Friday, 4 August 2017

Liz Earle Sweet Orange and Mint Cleanse and Polish

RRP: £22.75 (includes 2 muslin cloths and 150ml of cream cleanser)

--What does the promo say?--
"Reveal smoother, clearer and brighter-looking skin while uplifting the senses with this energising twist on our cleansing icon, beautifully presented in a keepsake canister. Zesty notes of sweet orange oil entwine with the refreshing scent of just-crushed peppermint to create a blend that’s a fresh, reviving treat morning and evening."

--Packaging--
An altogether brighter version of the usual mellow teal packaging of the classic Cleanse and Polish pump dispenser - the white background illuminates while the beautiful flower illustrations add explosions of colour that evoke the orange and mint added.

--Application--
Dispense one pump's worth of cream cleanser and rub over your face. Then soak one of the provided muslin cloths in warm water and use this to rinse the cream from your skin.

--Appearance--
The white cream has a slightly grainy appearance. No visible residue is left on the skin, however.

--Scent--
The orange and mint blend subtly so that one doesn't overpower the other. However, the orange could perhaps be intensified so as to amplify that festive feeling (this limited edition is being rereleased for the Christmas period, as it was in 2015).

--Texture and consistency--
The cream cleanser emulsifies beautifully on contact with heat and/or water to glide across skin smoothly. This rinses off easily thanks to the muslin cloth.

--Effects on the skin--
The mint is refreshing, as promised, and skin is left feeling soft and calmed on both a short- and long-term basis.

--Value for money--
The two muslin cloths alone would normally cost £4.50, leaving the cost of the cleanser itself at £18. This is £2 more than Liz Earle's normal Cleanse and Polish, but makes for a beautiful gift for anyone who hasn't tried the product before, or who would enjoy this variant on the classic. This cost is also in line with similarly high-end botanical brands such as Aveda, Kiehl's, Balance Me, and Jurlique. Liz Earle's PR sent me this for free, but I'm sold on it and would definitely recommend gifting this to any beauty lover or novice for anniversaries, birthdays or Christmas while stocks last. 

perfect partners
Orange Flower Hand Repair, from £6
Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash, from £14.50
Orange Flower Hand Wash, from £15

Friday, 28 July 2017

Rosehip Plus Hydrating Day Cream

RRP: £24

--What does the promo say?--
"This Hydrating Day Cream is a 100% pure and natural Australian Certified Organic facial moisturiser. It has been formulated with RosehipPLUS® 100% pure Certified Organic cold pressed Rosehip Oil as well as a blend of chamomile, avocado and rose geranium, which supports and encourages a healthier looking skin."

--Packaging--
The orange and white colour scheme is new and different, with the rosehip plant clearly silhouetted. The flip-top lid is practical also.

--Application--
Rub a small amount into your clean, dry face post-cleansing. A little goes a long way, so beware!

--Appearance--
The white cream dissolves invisibly into skin, leaving no residue.

--Scent--
Surprisingly citrusy, although not overpoweringly so.

--Texture and consistency--
As mentioned, blends well without any greasiness or stickiness.

--Effects on the skin--
The product's claims are perhaps a little vague and those with acneic skin may not find that it helps to balance oiliness. Those with drier skin may benefit more from the cream's alleged hydrating properties.

--Value for money--
While the quality of the sourced ingredients is undisputed, and the cream is pleasant to use, it didn't seem right for my skin type - a shame. I have had better success with oil cleansing methods in the past, however, so would be keen to try the rosehip oil from the same range instead.

perfect partners
Rosehip Oil, from £15
Skin Boost Roll-On, £10
Nourishing Night Cream, £29
Daily Cream Cleanser, £19

Friday, 21 July 2017

Triple Dry Nourish

RRP: £6.45

--What does the promo say?--
"The new formula offers advanced protection against heavy sweating with the added benefits of Jojoba oil to nourish the skin, making this the perfect solution for those who want to care for their under arms, but still benefit from added protection. The new, high performing, anti-perspirant is clinically proven to work around the clock, keeping you sweat-free for up to 72 hours and working with your body to provide extra protection when you need it most.
The secret to its performance is in its unique blend of three active ingredients, giving you peace of mind so that whatever life throws at you, perspiration isn’t an issue.
  • -Jojoba oil nourishes skin
  • -Skin is left feeling soft and smooth
  • -Clinically proven 72 hour wetness protection
  • -The first ever anti-perspirant roll-on tube for better application."
--Packaging--
The grey and yellow packaging manages to be both cheerful and unisex, and the tube is practical too, as is the rollerball mechanism.

