baby vomit. I’m somewhere inbetween. I don’t particularly like it but I don’t hate it. It’s a sweet, creamy aroma that’s a little almond-y. I don’t mind fragrance in my cleanser because it’s not the skin for long. It cleanses well, needing only a pea-sized amount for the whole face, neck and chest. I wouldn’t use it to remove make-up though. Not a repeat buy.

DeliKate Recovery Cream by Kate Somerville £69

This soothing cream is intended to ‘put the fire out’. When the skin on my neck became red and scaly in April, this really did calm it down. It’s unscented and pretty solid, more like a balm. I think it’s a good product to have in your stash for when your skin flares up. I would repurchase as it’s not something you need to use regularly. There is also a serum and a cleanser in the DeliKate range.

Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate by NIOD £43

You only a get a small 15ml bottle for your money but I literally only need one drop for each eye. It’s like water so absorbs super fast. I like it a lot but the pipette drives me nuts. I managed to knock the bottle over and lost a fair amount of the contents because they’re so runny. Won’t rebuy because of the packaging.

Super C30 by Medik8 £44

Vitamin C is a must for my morning routine but this 30% Vitamin C serum was too strong for me. It smells like swimming pools and quickly irritated my skin to the point where it stung when applied. Definitely not a repeat purchase.

C-Tetra by Medik8 £35

I got this less intense Vitamin C serum from Medik8 in the Summer Kit and it’s a hit. It smells like oranges, has a lightweight consistency and is non-irritating. It is also a 100% stable formula which means unlike most Vitamin C serums, you don’t have to worry about it degrading over time. Would re-buy, despite the dropper.

Stress Rescue Super Serum by Dr Dennis Gross £75

I found this to be a pleasant calming serum, with a nice milky texture that seemed to melt into the skin. I really liked its natural ginger scent too but I’ll stick to DeliKate for a de-stressor.

Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel by Dr Dennis Gross £89

You get two sachets per application of this product (pack of 30), one contains a ‘wipe’ with a trio of exfoliating acids, while the second is infused with actives which act as your serum step. People love these but I was unimpressed. For one thing, I don’t like having to wait 2 minutes as instructed between the acid step and the serum step. I also prefer specific serums targeted at my individual needs. It may be convenient for people on the go but I think it’s a faff as well as pricey.

Liquid ExfoliKate by Kate Somerville £50

I thought this acid exfoliant might be too powerful but it’s turned out to be the best one I’ve tried. It tingles slightly but doesn’t sting and I can actually see the difference to my skin. It looks noticeably smoother and brighter. It’s a bit too drying for regular use in the winter but I would consider repurchasing in warmer weather, although I do like exfoliating masks.

Have you tried any of these? Do you have any pricier skincare favourites?

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Lockdown Skincare Routine

It’s no surprise that my skin has been reacting to staying in as well as the rest of me. It’s normally combination but now it’s become more oily and more dry. I rarely get a spot but I had two in the first two weeks of lockdown. It’s no doubt a result of increased stress, more sugar and less fresh air.

It’s very tempting to skip my normal skincare routine, but for the most part I haven’t let it slip and I think that’s helped me feel better overall. (I was letting my hair revert back to its natural frizz-ball state but the psychological effect wasn’t worth it so I’m straightening it again).

I’m using very gentle cream cleansers that are kind to the skin. I heard lots of positive things about The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser and it’s as good as they say. Squalane is deeply nourishing and the cleanser has a white, balm-like consistency that breaks down easily. Although, my favourite at the moment is Superdrug’s Vitmain E Hot Cloth Cleanser as championed by The Guardian’s Sali Hughes. This has an incredibly soft feeling on the skin and like the Squalane, never leaves it the least bit tight. I always apply cleansers to dry skin and remove with a damp microfibre cloth (from Amazon). I can’t bear splashing my face with water and that isn’t very effective anyway.

In the morning, if I am suffering from dryness I may start with a face mist. I ordered La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Ultra 8 Soothing Daily Moisturising Concentrate after skin expert Caroline Hirons recommended it for stay home skin. As a result of this, it’s now hard to get hold of and my bottle is yet to arrive. It should be a nice way to boost moisture after cleansing. A face spritz isn’t a necessity but hey, I have the time.

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I don’t feel like I’ve done my routine properly without including an active and in the A.M. it’s Niacinamide Serum by The INKEY List. It has anti-ageing properties but the fact that it supports the skin’s barrier function is a bonus. Vitamin C feels too irritating at the moment.

