Thursday, 20 December 2012

One the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Lift and Firm skincare from Espa.
This lovely little set from Espa containing their Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum and Lift & Firm Moisturiser.

The Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum is a lightweight serum that is designed to firm and smooth the eye area, stimulate cell renewal while also brightening and de-puffing the eye area. Micro Algae works to firm and lift the skin around the eye area while Golden Root brightens and de-puffs the eyes.

The Lift & Firm Moisturiser is a face cream designed to help firm the skin and diminish fine lines. It contains Sea Amber to help stimulate collagen production to help lift and firm the skin and Anise Extract which aids in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

I used these products for about one week morning and evening and they didn't make any notable difference however I have always been of the opinion that it can take roughly 4 weeks before you start to see any visible difference using products due to skin cell turnover. They didn't make my skin breakout which is always a concern when starting a new product and considering the number of late nights I've been having, the Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum must be doing something as normally my eyes would be so puffy with dark circles.  

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Big hair from Richard Ward...
Couture Hair by Richard Ward is a volumising root booster which also helps to control thin, flyaway or fine/weak hair... and for those of you that know me know that I have these problems with me hair.

It's been formulated with Humidity Defence technology that helps cope with all kinds of weather from the grey, drizzle of London to the heat and humidity of Thailand. It also contains Kukui oil and wheat protein that helps boost volume in your hair without the sticky, tacky residue other volumisers can leave you.

You apply this to damp hair in sections from the roots to mid lengths and blow dry your hair as normal. You can also spritz on dry as hair and style your hair as normal. It will leave your hair more volumous without looking over-styled and gives your hair a lustrous texture. I will be definitely investing in a full size bottle of this when this one runs out!

Friday, 7 December 2012

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Soft, touchable hands from L'Occitane.
I've actually used this Shea Butter Hand Cream on and off for many years and have always loved it.
It contains 20% Shea Butter which is very nourishing for your skin (great during winter months) and it's high in antioxidant Vitamin E to keep skin hydrated. This hand cream also absorbs really well into your skin so you're not left with a greasy feeling on your skin. Make sure you massage it into your cuticles as well!
Now that the weather has definitely cooled and I'm having to wear gloves much more, my skin has become so much drier and my cuticles have definitely looked better.
The great thing about this hand cream is that it comes in 2 different sizes. It comes in the full 150ml size which is great to leave by your bed so you always remember to use it before going to bed and it comes in a handy 30ml travel size so that you will always have some in your bag or your desk at work so your hands stay soft and smooth all day long.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Full, black lashes from Benefit Cosmetics.
They're real! Mascara is a great find. It's a long lasting mascara that adds volume, length and lift.

It is so long lasting that it's actually quite difficult to remove. I find I need to use an oil based cleanser to remove the majority of it but then I need to follow that with another eye make up remover to remove the rest of it... However if you do happen to sleep in it (which is always unadvisable) you wont wake up with it all over your face or pillow... Of course I never do this...
My eyelashes are not the longest or the darkest so a good mascara is always something I'm on the lookout for.
As you can see from the below picture my lashes are so much more noticeable. They're thicker and longer. This is probably not a mascara that I would wear on a daily basis but definitely something I would use for those occasions where a little more is needed.  

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Super curly lashes...
From The Vintage Cosmetics Company I received a new eyelash curler. I've always been a big fan of curling my lashes and my current eyelash curler definitely needed to be replaced so you can imagine my happiness when on the 2nd day of December I opened the window of my advent calendar and there was my brand new vintage eyelash curler.
In such a pretty little box as well. So now I can say goodbye to my (very) old eyelash curler and get started with my shiny, new one...

I've spoken to some people who don't see the necessity of having an eyelash curler but the difference it makes to my lashes is just short of false lashes. They just make your eyes pop open.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Ruby red nails...
Opening my advent calendar on December 1st and out popped a gorgeous little bottle of Mavala nail polish in a glittery, ruby red. Number 385 to be exact.
It's a perfect red to kickstart the christmas with festive nails. And what's better is that the colour goes on really well that you could get away with doing only 1 coat plus your top and bottom coat.

I've always been a loyal user of OPI and Essie however I think I'm willing to open my eyes and branch out into other brands of nail products especially one as pretty as this.

This may just be my go to festive season colour especially for Christmas Day.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The One item everybody should own

Any Australian girl will tell you the one product she will always have on her person is Lucas' Papaw Ointment.
This seriously cheap and cheerful ointment is one of those multi use products that you can use for practically anything...