--Application--
Apply at night before going to bed before washing as normal in the morning. There is no need to reapply after showering, swimming or sports. There is nothing tricky about this, even if it involves a small alteration in your daily hygiene routine.

--Appearance--
The deodorant glides on invisibly and crucially leaves no white marks on clothes.

--Texture and consistency--
The smooth liquid dries powder-light, with no resulting stickiness.

--Effects on the skin--
As well as deodorising effectively, and reducing the amount of perspiration, it perhaps most importantly does not irritate underarm skin - which some 48 hour+ deodorants can be wont to do as they are so strong.

--Value for money--
This is priced in keeping with other 48h deodorants, being in the same bracket as high street brands Driclor and Mitchum, as well as some more luxury or pharmacy brands such as Neal's Yard and Vichy. Triple Dry's effective results and moisturising qualities mean that even though I was sent this for free, I would spend my own cash on it too.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Compeed Cracked Heel Overnight Cream

RRP: £4.99

--What does the promo say?--
"COMPEED®Cracked Heel Overnight Cream contains a unique blend of Urea and Lactic Acid and intensively moisturises to improve the appearance of cracked heels while you sleep."

--Packaging--
The blue and yellow packaging is summery and appeals to both men and women. The tube is also practical, with the lid closing securely enough that you don't have to worry about it leaking during travel. At 75ml, it's also suitable for holidays when you might be travelling with hand baggage only.

--Application--
Rub into clean feet at night before going to bed. If you like, you can wear socks after application to encourage even deeper moisturisation.

--Appearance--
The cream is white, but rubs in invisibly.

--Scent--
Clean without seeming artificial; perhaps slightly citrusy.

--Texture and consistency--
Sinks into skin quickly, and importantly lets skin breathe.

--Effects on the skin--
Soothes any itchiness that you may be feeling, and visibly reduces the amount of dry flaky skin within 1-3 weeks.

--Value for money--
One tube probably lasts 3-4 weeks, and it's one of the best I've used. Even though I was sent mine for free, I'd pay the affordable price tag to replace it once it runs out.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Touch Face Fluid

RRP: from £8.50
Available in SPF15 and SPF30

--What does the promo say?--
"This sun fluid combines immediate and effective UVA/UVB protection with an ultra light formula that dries instantly. The hydrating fluid spreads easily over your skin for a weightless dry touch feel. The non sticky and non greasy formula absorbs instantly without leaving white marks for skin that feels silky and smooth. Enriched with an anti-oxidant Vitamin E, it helps to prevent sun induced premature skin ageing."

--Packaging--
The yellow and dark brown colour scheme is immediately evocative of Piz Buin and the notions of summer and tanning safely. It's also very unisex in its design, so can be used by the whole family. The tapered applicator is very practical and helps to eliminate wastage, as well as enabling targeted application. Plus, its smallest package is 50ml, so perfect even for hand baggage-only travel.

--Application--
Rub over the face until it blends in. Don't forget your nose and the tips of your ears!

--Appearance--
White, but blends in invisibly and leaves no residue on the face.

--Scent--
This contains chrysanthemum, which detracts significantly from the usual chemical scents that can plague sunscreens.

--Texture and consistency--
Does as promised: the fluid is as smooth as a moisturiser and blends in effortlessly. It's not sticky or greasy and fulfils the 'dry touch' USP.

--Effects on the skin--
Moisturises while protecting from the sun. Bonus!

--Value for money--
While not the cheapest sunscreen on the market, it has a lighter texture that doesn't weigh on the skin in the way that some suncreams do. It smells nice and protects too; even though I was sent mine for free, I'd definitely shell out of my own accord once this tube runs out. I'd love to see a range of lip balms too :)

perfect partners
In Sun Moisturising Ultra Light Sun Spray
After Sun Soothing and Cooling Moisturising Lotion

Friday, 30 June 2017

Beauty Byte: Make Up Not War

Ever since its inception, Ellis Faas has supported renowned charity War Child via the proceeds from its makeup sales. So why not make a splash while making up this summer?