I’ve tried to tackle flaky, dry skin, particularly around the eye area, with various lotions and creams. Nothing has worked for long. Then I kept hearing about a cheap as chips serum from Superdrug and for £2.99 thought I’d give it a try. It’s been game-changing and definitely my current hero product. It’s the Simply Pure Hydrating Serum for sensitive skin. I use it all over the face paying particular attention to the eye area. I haven’t had a single flake since.

I’m very skeptical of expensive eye creams and am currently using CeraVe Eye Repair Cream morning and evening. I tend to think my general skincare migrates to the eye area anyway and that it’s most important to keep it hydrated.

As I currently have access to a garden (hurrah!), I finish with Paula’s Choice Skin Restoring Moisturiser SPF 50. I agree with the adage that the best sunscreen is the one you’ll actually use. A cheaper alternative I’d love to get my hands on when this runs out is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50 which has had rave reviews for its light texture.

In the evening, I remove the SPF with the Vitamin E cleanser and follow with 0.05% tretinoin from Dermatica and my eye cream. I leave that to do its thing for a while and then may follow up later with the Super drug Simply Pure Hydrating Night Serum. (It was buy one get one half price so why not?) Sometimes, for extra comfort and to counteract the drying effect of the tret, I add a final layer of moisturiser which would normally be CeraVe PM Moisturising Lotion but I also use Natural Moisturising Factors by The Ordinary.

I feel like this routine is now really working for me and my skin is looking and feeling much better.

How is your skin doing during lockdown? Are you giving it a break from make-up and seeing the benefits or it is having a freakout all of its own?
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Skincare – Starting Tretinoin

I’ve been using a prescription tretinoin (retinoic acid/vitamin A) cream for a year now and thought it might be worth sharing my experience.

Retinoids are the only topical skincare ingredient that have been scientifically proven to reverse the signs of aging by increasing cell turnover.

I’d been using the Paula’s Choice 1% Clinical Retinol for a couple of years with no issues but now in my late 40s I felt the need to step it up. The retinol serums produced by beauty companies can make a difference but are a lot weaker than pure tretinoin/vitamin A. As I understand it, the skin has to do some work to convert the retinol into vitamin A and some of the potency is lost in the process.

I know that in the States you can buy the retinoid acne treatment Differin over the counter. However, in the UK it’s impossible to get a tretinoin for anti-ageing purposes unless you you pay £200+ to go to a dermatologist who will issue you a prescription.

Then I found Dermatica (not a sponsored post!). They are an online dermatologist-led subscription service that supply prescription treatments for acne and  signs of ageing. I completed the online consultation/questionnaire and uploaded photos of my skin. I also provided my GP details so they that they will be informed.

 

With an introductory discount, I paid £7.98 for the first month’s treatment and it has been £20 thereafter (my subscription is set to every 45 days). They prescribed me tretinoin for anti-ageing combined with hydroquinone for pigmentation. I started with 0.25% and then they put me up to 0.05% the following month. I began very cautiously because tret is notorious for causing irritation and dryness which can leave the skin red and peeling. I applied it only once a week to begin with and gradually built up my tolerance.

After four months I could apply 0.05% every night and experienced no irritation whatsoever. I must say this is quite unusual. It may be because my skin had become acclimatised by the Paula’s Choice 1% Clinical Retinol.

As for the results, it’s still a bit early to say. With tretinoin you have to play the long game but I already feel the skin looks better even if it’s never going to shift deep frown lines, I have noticed an improvement in the skin’s quality, looking fresher and clearer with more glow. One thing to note is that retinoids increase the skin’s senstivity to the sun so you should apply at night only and use SPF the next morning fastidiously. I didn’t use it at all during the height of summer.

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Have you tried tretinoin or a retinol serum?

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Skincare Serums – GOW

The launch of budget skincare brand The Ordinary got me seriously into skincare a few years ago. However, the more I learnt and watched YouTube vloggers, the more I bought  into expensive products. Now I’m stripping it all back and concentrating on well formulated serums with active ingredients at a reasonable price. I don’t want to spend over the odds for gorgeous packaging or coveted brands.

Garden of Wisdom (GOW)

I had limited success with The Ordinary and when they parted ways with Victoria Health I was interested to see that it was replaced with a number of products from an American brand, Garden of Wisdom, which they reformulated and repackaged. I’ve been using three of the serums for a couple of months now and am extremely happy with them.

