Archive for ‘Skincare’

May 25, 2012

Vichy Cleanser Love!

White/blue tube of cleanser

image from chemistdirect.com

This cleanser costs £11 from Boots, and at first you might, like me, think that’s pretty steep for something that’s basically just taking off your makeup and is on your skin for under a minute. But I was after a cream cleanser, and I like Vichy, and…it just happened. Later that evening when I used it, I was SO happy that it did!

It’s a light creamy cleanser which smells gorgeous but not overpowering. It takes off my makeup extremely easily (though I don’t wear waterproof mascara so I don’t know how it’d work on that – I guess it’d do well). It says on the tube that it cleanses, takes off makeup and tones the skin; I don’t know exactly what that means, as I have no idea what it’d feel like without the ‘toning’ part! Still, my skin feels wonderfully comfortable and soft when I’ve just used this, so maybe there’s something in it!

My skin seems to love this cleanser, to the extent that if I go away and don’t take it with me, my skin ‘misses’ it after a day or so. Nothing hugely noticeable, but when I get back and use it again, I can definitely feel the improvement immediately! I haven’t touched any of my other cleansers for ages now, and I have no real reason to – definitely repurchasing this baby when I run out (not that I will for a while, with 200ml in the tube)!

Total 5 star hit! Recommended.

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April 14, 2012

Review: Good Things Bright Eyes Eye Treatment

Display box and white tube of eye cream

image from goodthingsbeauty.com

I picked this up from Boots (at £5.99 for 15ml) when I finally ran out of my Clinique eye cream and wanted something more substantial than my Boots gel or Garnier roll-on. I love the tube design; not only is it more hygienic than a pot, but it has a nozzle so I can squeeze out a thin line directly onto my skin and pat it in. I also like the idea of using more natural ingredients, especially on more delicate skin around my eyes, and this cream is free from most nasties such as parabens. There’s a very faint scent to it, it smells quite natural and fresh – but I wouldn’t worry, as it’s only noticeable on my hands and not once applied at all.

That said, I’m not entirely convinced of the actual benefits of this cream. It does reduce puffiness, not that I have a huge problem with that, and it does also moisturise my eye area as well as I’d expect. But it doesn’t do anything at all for my dark circles, and it isn’t as moisturising as the Clinique All About Eyes that I had before. I’d like to combine the action of the Clinique cream with the packaging and good ingredients of this one!

All in all, I’ll be using up this cream but I probably won’t repurchase it. I’d rather save up for something a bit more expensive that will work harder for me. 2 stars!

April 5, 2012

Review: Coryse Salomé Renaissance Multi-Vitamin Cream

White round pot of face cream

image from cheapsmells.com

I bought this cream at a massive discount from http://www.cheapsmells.com (the picture is a link) – it’s RRP is £25, and I got it for £7.95. Coryse Salomé is a luxury French brand that specialise in anti-aging skincare, and although I’d like to think that 21 and a half is a little too early to be concerned about anti-aging stuff, I wanted to try this brand (especially at such a good price!) and so I bought something that said it was suitable for all skin types.

It has a lovely light texture, and also has a gorgeous smell. It’s not a natural smell though, so if that kind of thing bothers you then you probably won’t appreciate this product. It does feel quite rich to me, not too much so at the moment, but I would definitely say that oily skin or even the oilier side of combination skin should stay well away! I use this as a night cream only, and it does leave a bit of a shiny layer on my face when I’ve applied it. I’m not the biggest fan of this, but I can get over it – it does make my skin feel well-cared for, at least! However, when I wake up, my skin always looks amazing. My skintone seems more even; my face feels comfortable, as though I only want to apply my lightest gel moisturiser; basically, I feel like this stuff leave me with “tinted moisturiser skin” in the morning, rather than “oh dear reach for the Revlon Colourstay” skin! I suspect that the anti-aging stuff in it does have tightening properties, as my face feels so smooth and even and…different.

I love this cream! I’m seriously considering buying a backup, as cheapsmells.com seem to mainly sell things that are old stock, or discontinued – I don’t want to run out of this! 5 stars.

* * * * * 🙂

March 19, 2012

Alert! Sin Binning An Entire Range!

The Body Shop – Seaweed range.

The last 2 days, my skin has been going crazy. At first, I thought it was because of my Boots No.7 tinted moisturiser – and I was about to be very upset! But then I realised what it was. It was the last item I have left from the Body Shop Seaweed line; the “Pore Perfector”.

