Firstly – thanks for the comments and messages about my rather subdued return to blogging. It’s been really nice reading the comments, FB messages and texts – so thank you. I’m glad my middle-of-the-night-ramblings are still a) making sense and b) interesting to read. Speaking of reading the blog – I have discovered on WordPress that you can see where readers are from and it would appear I have a little group of readers from India, Belarus, Belize and Canada – strange geographical demographic – but I’m delighted nonetheless! 🙂
Following on from my previous new products post – here is the second half. As I said before, some of these were purchased way back when it was a bit warmer – some have been used and some not – so I’ll do the review thing again when applicable. My lack of sleep/inability to sleep is clearly taking its toll – I have a very attractive stye/spot-type-thing (?) on my eyelid – so I’m not especially happy about that. Think tomorrow’s job is researching products to get rid!
Anyway – let’s crack on…
- REN Micro Polish Cleanser – £15.95 http://www.allbeauty.com (this is the cheapest I’ve found it. I purchased mine in M&S for £20)
I’m not usually a fan of abrasive scrubby cleansers/scrubs (years of damage from rubbing bits of St Ives Apricot shell in to my face! – admit it – we all did that!) – they tend to be quite harsh and leave my already red face even more tomato-like. However, after I left my Benefit Refined Finish Facial Polish in a hotel at the start of the summer, I purchased the REN one to replace it. The Benefit one has slightly smaller grains and is a bit more gentle – the REN one is a bit more abrasive. I do, however, like the REN one – I’ve nearly used this tube up. Calling it a cleanser is a bit of a mistake though – in my opinion; it is far too harsh for a daily cleanser. I use this once/twice a week max. It just makes my face feel smoother and I only need that once a week. I also always following it with a nourishing cleanser and a really decent, thicker (as my skin is on the drier side) moisturiser. I’m a fan – but not for daily use – your skin will HATE you!
*******Bargain alert! ***********
2. Botanics Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser £2.99 (WHAT?!!?! AMAZING!) http://www.boots.com
Well, Botanics have done it again. This stuff is awesome! It is similar to the No7 Melting Gel Cleanser but without the nasty ingredients that they use to fill it (mineral oil etc.). It is also nearly-a-dupe for the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (which I also like but it is £20.00!). For £2.99 you cannot go wrong with this product at all. I’ve used about half the tube I think and I love it. The gel comes out really thick and takes a bit of massaging to get it around the face (put it on dry skin) but once it warms it moves well and turns in to an oil. I then massage for a bit, then add some water, then wipe away with a warm flannel. This kind of cleanser (oil based) is perfect for getting rid of sunscreen and heavy make up – I also used it on my eyes without irritation and my eyes are sensitive. This has no essential oils in so is perfect for those with really sensitive, reactive skin (the Botanics cleansing balm does have essential oils in it which might break some people out – this would be your better bet). And again, for £2.99 – I cannot believe the price of this product! I tend to use it as a second cleanse after I’ve used TBS Chamomile Cleansing Oil/Butter or Clinique Take the Day Off Balm to remove most of my make up. I’ve also used it first thing in the morning if I’ve been wearing a thick night moisturiser/mask to bed. It leaves skin hydrated and not tight (this was the issue I had with Liz Earle C&P). Perfect stuff – run out and get it now – before the whole world catches on!
3. La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluide – Soothing Protective Non-Oily Emulsion £11.25 (currently on offer http://www.boots.com)
There is an awful lot of love for this oh-so-simple moisturiser in the blogging world. If you have red, irritated, flaky, itchy, angry skin – this is your bag. The French know their skincare – I use a lot of French Pharmacy brands (LRP, Avene, Vichy, Klorane, Bioderma – look on http://www.escentual.com) – and they are especially good at skincare for specific issues like sensitivity. Toleriane is a fragrance free, simple, basic moisturiser. It is an excellent base for makeup and there is no peeling/rolling of primer/foundation. This moisturiser is aimed at oily/combination skin – there is one for dry skin too – and it is slightly matifying so really good for warmer weather. I used to use this a few years ago and I have no idea why I stopped; it is not quite moisturising enough for me in the winter, but I used it in the summer and come spring, this will be back out. I urge you – if you have sensitive skin that pulls, stings, is tight or uncomfortable – check out this product and LRP in general. I absolutely rely on LRP and Avene for when my skin has a reaction or is badly sun/wind burnt.