“All Garden of Wisdom products are cruelty free, suitable for vegetarians and free from alcohol and silicones. Garden of Wisdom uses as few ingredients as possible to allow the actives to reach the deeper layers of skin to improve the appearance of skin.”

 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which combats the damage done by pollution and UV exposure. It also has a skin brightening effect. However the formula has to be stable and at a decent percentage. The GOW offering is Vitamin C 23% + Ferulic Acid (£10 for 30ml) and has a pleasant cream formulation which isn’t too grainy or sticky.

It contains the gold standard of Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). I could tell it is a high strength from the sharp tingle I felt on my skin the first few times I applied it, however my skin has become accustomed to it. The air-tight packaging with pump is very welcome although after a couple of weeks it started to catapult the product across the room so I had to cup my hand over it. At this price it’s not a deal-breaker.

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Peptides boost collagen which keeps skin plump and bouncy. GOW’s Anti-Aging Multi-Peptide Serum (£20 for 30ml) is a clear, almost jelly-like serum that has a hydrating effect thanks to the presence of hyaluronic acid. It feels lovely on the skin. It can be used over the Vitamin C.

Niacinamide is another ingredient with proven skin benefits. It helps regulate oil production, improves the skin’s barrier function (preventing dehydration) and minimises dark spots. I found the Ordinary’s Niacinamide very drying but I’ve had no such problems with GOW’s Niacinamide Serum (£9 for 30ml). I use it on nights I’m giving my skin a break from retinols or on weekend mornings when I’m not using Vitamin C.GardenOfWisdom_SD-1024x681

I’m going to continue with these products and intend to repurchase when they run out.

Let me know in the comments whether you use any serums in your skincare routine and if you’ve tried GOW.

All products purchased by me. 

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Current Favourites – Beauty/Hair/Body

I thought I’d share a few products I’ve recently discovered that have been real gam-changers for me.

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Lack of sleep and long, busy – but super fun – days for 3 weeks in Australia really showed on my face each morning. What saved it were two new cosmetic buys. The first was IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF50+ (£30). This cult product finally became available in the UK at Boots this year after long being raved about Stateside.

It’s leans more medium coverage than the advertised full, but you can build it up a little. It’s quite thick so I found that applying it with a damp Beauty Blender was the best method. The look is incredibly luminous in daylight (see below pic) without looking shiny. Worth noting is that you only need to apply about a pump and a bit so clearly it’s not going to provide you with the full SPF 50 protection on its own.

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Me wearing the It Cosmetics CC Cream

 

The other product that worked miracles by hiding the ever-present dark circles and dips under my eyes was NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer (£24). The make-up artists at SpaceNK may recommend this for blemishes but if the undereye area is a concern for you – and you apply with a damp Beauty Blender – it can work brilliantly. I use it on evenings out or days when I need a little extra help.
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Olaplex Hair Perfector No.3 and Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer Extreme have both transformed my hair. I colour and heat treat my fine and naturally curly locks, so regular strengthening treatments are an absolute must. Olaplex was a previously only a salon service but Hair Perfector No.3 is now available to purchase from online retailers (currently just £18.70 for 100ml on AllBeauty as opposed to £32 on LookFantastic) .

Now my hair is in much healthier condition I’ve been using Elasticizer Extreme (£32 for 150ml) every other week which makes my mane feel considerably thicker. Both need to be applied to towel-dried hair for at least 10-20 minutes (I do 30 minutes). You then rinse out and shampoo and condition as normal.

 

The Soaper Duper range of bath and body products have great green credentials and are   reasonably priced. I order online but apparently you can find them in larger branches of Tesco. They use 95% naturally derived ingredients and come in 100% recycled plastic bottles.  Fragrances include Nourishing Coconut, Fig & Yuzu, Juicy Passionfruit, Zingy Ginger, Zesty Lemon and even Fruity Green Tuberose. I really like the body washes (£6.50 each for 500ml) and intend to try the Non Drying Shea Butter Hand Wash next.
soaperHave you tried any of these or have a favourite of your own to share?

 

 

 

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Morning Skincare: Two Serums from DECIEM

It’s taken me a while to catch on to the fact that it’s serums that make a real difference to your skin and not moisturiser. Now I’ve found a few I use regularly and have incorporated these two into my morning skincare routine.  Both are from brands under the umbrella of DECIEM “The Abnormal Beauty Company”.  Journalist and vlogger Nadine Baggott recently filmed a fascinating interview with the founder of DECIEM, Brandon Truaxe, which is well worth a watch if you’re into skincare.