I bought a couple of things from this line a few years ago, and they all irritated, broke out, or actually burnt my skin. The pore perfector never seemed to provoke a reaction, so I kept it – but I hardly ever used it. This weekend, I used it 3 days in a row and this is the result! Lots of tiny little spots that are clearly a reaction, rather than a spontaneous breakout, and only in the places I used this product. I’m very upset as my skin has been near-perfect for months now, and this feels like a regression back to the days when I couldn’t go outside without a thick layer of Revlon ColourStay to cover my skin. Those were not fun days. My self-esteem was terrible.

All I have to say is, stay away from the Body Shop Seaweed line! I do not have sensitive skin at all, and I hardly ever react to anything. But now every single item I’ve bought from this range has caused seriously negative responses from my skin. I can only recommend that you really steer clear. However, I know that some people will not react in this way, or may even like it – of course, or it wouldn’t have got through testing. But I would tell my friends not to buy it, and so I’m telling you guys too!

I don’t like panning products as comprehensively as this, but sometimes…it just has to be done!

March 11, 2012

Review: SkinFood Peach Sake BB Cream

Pink tube of BB cream

image from bbcreamboutique.com

In my endless search for a good tinted moisturiser, I have of course been trying out a BB cream or two. In my previous post I wrote about the new UK Garnier version – this one, however, is the genuine article. SkinFood are a South Korean brand, which is where the whole BB cream craze started, and they make a huge number of different products along these lines. I bought this one from yesstyle.co.uk, who provide the UK and USA with products shipped from Asia.

Firstly, I was absolutely over the moon when I first got this baby out of the box – the shade is right for my skin! In fact, it’s a lot more close to my skin tone than many products that are made for the UK, so that was a revelation. I am a very loyal yesstyle.co.uk customer now that I know so many Asian products cater for my skin colour – seriously, if you’re as pale as I am, look into it. The second thing that I liked was that even though it looks like a tube, it actually has a pump top attached, which is much less messy and generally very convenient. It also dispenses the right amount of product, as you don’t need much of this stuff – another plus in my book. The product smells yummy, although the scent is very synthetic, so if you’re not a fan of nice-smelling things, this could put you off. However, it’s a very light scent, and is definitely not noticeable at all once the cream is on the skin.

The coverage of this BB cream is fantastic – better than the Garnier version, and much greater than any tinted moisturiser I’ve tried. I’d definitely say it’s on the foundation coverage scale, which I’m pleased about. It feels very nice on the skin; not drying, as I feared (it mentions “pore” and “sebum” somewhere) and not oily either, managing to give a nice finish without shine or flaky patches! There’s also an SPF of 20 which is obviously a major plus. It wears for a really long time, even without being set with powder. In fact, I went out earlier and suddenly had a panic when I realised I didn’t have my face powder on me – then thought “Oh never mind, at least I have my Peach Sake BB cream on!” which proves how much confidence I place in it!

Overall, a very nice product indeed. It was a little painful paying the £16 for it, but I certainly don’t regret it now that I know what it’s like, and I would strongly consider repurchasing when I run out. Could definitely become something I rely on! 5 stars! Yay! 🙂

March 10, 2012

Review: Garnier BB Cream

So I lied, I didn’t post as soon as I said. Sorry! In my defence, I had a job interview to prepare for – it’s all done, as of this morning, so here I am! *puff of smoke, jazz hands, etc.*

The first thing I’ll talk about is the Garnier BB Cream, I know a lot of people have been talking about it recently as it was among the first of the UK/chemist brands to jump on the BB bandwagon. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about this product, but I’m actually quite impressed, given that it’s relatively affordable and manages to come in a shade that’s more or less similar to the colour of my face! (This is rarer than you might think!)

Aside from the “light” shade actually being wearable for me, I really love the smell of this product (though for those who dislike/are allergic to scented products, you might want to steer clear). I just think that having a nice light scent can really enhance the enjoyment factor in using a product and makes me feel that it’s good quality – totally all in my mind, I know, but still!
Coverage-wise, it’s not at all bad; it probably has more coverage than the lightest foundations that I own. This is a plus, but it does come at a slight price. I do find that I can feel this stuff on my face; nothing major, certainly not like having a full face of high-coverage foundation + powder, but it’s not the unnoticeable light dream I was hoping for! It may be due to the fact that Garnier are trying to cater to many different skin types with this cream, and so what is perfect for someone else is a little oily on my face. I just don’t feel that it fulfils the “moisture” part of the BB cream promise for me; rather than moisturising, it sits on my skin in a layer like a light foundation. The finish is nice though, especially when first applied, so I’m not complaining too hugely about it.