Make Up Not War is Ellis Faas' microsite, which showcases all of the good work that it is helping War Child to do (one Ellis Faas auction this month raised a cool €4k).


Its latest campaign is called Share A Kiss, which seeks to harness the power of Instagram in encouraging people to Make Up Not War. Kiss into the camera (perhaps using an Ellis Faas lipstick!), blow a kiss, or pass the kiss on however you like, using the hashtags #kisstomakeupnotwar, #MUNWChallenge, #ellisfaas and #warchild. You could even win a book showcasing Ellis Faas' work, signed especially for you!

As mentioned, you could use an Ellis Faas lipstick to participate in this challenge - perhaps their limited edition Hot Lip (which is cruelty-free and vegan) might suffice? The sale of each lipstick also enables War Child to keep one child from a war zone safe from harm for three months. Pick yours up here.


But if lipstick's not your thing, there's also the Ellis Faas t-shirt, from which the proceeds support a vulnerable child for six weeks. (Buy yours here!) Or failing that - donate direct.

There are lots of great causes out there, and this one's definitely up there in terms of being worthy of your consideration.

Big kiss!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Beauty Kitchen Abyssinian Oil Night Halo Sleep Mask

RRP: £19.99 for 60ml

--What does the promo say?--
"-Nourishing and Detoxing Overnight Mask
-Cleanses, hydrates and refreshes skin
-Glowingly beautiful finish 
Night-time treatment to nourish and detox your skin while you sleep like an Angel. The balm will absorb overnight to deeply hydrate and refresh your skin. Once you’ve woken up from your ‘beauty sleep’, cleanse your face with a konjac sponge or face cloth and admire your new glowing complexion! Suitable for all skin types."

--Packaging--
The yellow box that the pot of balm comes in is refreshing, cheerful and unusual, and of course is entirely recyclable. It tells you everything you need to know, without spin or clutter. The black plastic pot is practical too in terms of both ergonomics and size.
--Application--
Use on your face after cleansing, in place of your usual moisturiser. Let the excess sink in overnight, then cleanse in the morning as normal. Simples :)
--Appearance--
The balm itself is a pale yellow, but leaves no visible residue on the face.
--Scent--
The fruits and flowers are the most prominent, particularly the orange and rose, without any particular scent being overpowering. It smells rich and natural; utterly divine. The high quality of the ingredients is evident.
--Texture--
Smooth, with only a slight graininess (which dissolves once blended onto the face), and not at all runny. It massages into the skin well and sinks in beautifully overnight.
--Effects on the skin--
Wonderfully moisturising, and furthermore, conducive to sleep: I used it and had one of the best nights' sleep I've had in ages. Crucial as we have to adjust our sleep patterns as of today due to the changing clocks!
--Longevity--
You need so little at a time (a dollop the size of a 5p piece or so for your whole face) that one pot will last you ages.
--Value for money--
Beauty Kitchen's PR kindly sent mine for free, but thanks to the top-notch ingredients, clear effects and the fact that a little goes such a long way, I would gladly pay for mine. Bonne nuit!
perfect partners
Natural Cream Cleanser, £12.99
Intensive Daily Hand Treatment, £12.99
5 Minute Miracle Mask, £14.99
Intensive Eye and Deep Lines Serum, £14.99
Handbag Beauty Balm, £14.99
Aroma Facial Concentrate, £19.99
Facial Cleansing Balm, £19.99
Facial Moisture Cream, £19.99
Skin Care Starter Kit, £50 (saves you £31!)

Friday, 3 March 2017

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks


RRP: £1.99
# of shades available: 6

--What does the promo say?--
"Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks are fine, soft powders that give a natural hint of colour to your cheeks."

--Packaging--
As with other products in the range, the minimal daisy design is pretty and clearly gives the products a sense of brand identity. It also leaves space on the see-through lid for you to see the product clearly and always be aware of how much you have left.

--Application--
Using a blusher brush, gently sweep over the cheeks (apples or cheekbones, depending on the kind of contouring you are looking for). Feel free to add an extra layer of face powder afterwards to give more of an impression of glowing from within!

--Appearance--
I was sent the Dusky Pink for free by Natural Collection's PR, which worked well for my pale complexion. It's not too dark or bright, and - dare I say it - looks very natural once on.

--Texture and consistency--
Powdery, but not unmanageably so, and easy to blend.