I alternate these two serums each morning after a hydrating spritz and applying hyaluronic acid to my neck in the form of Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex by NIOD.

 

Copper Amino Isolate Solution 1% by NIOD

Another catchy name from NIOD. CAIS has become quite the cult product since its release, being thought to promote long-term skin health and combat the effects of skin ageing. Copper peptides are supposed to have multiple benefits including assisting with wound healing, collagen synthesis and anti-inflamatory responses.  Victoria of Bois de Jasmin didn’t think much of it  so I didn’t expect great things. However I found my skin really liked it. It seemed to soothe and strengthen my reactive skin.

It has very low viscosity (it’s like water!) and absorbs really well. The main reason I like it is that it feels healing on my cheek and neck which are constantly battling eczema. Maybe if you skin is already healthy you won’t notice a difference.

It comes in two bottles which you combine to create a bright blue liquid. A friend of mine doesn’t like face products that are blue, in the same way she doesn’t trust blue food, but I like it. It also smells faintly of rusty pipes which I don’t mind one bit. I’m sticking with it for now and will purchase the new improved CAIS 2 when I run out of the original formula. If the price of £38 for 15ml is a bit rich for you, The Ordinary are launching The Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% in the spring.

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Niacinamide 1% + Zinc 1% by The Ordinary

Niacinamide + Zine 1% regulates the skin’s sebum activity, reduces the appearance of blemishes and brightens skin tone. I use it because I have combination skin and this has noticeably helped to balance it out: I no longer have an oily T-Zone. I like The Ordinary’s version because it states it has a high 10% concentration of niacinamide (vitamin B3) whereas some don’t tell you the exact percentage. Paula’s Choice do a Niacinamide Booster at 10% but it costs considerably more then £5 for 30ml, at £40 for 20ml.

I really like the texture of this serum because although it combats oiliness, it doesn’t feel  drying.  I don’t use it at the same as my Vitamin C serum because this can cause a redness reaction.

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Do you use a serum in your morning skincare routine? Please share your choices in the comments. I love to hear what works for other people.

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Two Favourite Balm Cleansers

When I get home from work the first thing I do after making a cup of tea is take off my make-up. I do a pre-cleanse with micellar water to remove my mascara and lipstick and then go in with a balm to get rid of the rest (base, concealer, blush, SPF).

Balms are my preferred evening cleanse because they are thorough yet feel good for the skin. There is also a therapeutic aspect to them; you literally feel like you’re wiping the day away.

I used to use micellar water to take off all my make-up because it felt easier than messing around at the sink with water. However, I found that it dried my skin out and using a balm is actually quicker as well as more effective.

I spread a blob between damp hands and apply it all over my face. I then run a fannel under the hot tap, wring it out and use it to wipe off the cleanser. They are more pricey than cream cleansers or face washes but last ages.

There are a few balm cleansers around but I like the ones that are solid rather than cream-like. Clinique’s Take The Day off Cleansing Balm is a cheaper alternative to those below, but the lack of scent makes it rather joyless.  I normally askew heavily scented products in skincare but cleansers are one of my exceptions because they don’t stay on the skin.

Here are my two favourites: –

 

 

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm 

Two of the reasons I love this cult cleansing balm are that it’s oily and has a fabulous orange scent. It contains essentials oils of orange, neroli, mandarin, jasmine and rose in addition to moringa seed extract which has numerous skin benefits. The base is grapeseed oil and sweet almond oil, however unlike the next balm, it is not all-natural.

I’m not sure how it does it but this balm manages to act as a deep cleanse as well as a skin conditioner. I use it on those occasions when I have a full face of make-up or am purely craving that uplifting scent. As suggested by Emma Hardie, I sometimes use it as a mask while in the bath so the oils can sink in. It’s available from Marks and Spencer but there are often deals online. It comes with a nice cleansing cloth.

 

Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleansing Blam

Someimes I want something simple which isn’t heavily scented. This Nourishing Balm fits the bill but is still a pleasure to use. It’s more waxy with a lighter consistency than the Moringa Cleansing Balm. It has the refreshing scent of an essential oil blend; the type you often get in all-natural products such as this. It contains organic jojoba oil, beeswax and essential oils of ylang ylang, elemi, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemongrass, lavender, myrrh, sandalwood and sweet orange.