The wear time is not amazing, partly because of my personal experience of it being slightly too oily – it has a tendency to rub off quickly. (Not visibly or onto anything – it just doesn’t stay.) Basically this stuff is lovely if you want a natural, nearly makeup free day, but if you’re going to be out all day at work with no chance to touch up your makeup I’d reconsider. However, someone whose skin suited the product more may not have such issues.

I’m still glad I got it, and I will continue to use it, but it’s not going to become a staple. 3*!

February 28, 2012

Inital Impressions: Elizabeth Arden Sheer Lights Tinted Moisturiser

My tinted moisturiser quest is still going on, as I’ve been disappointed by all those I’ve tried so far, including the shock failure of Vichy’s Lumineuse Sheer Radiance. (More on that story later.) I am determined to find a tinted moisturiser that I like, that isn’t Laura Mercier – I’ve never tried this mythical product, but I’m a student and I simply refuse to spend that much. There has to be something else out there that I will get along with!

My dearest, most loyal friend eBay recently supplied me with this – the Elizabeth Arden Sheer Lights TM – for many fewer pounds than it would have cost me at RRP. (I may have gone on a slight eBay TM spree, actually.) It arrived today, and so of course I had to try it out immediately. This is the highest-end TM I’ve used so far, and I have to say, I’m actually quite impressed. I’ve become almost jaded and cynical, expecting every product to be bright orange and hideous, but this is actually a rather normal, non-scary beige colour. Of course, it’s not quite as light as I’d like, but nothing ever is. It blends in well, and the colour looks entirely natural on my skin. A little of this baby goes a long way, which I’m pleased about too. Value for money is a big deal! Another bonus is the SPF 15 that it contains.

One of my pet gripes about TM in general is that it’s either a moisturiser or a tint, but rarely both, and hardly ever a good both. This is at least a decent moisturiser for my skin. I did apply an extremely light gel moisturiser 5 minutes beforehand, because I would usually anyway, especially as it’s winter, but the Elizabeth Arden could probably have held its own without that. It sank in moderately quickly, which is actually what I like – too fast and it’s not doing the job – and my skin now feels soft and supple, but not at all oily. In fact, it feels like I have nothing on – which is one of the key things I want a TM to do. So, it wins there!

Ladies who want good coverage are obviously not going to be interested in this product anyway, but I have to say that it has evened out my skin tone very well, much more efficiently than my Stila product. It has also given me a slight touch of natural colour, which I’m surprised and pleased by. Honestly, if it was orangey or too dark, I would be the first person to complain – it isn’t at all. It’s just…nice.

Now for the “lights” part. It is illuminating, and if that’s what you’re after, it does its job really very well. It is subtle, but effective. I am not a huge fan of shimmer in my products, and there is some in this, there’s no denying it. However, it’s not scary-Twilight-vampire-Revlon-Photoready glitter. It just makes your skin glow. I like this, though I thought I wouldn’t – another win for Lizzie Arden there. I might dab a bit of powder across my forehead to tone it down a little, but it’s not necessary, just personal preference.

I can’t say how it wears yet, of course. From the feel on my skin, I’m expecting a little shine to break through later, but that it’ll generally wear quite well and problems will be very minimal. Until my Boots No. 7 TM arrives, this one is definitely the winner! (Not that the competition is particularly stiff; I’ve had to give away the last 2 I’ve tried!)

Yay, tinted moisturiser! I genuinely feel that my skin looks nice today because of this product. I hope it lasts!

February 18, 2012

Review: Sin Binned Product Alert! – Nivea Tinted Moisturiser

image from amazon.com

I’ve been looking for a good (but preferably cheapish!) tinted moisturiser for ages now. I have the Stila oil-free one, and I don’t mind it, but I would prefer something with a touch more coverage and with a less shiny finish! So when I saw this baby in Boots for about £8, I obviously couldn’t resist. I quite like Nivea Visage skincare as it is, so I was pretty confident I’d get on well with it.

