25 November 2012

Aromatherapy Associates Rose Hydrating Mask

I believe I currently hoard a face mask for every complexion crisis, from detoxifying for when my skin is misbehaving, to radiance renewing for when it's in need of a little boost. For me it's the ultimate once-weekly pamper and to have a selection to choose from seems to make it all the more luxurious. My recent addition is one for dry/dehydrated skins, a treat for the upcoming Winter months especially. The Aromatherapy Associates Rose Hydrating Mask contains aloe vera and damask rose water, a combination to restore vital moisture and radiance to the skin. Now, I'm not usually the biggest fan of gel textured masks but this is by far an exception (plus the fact that its clear means you can use it on a long haul flight and your fellow passengers will be none the wiser!). The scent is beyond heavenly, sweet rose water as opposed to 'floral grandma'. 

I use a pea size amount to slather over my face and with that comes an instant cooling, refreshing effect. For a quick fix you can apply and remove after the standard 10 minutes, however, the beauty of this product is that it can be applied and left on overnight to tame even the driest complexions. My skin literally slurps this up and I wake up to juicier, plump skin - dry, flaky patches, be gone! If I really want to crank it up a notch, I'll apply a facial oil underneath first, my product of choice? Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Oil, together it creates the ideal moisture concoction! 

I can tell it's definitely become a staple in my mask stash, a very luxurious one at that for £34.50 so if you're on the hunt for a little less costly option but still something very similar, Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask might be a strong contender (although slightly more fruity!). I'm loving overnight skincare and who knows, a dedicated post may be on its way - is there anything else you can recommend?

23 November 2012

Muji to Go

Most of my staple beauty products come in miniature form, but not all. I always seem to be scrabbling about at the last minute before a holiday or trip away trying to find empty pots and bottles that I can divide my larger lotions and potions into. On a recent trip to Muji, I made an instant dash for their travel section, arms up in the air flapping around. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a field day with what they had to offer and could have quite easily come home with one of everything but instead just grabbed a few travel necessities.

The first thing I laid eyes on was the Airport Pouch in Medium, to take over my previous hand-luggage sandwich-like bag which stretch, break and get pretty grubby so this replacement should be a lot more long lasting and sturdy, plus it's wipe-able if anything spills - oh I've been there with product explosions mid-air, it ain't pretty. Then for my suitcase toiletry bag, I threw two squeezy flip top bottles in my basket, one for shampoo and one for conditioner, and I also got a medium size for shower gel. I never seem to have any small clean containers so I got a clear acrylic pot and a tiny spray bottle, either for hair or body oil. Since browsing the Muji site, I've realised those three plastic tools are actually a perfume atomiser kit but I thought they'd do the job at transferring products from one bottle to another, and the pippet, for getting small amounts of liquid product out instead ending up pouring out more than you need. 

It's definitely worth a snoop next time you swing by a Muji store, they sure cater for all of your travel beauty accessory needs. It's very easy to go a little wild in there but these especially were extremely cheap and it's jazzed up both my hand luggage and toiletry bag a treat! Next on my list is the Kardashian-esque acrylic makeup storage..

22 November 2012

Winter Saviours: Body, Hands & Nails

Following my Winter Skincare Saviours post, I thought I'd continue the theme with some of my body, hand and nail rescues. There seems to be no better feeling than a long soak in the tub, followed by a slathering of my favourite lotions and potions before snuggling down for the night..

My latest go-to bath products are the Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils. I've got four miniatures from the Essential Travel Oils but both Revive Evening and Relax Deep set me up for a deep sleep, plus only two capfuls is enough to create a heavenly, moisturising dip and fill your bathroom with glorious scents. Showers are just as luxurious thanks to the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil which just whiffs of cherry bakewells. It lathers up into a milky consistency and instantly transforms flaky skin from drab to fab!

To seal the scent on my skin even longer, I've been reaching for the L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil - spritz it on, skin drinks it up! It sinks in so quickly without leaving a slick surface residue and keeps skin moisturised for the longest time possible. I prefer to apply this before bed so it's able to work it's magic through the night. My hands seem to get it the worst this time of year and so Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is currently keeping my mitts moisturised. It sits on my desk during the day then transfers to my bedside at night when I coat it on before I sleep. Lastly, a drop of OPI Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil is rubbed into my finger tips - cracked, breaking, flaking nails, it's an ongoing dilemma during the colder months but this helps keeps my talons strong and my cuticles soft. 

These hydration wonders will keep me going until Spring is upon us, which quite frankly couldn't come soon enough but in the meantime I'll be well and truly oiled up for a while! 

What are your dry skin saviours?

20 November 2012

Winter Saviours: Skincare

Dry, dull, flat and far from plump, my complexion suffers the effects of Winter big time - cue my skincare BFF's for the cooler months, or when it's generally feeling all of the above. It's worth noting that a good chunk of these products are for taming dehydrated skin, but hibernating under a layer of hydration won't harm anyone, especially this time of year. Me? My skin is quite well behaved usually, normal I'd say but it does get dry in areas, more so in Winter yet it shows characteristics of dehydrated skin too, not forgetting the odd under-the-skin-lurker!