As the name suggests, this balm feels really nourishing rather than stripping.  I use it on days when my skin feels dry/delicate and it leaves it feeling soft and plump.  Again, it comes with its own fluffy cleansing mit.

 

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Please let me know if you have tried either of these or your thoughts on other cleansers.

 

 

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The Boxwalla August Beauty Box

I feel closely connected to this particular subscription box. I first got to know Lavanya – the talented woman behind Boxwalla –  online a number of years ago through her perfume blog and then in person when she and her family visited London from California.

When her second child was born she blogged about how she had been inspired to start a new venture which turned out to be Boxwalla (which means a “box seller” in India). It was great to see the scheme grow and it has even been featured in Vogue.

Lavanya noticed I had recently got into skincare in a big way and kindly offered to send me the August Beauty Box for review.

 

 

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The lovely boxes are made from recycled cotton scraps

 

Before Boxwalla I had been very sceptical about subscriptions boxes. From what I could tell, you’d get one or two things you might be half interested in and then quite a few random bits and pieces of little value, just to bulk it out. Therefore the first thing that impressed me upon opening the box was that it contained three high quality, full sized products and no filler.

 

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Lavanya is passionate about green beauty but she is also only interested in those products that are nutrient-rich and actually work. I felt very fortunate that this box included two items from Odacité because I’ve been eyeing this plant-based brand for a while. However, after reading the packaging of both products I was still none the wiser as to what exactly they were and where they fit into my skincare routine.

 

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This is the where the Boxwalla card came into its own. It detailed not only what the main benefits of the products were, but how and when to use them. As suggested, after misting, I added 2 pumps of the Oleosomes Time Release Delivery Créme (moisturiser) to the Pa+G Serum Concentrate (hyperpigmentation treatment) and applied all over my face and neck.

The emulsion sank into my skin fast and left a non-sticky, velvety feel. I have been having issues with eczema and dehydration but my skin has been incredibly soothed and hydrated since using this concoction. I’ve have also been using the Créme as a stand alone moisturiser. It contains seed oils but smells like herbs.

 

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I only started using lip exfoliators recently and don’t know how I got along with without them before. My lips are smoother (obviously) and lipstick goes on better. The only issue is that I always end up accidently eating some, so an all-natural version is a definite plus.  Nordic Berries Lip Exfoliator by Henné Organics looks stunning, smells amazing and is gentle yet effective.

 

 

The box is great value at $54.95, especially when you consider the retail value is $131. The Odacité Oleosomes Time Release Delivery Crème alone costs £60 on Cult Beauty! There is limited availability to buy this box as a one-off if you’re interested.

 

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I really admire the ‘slowness’ concept behind Boxwalla.  It’s nice to find someone who is focusing on sharing high quality products with integrity by artisans and small businesses. This isn’t a throw away buzz which fades soon after the box arrives in the post. Every single one has been curated with care and it shows. Boxwalla make sure that each box builds on the one before so you don’t end up with random products that don’t fit together.

This isn’t just about Beauty either. There are also Food, Film and Book Boxes and all but the Food Box ship internationally.

Boxwalla is a subscription box done right.

 

 

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Holiday Sun, Skin and Hair

After sharing a photo of the inside of my suitcase the other week, I thought I’d talk about some of the many products I took with me on holiday.

We spent a week in Majorca with temperatures of 27 to 30 degrees C. I brought enough lotions and potions to cover myself, my sister and niece.

 

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Cleanser

I got Pixi’s Double Cleanse by Caroline Hirons in the re-issued Cult Beauty Box, just in time for my trip. It was handy to have a cream and balm cleanser in one container. I used the cream in the morning and the balm in the evening to take off my SPF. I liked the texture of both a lot. The cream is, well creamy, and the balm is nice and solid.

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Vitamin C

After cleansing in the morning I applied a layer of Vitamin C serum. This powerful antioxidant is a good way to counteract the damaging effects of sun exposure.  I took two from both ends of the price spectrum.

At home, I normally apply DCL’s C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30 in the evening because of its grainy texture. It contains 30% vitamin C (L ascorbic acid) and gives a sharp tingle on application.