--Longevity--
Perhaps requires touching up a little during the day - but for £1.99, what do you expect?

--Value for money--
Gives a natural, attractive appearance at an affordable price. Would recommend.

perfect partners
Natural Collection Pressed Powder, £1.99
Natural Collection Shine-Away Foundation, £1.99
Natural Collection Cover-Up Cream, £1.99

Friday, 24 February 2017

Clean and Clear Deep Action Facial Wipes

RRP: £3.79 for 25 wipes

--What does the promo say?--
"Each wipe gives you an unmistakable tingling sensation that tells you your skin is being thoroughly cleansed and in one easy wipe leaves it feeling cool, refreshed and clear."

--Packaging--
The blue and green colour scheme emphasises the menthol included in the wipes, as well as being quite unisex. The protective sticker also reseals effectively, meaning there's no risk of the wipes drying out (unlike, arguably, the cheaper packets of wipes).

--Usage--
Wipe over face to remove all traces of makeup and dirt. I often fold mine over once I have wiped using one side, and then keep folding and wiping until I've used as much of the wipe as possible.

--Appearance--
The white wipe is soaked in clear fluid that leaves no visible residue on the face.

--Scent--
The menthol included is definitely detectable, which I personally like.

--Texture and consistency--
The wipes are made of strong, sturdy material, which means not only that your face feels really clean after use, but also that it doesn't tear or stretch during use, which again, can be a problem with some cheaper wipes.

--Effects on the skin--
Thanks to the menthol, skin feels really cool and refreshed in the immediate moments during and after use. Furthermore, the inclusion of salicylic acid means skin condition is also improved in the longer term. Nevertheless, the use of a separate cleanser and moisturiser is still recommended, as there's always a risk that wipes will not remove *all* dirt and makeup, and these particular wipes do not contain a specific moisturising agent, so it's important to keep your skin balanced as well.

--Value for money--
While these may be slightly more expensive than some other wipes on the market, these are still affordable and high quality, and most refreshing to use, while cleaning your skin. Great for travel - or even just those nights when I can't be bothered. Clean & Clear's PR sent mine for free, but I'd still fork out.

perfect partners
Oil Control Cream Wash, £4.99
Dual Action Moisturiser, £3.25

Friday, 17 February 2017

AA Skincare Peony, Bay and Brahmi Liquid Shower and Bath Gel

RRP: £5.94 for 250ml

--What does the promo say?--
"Balancing and soothing, this antioxidant rich formula will help give your skin an added boost, leaving it feeling soft, supple and well nourished.
Containing a delicate blend of traditional Ayurvedic herbs, pure essential oils and natural ingredients. This naturally inspired shower and bath gel is designed to be non - drying for the skin and the exquisite aromas make showering a real treat!"
--Packaging--
The white and pink bottle, while traditional, perfectly encapsulates the essence of the ingredients used in this bath and shower gel. The flip-top lid of the plastic bottle opens easily when you are in the shower, yet closes securely. The flow of liquid is also such that you don't end up with a rush of product (so no wastage).
--Usage--
Lather up under the shower and rub over wet skin before rinsing off. Alternatively, squeeze into running water for luxurious bath bubbles.
--Appearance--
The gel itself is completely clear, but lathers and froths with fine white foam on contact with water. This washes off without leaving any visible residue.
--Scent--
Floral without being heavy, and yet it has a depth and complexity to the layering of its scent that make it fresh, modern and unique. The exquisite aromas promised are definitely delivered.
Texture and consistency--
The gel is light and not sticky, without being runny or watery; it holds its shape. When lathered up, the foam is fine and smooth, with small bubbles.
--Effects on the skin--
Thanks to the essential oils included in the formulation, skin is left feeling truly moisturised, and sensitive skin soothed.
--Value for money--
Thanks to the high quality of the ingredients used, I would have expected this to be far more expensive, and as little is needed to create a decent lather, one bottle would last a long time, even if used for baths instead of or in addition to showers. The complex layering of scents and refined foam texture also creates a truly luxurious experience, and even though I was sent my bottle for free by AA Skincare's PR, I would undoubtedly spend my own money on replenishing stocks.
perfect partners
Peony, Bay & Brahmi Liquid Conditioner, £5.94
Peony, Bay & Brahmi Nourishing Shampoo, £5.94