26 April 2012

Skin Food: Honey, Yoghurt & Granola

On a recent drop off at the airport, my boyfriend and I decided to grab a bite to eat before he boarded his flight. He picked up an amazing looking breakfast yoghurt, consisting of a layer of honey, natural yoghurt and muesli but after being stuck on a stuffy coach for 6 hours with nothing to eat, I just wanted to get my chops around a hearty baguette.

I'm always stuck on what to have for breakfast and ever since, I haven't been able to get that bloody yoghurt out of my mind, so I decided to make my own. I often find plain yoghurt to be a little bitter, so the honey gives it a slight sweetness but this isn't it's only benefit. Honey is a great anti-oxidant, has natural healing and cleansing properties and offers incredible antiseptic. Plain yoghurt is rich in protein, calcium and contains 'friendly' bacteria. There's something about muesli which I just can't stand, so I replaced that with oats and granola. Oats are a great source of energy, and they release it slowly which will keep you going for a while! Granola is high in fibre, contain wholegrain goodness and just give it a bit of 'crunch'!

Here's what you'll need:

2 tbsp clear honey
4 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp oats
1 tbsp granola
(or exchange those for muesli if you wish!)

Don't fancy this for breakfast? Half the ingredients and use it as a face mask. The benefits of these ingredients are just as good on the outside as they are on the inside. Plus, when it comes to removing the mask, the granola and oats will act as a gentle exfoliant at the same time!


25 April 2012

Montagne Jeunesse Skin Heroes

I remember as a teenager popping into Boots to stock up on Montagne Jeunesse face mask packs ready for girly pamper sleepovers with friends, it felt like such a treat! I loved that the range covers every skin type and that the masks came in such a variety of scents and textures, so when I got the opportunity to try their new Skin Heroes range, I got the same pang of excitement as I did all those years ago!

The Skin Heroes range consists of 5 different double-action masks, solving a specific skin problem as well as a second stage moisturising treatment. As with all Montagne Jeunesse products, the masks are PETA and BUAV approved, meaning they don't test on animals, are suitable for vegetarians and contain only natural ingredients. 

I'd say my skin type would be normal/combination. It's generally quite well behaved, I get the odd breakout now and then and it can sometimes get quite dry, especially during the Winter months. One problem that has always got to me is the enlarged pores mainly around my nose area, which get congested leading to blackheads. Out of the 5 masks, there were 2 that stood out for me as they were targeted towards my skin type/problems. Here are my thoughts on the instant results:

Left - Mask, Right - Moisturiser
Dry Skin Mask
This has a thick, creamy texture made up of raspberries, blueberries and red grapes all of which are high in anti-oxidants to help protect and replenish the skin. Once removed after 15 minutes, the mask should be followed by the second stage serum which is packed with blueberries and raspberries and an antioxidant ingredient called Natural KiOsmetine which aids in smooth skin. It smells amazing, and even though my skin isn't overly dry, I think it's a good idea to use hydrating treatments every now and then. My skin definitely felt a lot more quenched and I love the idea of the serum being paired with the mask.

De-Clog Nose Pore Strips 
I couldn't wait to try these as I've always wondered if deep-cleansing strips were just a gimmick or truly worked. This doesn't have the second stage moisturising treatment, although you do get three strips in a pack. They contain natural orange flower water known for it's antiseptic properties, witch hazel and clay which helps to withdraw impurities resulting in clearer skin and give the appearance of minimized pores. I applied a strip to damp skin, left for 15 minutes and then removed. If I'm overly honest, the results weren't as good as I was expecting. Although my skin felt a lot smoother, blackheads were still visible, but possibly continuous treatment would help with this.

We all have different skin types and seeing as the masks target various problems, I felt the other three masks weren't necessary to use for my skin type. I thought instead of them going to waste, I'd hold a little giveaway but first I'll let you know a little more about them.

Break Out Mask 
This is designed for combination/oily skins. This is a mud textured mask, containing tea tree, willowherb and witch hazel, all helping to sooth and calm the skin. The follow on super moisturiser also contains tea tree and willowherb to continue tackling any problem areas.

T-zone Peel Off
This mask contains the same ingredients as the Break Out Mask but is in a gel form which dries on the skin and peels off, lifting away dirt and impurities. This is suitable for normal skin, combination and oily skins.

Shine Control 
Targeted specifically for oily skins, this deep cleansing mud mask contains argan oil to balance the skin and acai berries, again known for their anti-oxidant properties. The moisturiser that follows is made up of acai berries and also contains light reflecting particles helping to control shine. 