Now I don't use all of these products together but some of them I pair up and I make sure to give them all a fair rotation. First off is Neal's Yard Wild Rose Balman all rounder and a facial in a pot. It cleanses, exfoliates with the help of a muslin cloth and deeply moisturises, apply it a  little thicker and you have yourself a mask too. I've been putting Hydraluron to the test over the past couple of weeks and it's starting to live up to it's 'moisture boost' promises. A light layer of this before I slather on a moisturiser and my skin has began to look a little less parched, dry patches slowly making a disappearance. The latest addition to my skincare stash is the Aromatherapy Associates Rose Hydrating Mask (post to come!). Leave it on for a quick hydration hit or overnight if your skin is feeling worse for wear and to really go all out, layer it over a facial oil. I've been reaching for Clarins Blue Orchid Face Oil which my skin quite willingly gulps up, not to mention it smells divine - think spa but in the space of your own bedroom. Lip balm never goes a miss and Nuxe Reve De Miel has found a happy place on my bedside table - I think the fact that one is sold every 28 seconds worldwide sums this product up! It's thick, nourishing and smells like chocolate orange, couldn't ask for more!  

Winter is definitely my least favourite time of the year but I have to say I'm enjoying giving my skin a little extra TLC. And it's not just my face that endures cold weather damage - body, hands and nails get an equal amount so keep an eye out for my favourite products to tackle those. Hint: Things are gonna get oily! 

17 November 2012

The All-in-One Beauty Balm

Since getting a taste for beauty balms, my skin seems to have developed a craving for more (Emma Hardie, you're next on the list). However, my latest offering, Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm can quite simply be described as your entire facial routine in a pot, but it has multiple individual purposes too. Intrigued? Keep reading..

The fact that it suits all skin types ticks the first box. It's main job is to nurture and revitalise, and with high levels of the wonder ingredient that is rosehip oil, it definitely quenches dry or dehydrated skin. The consistency is that of a typical balm, quite thick but a small amount warmed up between your fingers and applied to damp skin, it soon turns into an oil. Sure enough, it literally melts away your makeup when used as a cleanser and so to further exfoliate it comes paired with an organic cotton muslin cloth, with gentle buffing movements it'll remove the balm (and slough away at that dead skin!). It can also be used as a nourishing moisturiser, concentrating on areas that are suffering most (this does take a while for the skin to slurp up, mind you). Of course, these steps can be used on their own but put together creates the ultimate deeply de-congesting, radiance restoring, full whack facial.

And it doesn't stop there. I've heard it can be used as a face mask, a rescue for rosacea sufferers and it sorts out dry, chapped lips a treat if left on overnight. Definitely one to reach for in the Winter months is this, it's an absolute pleasure to use and did I forget to mention the heavenly smell? Nothing like rose however, more geranium so if you're not a herbal scent lover, this might not be for you. It is on the pricey side of things at roughly £36 a pot, from Boots, Neal's Yard or lookfantasic, but it sure stretches for miles. Plus, for trips away or overnight stays, a pot of this is all you'll need. Take note ladies, it's one to be added to your skincare stash, if it hasn't been already, that is!

7 November 2012

October Favourites

Some of the past months product favourites are rather relevant with Winter on its way. They include a bath oil which just whiffs of luxury, a well and truly hunted-down lip balm and a keyring attachable nail file to sort out those dry, breaking nails on the go. Of course that's not all, there's also some miracle makeup finds, more skincare to join my stash and two very different nail polishes in the way of colour, so hear me having a good ol' ramble about my latest loves just click on the video above! Have you tried any of these products? I'd love to know your thoughts!

5 November 2012

Eye Brightening Essentials

Now that Winter draws closer and those crisp, dull mornings are creeping up on us I'm rather partial to spending an extra few minutes snuggled up, luckily for me though there are some wonder products which work in my favour to disguise tired peepers, leaving me looking bright eyed and bushy tailed for the day ahead.

After giving my face its morning cleanse, I dab on a small amount of Origins GinZing eye cream which is packed with coffee bean caffeine and panax ginseng to de-puff and refresh. It also contains 'natural optic brighteners', in other words, it has a slight sheen to it making your under eye area look wide awake so I make sure it's taken into the inner tear duct area too. On top of that goes YSL Touche Éclat, one click and few strategically placed strokes of this adds light and radiance, and also slightly tones down the eye cream shimmer. I'm fairly sure I discovered this luminizing magic wand at the young age of 16 (not that I had any dark circles to worry about back then!) and my makeup bag hasn't been without one of these since. Last but not least, I give my waterline a quick run over with the 3 Custom Color Light Clarifying Pencil, you may remember me sing its praises in this post. It's basically a flesh coloured liner which neutralises any redness on the inner rim of the eye, instantly making them appear bigger and brighter.

So there we have it, three simple steps which instantly make me look like I've had a whole 10 hours sleep. Of course, I have a whole other routine which I rely on to prevent puffiness and banish bags, this I quite simply call 'The Soothing Eye Facial' - I'll make sure to conjure up a post but in the meantime, what are your eye brightening secrets?
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