Firstly, there was no open tester tube in the shop, so I couldn’t stick any on my hand to see what the colour was like. I hunted around, but then realised upon closer inspection of the packaging that they only actually make one colour – a truly frightening (as I discovered at home) dark brown. It does, obviously, lighten up considerably upon blending, but if you have pale skin, you can expect to be using hardly any of this and blending like a loony in the morning to make sure you don’t have brown lines on your face. I was seriously unimpressed by this fact.

Secondly, I do have something good to say about this product – I love the finish. It sinks in quickly and is beautifully matte, but not so much so that it looks fake or powdery. It really does look lovely on the skin (provided you are naturally the colour of a brick).

Thirdly, the worst thing about this moisturiser is that it broke me out. I am still slightly amazed by this, and I mean to try it out again just to be triply sure that it was in fact this product that did it. It was the only thing I’d changed, so I’m fairly positive, but it was just so unexpected it shocked me. Nivea, breaking me out? However, I’m certain enough that I’m not going to try it while I’m at uni – I’ve been waiting to do it during Reading Week, which is starting now.

I am very upset that my hunt for a repurchaseable TM has to continue! I’ve bought the Vichy Sheer Lumineuse one, and I have high hopes 😀

February 12, 2012

Winter Lips – Lipbalm Addiction!

The winter really plays havoc with my lips. I use lipbalms at the best of times, (thanks Mum for getting me addicted at a nice early age!) but in winter, they really suffer. I’m not just talking about slight dryness or flakiness – sometimes if I can’t use a balm, my lips feel like they’re burning and splitting the whole time.

It didn’t take me long to realise a few things. Firstly, tingly “medicated” lipbalms are not all the same. If it tingles all that much, it’s probably making the problem worse, even if it soothes for a while. Some are genuinely good – for example, my current Holy Grail tube, the Blistex Intensive Moisturiser:

image from chemistdirect.co.uk

This does what it should, without making my problem worse by irritating already sore skin with tingly things. However, a product made by the same people, Blistex MedPlus, has good instant results but does nothing to keep my lips soft or moisturised once it’s worn off, or protect them while I’m outside in the cold:

image from cali-vita.com

This stuff sounds like it should be exactly what I need in winter, but it’s just not up to the job. Another similar offender is Carmex, which tingles like hell and, in my opinion, can do more harm than good.

I mainly wanted to compare these two, but there are several other lipbalms I’ve been trying recently. Vaseline, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (Dark Chocolate and Peppermint) Lip Butter, and a Boots Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick I have – none of these are hardcore enough to do it for me. They just don’t provide enough protection or moisture. However, if I leave my Blistex white tube in a handbag or pocket, and start panicking, I can rely on my LUSH Whip Stick lipbalm. This is moisturising enough to soothe, and waxy enough to protect my lips from the cold. I love it – it’s just not quite as amazing as the Blistex.

Also, if I know it’s going to be cold and windy, I’ll use a moisturising one overnight and then a layer of Burt’s Bees lipbalm in the morning before I leave will really seal in the moisture and protect my lips. It’s brilliant as a layer, but it does need to be used in conjunction with something else that’ll soften first.

Right, I’ll shut up about lipbalm now! Phew, that was a lot.

January 28, 2012

Review: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

image from cetaphil.co.uk

Hmm, this image has turned out a bit off-centre and funny. Sorry about that! Anyway, this cleanser was mentioned by someone (I can’t remember who) on YouTube quite a while back now, and I was having a hellish time of it with my skin (the stress of exam season!) so I thought I’d be better off using something that it’d be basically impossible to have problems with.

At first, I wasn’t a major fan of the texture of this cleanser. It seems creamy, though it’s more of a thick gel; pretty hard to describe, actually. It says you can use it without water, but I’m not into doing that anyway – certainly not with something like this, where it seems to leave a film on the skin if you don’t wash your face too thoroughly afterwards. I usually double-cleanse my skin gently; once to take off makeup, with this stuff, and then once with a different cleanser to actually cleanse or treat the skin. So I basically use this as a makeup remover.
I like to use it this way because it won’t hurt my eyes, and I can use my fingers to rub it over the lids etc. and then use my flannel to wash it off – doing it this way not only means I don’t end up scrubbing at my eyes, as it all comes off easily, but it also saves loads of money in eye makeup remover and cotton wool! Yay!

Basically, I now love this stuff, and I’m about to buy another bottle of it. I use it almost every day to take off all my makeup easily and gently, and I don’t have to worry that it’ll ever irritate my eyes or skin. Definite holy grail product! (Oh yes, I said it!)

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