4. Bobbi Brown Extra Bright Advanced Moisture Cream (mine is a 7ml sample size) £64.50 for full size 50ml.
I haven’t used this yet – it was a free sample when I purchased Christmas presents from BB. I wasn’t especially interested in trying it, but I’ve just done a bit of research and it seems this is also a favourite. It is a brightening moisturiser – not sure what I think about their successes as it’s never really been a concern of mine. Sure, I have spot scars and marks on my face, but not enough to massively bother me – I just cover them with makeup – but if you have hyper pigmentation then this might be for you. I will try it out on the spot scars/red marks and report back. We’ll see – it is very pricey so I’m expecting good things …
5. Bobbi Brown Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover £9.00 (full size is £18.00) avaliable on http://www.bobbibrown.co.uk
Again, I’ve got about 185 makeup removers knocking about and I’m trying desperately trying to use them up – most of them I hate by the way, with the exception of the Garnier Micellar water. The whole oil/water shaking the bottle thing puts me off. I’ll give it a go at some point … but I’m expecting to hate it. And what is the deal with the bottle? It’s in a medicine-type bottle – like Calpol. Weird. And even if I do love it, I certainly wouldn’t pay £18 for a makeup remover! Garnier is £3! Maybe I should just chuck it away now?! …
6. No7. Youthful Eye Serum £19.50 (currently 3 for 2 in Boots) http://www.boots.com *PR sample
This was sent to me by Boots back in the summer and I’ve not used it yet as I’ve been using up loads of eye creams (LRP and Clarins), but I am really looking forward to trying this as there is an awful lot of hype around this product. Apparently, according to Boots, it is supposed to ‘instantly smooth, revitalise and brighten’. In addition: ‘visibly improve skin firmness, reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness and reduce wrinkles including crow’s feet.’ This sounds good to me – my main issues for eyes are exactly that – dark circles, puffiness and the ever-expanding crows feet collection now I’ve reached 32! But, I’m a tad confused as on their website it says it can be used underneath your regular No7 eye cream – so is it an eye cream or a serum? If you still need to use an eye cream on top – what’s the point? For £19.50, most people would expect it to be your only eye cream? I remain impartial until I’ve tried – but if you Google this product, there are some pretty impressive claims about it (read this: http://beautypassionista.com/2013/07/the-hero-no7-youthful-eye-serum.html), so again, my expectations are high No7! Watch this space!
7. Estee Lauder New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum (7ml sample size – full size £52/30ml £88/50ml) http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/
Well, we’ve got some pricey, high-expectation products tonight! Here is another one from Estee Lauder. Granted, EL are pretty good at skincare, if you’re willing to pay a bit extra for it; their Advanced Night Repair is one of the worlds bestselling night treatments (and it is good!). This stuff I’ve not used yet either, but again, have read widely about – there are some bold claims about this too. It is aimed at the slightly older customer I believe (40+) but who cares – I’ve got those 30 year old wrinkles and eye bags, so it’s worth a go. Again, seriously pricey stuff so I’m keen to see if the wealth of 5* reviews/recommendations are worth it.
8. Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist £20.50 http://www.boots.com
I have a love/hate relationship with my hair and with Bumble and Bumble. My hair is so SO thick, wiry and prone to frizz. It knots easily and matts underneath – resembling felt if I don’t keep a careful eye on it. It doesn’t go greasy and I only wash it twice a week (thank god as it takes bloody ages to dry). When I had it chopped off, I went through a curly phase – this product was sold to me by the excellent sales assistant in Boots (excellent as in she managed to flog me a shed load of stuff I didn’t really need); as usual, I used it once and shoved it in a drawer. So, technically this isn’t a new purchase – but I have ‘shopped the stash’ (as bloggers call it) and rediscovered it again (thank god for that price!). It basically reactivates curls. If I let me hair dry naturally, it is wavy/curly – if I want them to be more defined I spray them with this. If it goes flat a few hours/days later, I spray it with this. That’s about it really. It smells nice. It makes hair curly for a while without going crispy. Do I need it? Not really. Do I love it? Not really. Hmm.
9. Schwarzkopf got2b Oil-licious Weightless Dry Oil Mist £4.19 http://www.boots.com
This on the other hand I love! I love oils on my hair anyway (I use the original Moroccan Oil – epensive but so worth it!) and my hair likes them – they don’t make it greasy and they smooth and nourish. This weightless dry mist is just genius – and such good value. This is my issue with B&B – why would you when you can get much better products elsewhere for a fraction of the price? This oil mist smells divine, smooths frizz, gives good shine and apparently can even be used on fine hair (who usually avoid oils due to looking greasy). Try it – it’s totally worth £4.19.
10. Bumble and Bumble All-Style Blow Dry £23.00 http://www.boots.com
I don’t really like blow dry creams – I find they make hair greasy. I’ve not used this and I’m not sure I will. It is a sample size – I may give it away. I just don’t ‘feel’ it for some reason. And I certainly wouldn’t pay £23 for it. Having done a bit of quick research, this seems to be quite popular and it has some good reviews – apparently good at taming frizz, protecting against heat damage and extends the life of a blow dry. This final claim is the only thing that makes me want to find out if it is any good – I think I’m massively put off with anything hair related because if it is crap and turns my hair in to a grease ball, I’ve got to spend another age washing and drying again. Life is too short – isn’t it?
11. Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo Shampoo, Conditioner and Mask – £5.99 (shampoo/conditioner) £6.99 (mask) http://www.boots.com (currently on 3 for 2)
This is a very recent purchase – bought purely for the smell! I LOVE anything coconut and I could not walk past this without buying. I do like Lee Stafford products – the Moroccan range is very good and nourishing. The heat protector range is also good and I used that years ago in Thailand. What I really love about LS are the hair masks though – they are gorgeous and really work; hair does feel healthy and nourished afterwards (I always leave masks on for at least 5-10 minutes). Now, a word on SLS: yes, the shampoo does contain SLS (the foaming agent) and yes I advocate avoiding SLS as much as possible (DON’T ever put it on your face or on your kids – under 2s especially – and especially those with dry/sensitive skin) – sometimes I break my own rules, and if I’m going to break them, it’ll be for a beautiful coconut product! Normally, I only exclusively use OGX (range available in Boots – totally SLS free – I use their shampoo on Elsie) but occasionally I take a break and this time, it’ll be for Lee Stafford.
Jeez – I’m shattered! Hope that was remotely interesting…?
Hopefully this mammoth post will knock me out for a while!