As my skin got drier through the week, I switched to The Ordinary’s Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% vitamin C because it’s in oil form. I’m extremely curious about the new Vitamin C 30% Suspension in Silicone from The Ordinary. I suspect it stings pretty intensely. Let me know if you’ve tried it.

 

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Facial Sunscreen

For a base layer in the morning, I applied Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF 50 by La Roche-Posay. It was indeed very light and a pleasure to apply.

For re-application I took Bioderma Invisible Fresh Mist SPF 50 which was a revelation. The mist is so fine you barely feel it hit your skin. This makes topping up your sunscreen an absolute breeze.  I never broke out, even with my combination skin.

 

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Body Sunscreen

I knew we’d be spending a lot of time in the swimming pool so I looked for a sunscreen that would stick. I researched a lot of high-end brands and while most say they are “water resistant”, I went for Marks and Spencer Ultra Defense SPF 50 because it’s “very water resistant”.

I bought the cream for applying in the morning and the spray version for re-application. Not glamorous, but the best for our needs.

 

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Lip Protection

Lanolips Tinted Balm is very moisturing and contains SPF 30. I got it in Rhubarb which is a natural-looking pinky colour. Good for poolside or on the beach when you’re not not wearing lipstick.

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Body Moisturisers

I took my trusty La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume as well as the E45 Intense Recovery spray in case my skin got too over-heated from the sun.

I finished with a little Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for the oil sheen and tropical scent (which my sister is now obsessed with). I didn’t wear any of the handful of decants I took in the end.

 

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Hair

I took travels sizes of Bumble and Bumble’s sulphate free shampoo and conditioner but the conditioner wasn’t mosituring enough after a day in the sun and pool. Luckily, I had brought along a small tube of Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask by Briogeo and that worked wonders. I honestly think my hair came home in better condition that when I went.

I’m still experimenting with styling my hair using Wave Spray by Quai, so the jury’s out on that one.  I shared my sister’s great smelling Sun Care Protective Hair Veil spray by Aveda for a UV filter and covered my hair as much as possible.

 

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At Duty Free on the return leg we tried a lot of perfumes to pass the time. Both my sister and niece have great noses. My sister spritzed Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermes for the flight home while my niece said Angel Muse was her favourite. The reason being “It smells like Daddy’s Christmas cookies”.

 

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Do you have vacation sun, skin or hair care products to recommend?

 

 

 

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Filed under Beauty Review, Perfume Reviews, Travels

My Dehydrated Skin Saver – Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex by NIOD

I’ve been using hyaluronic acid products for a few years now to try and combat skin dehydration. I’ve tried a couple of different brands and gone through tube after tube, bottle after bottle.

Throughout this time, I never saw a noticeable difference in my skin although it felt good straight after application. I was convinced it must be doing something though. It’s one of the few products that has been proven to plump and hydrate the skin and I am forever hearing how it can ‘attract up to one thousand times its weight in water’.

I persevered with hyaluronic acid, even as my skin deteriorated last autumn and I developed an extremely dehydrated, flaky patch on my cheek. My skin had become ‘compromised’.

Then after becoming intrigued by The Ordinary, I read on the DECIEM website that the effectiveness of  hyaluronic acid to penetrate the skin depends on the size of its molecules. The Ordinary’s offering has three different sizes of molecule but the site actually points customers to sister brand NIOD for a more advanced formulation. Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC) has – count them- 12 different sizes of molecule as well as a precursors to hyaluronic acid.

 

“Many products have used HA to claim hydration benefits, but HA is too large of a molecule to penetrate the skin and instead sits on the surface and can draw moisture out of the skin making the surface feel soft and hydrated temporarily.” – The Ordinary website

 

Therefore when I visited the London DECIEM store with Val the Cookie Queen in mid-May I decided to go straight for the big guns and purchased the more expensive NIOD version (£25 for 15ml or £38 for 30ml).

 

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I cracked open NIOD’s MMHC and applied a few drops after cleansing as instructed.

After one day there was a marked improvement, after two days the dryness was almost gone, after three days I was so happy to get my smooth skin back I can’t to tell you. I know it was the Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex that made the difference because  I hadn’t changed anything else.

Hyaluronic acid had finally lived up to its hype and done the business.

Since then NIOD have released MMHC2 with an improved formula, which they are calling ‘the second generation’ of MMHC. I will be purchasing it as soon as my bottle runs out.

 

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How have you got on with hyaluronic acid products?  Do you recommend anything else from DECIEM brands?

 

 

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Filed under Beauty Review