To be in with the chance of winning one of the three masks mentioned above, all you need to do is:

1. Follow this blog via GFC.
2. Leave a comment stating which mask you'd like to win.
3. Remember to leave an email address so I can contact you if you are a winner!

Open internationally. I will inform the winners by email on Saturday 5th May 2012.

Skin Heroes are also available online at www.montagnejeunesse.com and also now at ASDA, priced at £1.49 each.


17 April 2012

March/April Empties

'Favourites' videos are probably what I love sharing the most but just because I've used up a product doesn't necessarily mean I enjoyed using it, I hate to waste and since I've already paid for it I might as well get my money's worth. I've really been enjoying watching (and reading!) 'Products I've Used Up/Empties' video's or blog posts.

You may recognise some of these products from my previous monthly favourites, and some I don't think I've ever mentioned, so here are my thoughts on a few empties that I've gathered up recently! 

Crest Whitestrips Premium have really disappointed me. After getting my teeth professionally whitened, I wanted to keep them on top form. Don't get me wrong, the results are great, but they slip and slide about all over the place. I'd previously tried the 'Advanced' version, which I really loved, the strips had so much more grip compared to these. I will be repurchasing the Crest strips in the future, but I'll make sure it's not the 'Premium' ones!

The Body Shop Jojoba Moisture Rich Cleanser is a great creamy cleanser, with a refreshing scent, however it's definitely not something I'll rush into buying again, although I think it's been discontinued anyway. I wanted to use it up and some nights a swipe of this was easier than my full routine, however, as much as I tried to avoid my eye area when using it, even the slightest contact would irritate and sting. 

Mitchell and Peach Shower Wash was again, something that had been sitting around, waiting to be used up. I received this in a previous GlossyBox and although I've never heard of the brand before, I really enjoyed using this. The ingredients are all natural and it consists of a beautiful combination of essential oils, a very invigorating and uplifting scent. I would definitely consider purchasing more of their products to try!

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment. Love, love, love the smell of this, it's extremely sickly sweet but it lingers in your hair and is just heavenly. It's taken me a very long time to get through this as you need the smallest amount but it's well worth the money. I only used it on the tips of my hair when damp and found it to be very nourishing, left my hair feeling soft and sped up the blow drying process by miles. There are other treatments I'm looking to try, but I wouldn't say no to buying this again.

NAKED Volume Body Building Shampoo. I love this range because all of the ingredients are as natural as possible and it's such an affordable drugstore brand. I didn't really notice a huge difference in my hair after using this, along side the conditioner, but again the herbal scent is wonderful. I'll possibly try some other products from their hair care range, but I'm much more interested in giving their body products a whirl!

Neal's Yard Power Berry Face Mask. I wasn't too impressed with the other products from the Power Berry range, but this mask is incredible. It's made up of a mixture of berries, and is more of a gel formula but when it comes to removing it, it turns into a milky consistency which exfoliates at the same time.  If only this wasn't so pricey, I would go out and buy it again tomorrow for sure!

2 April 2012

Nailed it: OPI Passion & Wired Jewellery Above Knuckle Rings

When I started this blog, I promised myself it would be strictly beauty related posts. I don't think I have much of a fashion sense and the jewellery I wear is pretty minimal. However, I couldn't not share my latest jewellery purchases with you because they are just simply stunning and while I'm at it, I thought I'd throw in a 'nail of the day' too.

When the whole 'above knuckle ring' trend came about, I thought they looked quite uncomfortable and would easy fall off. I was watching one of Barbara's videos and she mentioned some pieces from Wired Jewellery. I headed over to the site initially for a browse, until I came across the 'above knuckle ring' section and instantly fell in love with two of the many designs.

Wired jewellery was set up last Summer by jewellery designer Faye, who also has a blog. All of the jewellery is handmade, the majority of it sterling silver, and yet still great value for money.

My favourite piece by far is the Wishbone Above Knuckle Ring, so delicate and the simplicity of it is right up my street. The site also provides a size guide, I went for a small and it fits perfectly snug on my middle finger.

Of course, I couldn't just stop at one so I also ordered the Simple Above Knuckle Ring. The name speaks for itself, a classic silver band, again in size small which sits just right on my index finger. They were £10 each of which I was more than happy to pay (especially knowing they won't be leaving a ring of green on my fingers!)

On my nails is Passion by OPI, a creamy baby pink, a shade I tend to use one coat of over the top of a white when I do a French polish. Two coats of it make it perfect to wear alone, resulting in a natural, 'polished' (no pun intended!) finish, and something I think will look great over the Spring/Summer, certainly against a tan!

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