I use it as my lip balm everyday and in winter I occasionally get a spot of eczema and it works a treat. On the tube it is also said to be topical treatment to be used for boils, burns, chafing, cuts, cracked skin, gravel rash, splinters, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash. I also use it if I have flyaways and need to tame them, to tidy my eyebrows and if my cuticles are looking particularly dry.

It's made in Brisbane (where I'm from), you can get it in any pharmacy and supermarket, it's about incredibly affordable and it lasts so long.

Unfortunately due to a ruling by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency in the UK, Lucas' Papaw Ointment is classified as a medicine due to its benefits and as of July 2012 it was not permitted to sell to buyers. However suppliers are expected the license permits to be sorted soon and will hopefully be stocking the product again by Christmas 2012... Fingers crossed! In the UK the main supplier of Lucas' Papaw Ointment is The PawpawShop London and it is also stocked in Boots occasionally.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The ultimate in anti-ageing

I know my last post was about a Dermalogica product but one of my best friends expressed her concern with ageing, particularly around the eyes so I thought I'd share one of my secrets.

Dermalogica created Power Rich which is a ridiculously potent moisturising treatment that can replace your eye cream, serum AND moisturiser!!! For me, I use it just as an eye cream in order to preserve this little beauty. You get 5x 8ml tubes in a box and a squeezing key that ensures you use every last drop of this cream as well.

This cream stimulates collagen production which increases skin firmness, it stimulates skin cell renewal leaving your skin looking fresh while treating prematurely aged skin.

You can use this all over your face but if the eyes (or any other area) are a particular concern, just apply the tiniest amount concentrating on that particular concern. I can get 18 months out of the 5 tubes which does make it an extremely affordable eye cream despite the initial outlay.

This is probably one of the most amazing products I have ever tried... and I have tried many.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Boost your skin renewal

I've been working with Dermalogica in both Australia and the UK for 7 or so years now. Recently I started using the Skin Renewal Booster and it reminds me why I love this brand so much!

Since moving to London I've found my skin is a bit drier and more prone to the occasional breakouts. I'm still terrified of ageing so I wanted a serum to use under my moisturiser.

What does the Skin Renewal Booster do exactly? It's more of a case of what it doesn't do really...
It's a super concentrate of hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and reveal a brighter complexion. It's also got a boost of Vitamins A and C to give the skin a dose of antioxidants to fight ageing and pigmentation!

Salicylic and Lactic Acid are the exfoliating agents which also minimise breakouts and congestion!

When I first started using it I noticed a slight tingling sensation due to the acids munching away but that settled down very quickly. I also experienced a mild breakout which was more underlying congestion coming to the surface of the skin and it healed very quickly! Remember No Picking!

I couldn't have asked for a better product to look after my concerns. This booster has seriously pumped up the volume of my normal skincare routine!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Colour Pop Lips

For the last few months I've been looking for a particular shade of bright pink lipstick that was sort of a mix between pink, red and coral... I thought it would be easy but it has been a bit of a mission.
Interestingly enough the colour I wanted was a colour I saw Kourtney Kardashian wearing in an advert for the latest season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Google proved unhelpful when I tried to find out what colour she had on so in the end I had to do my own detective work to try and match it.
I think I have succeeded! MAC came to the rescue with their Amplified Creme Lipstick in Impassioned.
It's not quite as coraly as I wanted but it suits my skin tone perfectly!
Before I apply the lipstick I use the MAC Lip Prep+Prime followed by their Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in In Anticipation before applying 2 coats of the lipstick.
It's a hot, bold colour that really pops and when paired with a primer and a lip pencil the staying power is fantastic! Seriously strong staying power... I put it on after lunch, worked all afternoon, went to an event in the evening and then went out for dinner and when I got home... still perfectly in place.
All in all, very impressed with my new addition to add to my collection.
Amplified Lipstick in Impassioned, Pro Longwear Lip Liner in In Anticipation and Lip Prep+Prime
The final result

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The fuss about BB Creams

Every other skincare and make up company has been jumping on the BB Cream bandwagon and I've decided to investigate what the fuss is all about?
A BB cream is designed to provide an all-in-one face product and provide the skin with a serum, moisturiser, primer, foundation and sunblock. Sounds too good to be true right?

Enter Smashbox camera ready BB Cream SPF 35.

As it says on the packaging it really is a "complexion miracle worker". It moisturises, primes, perfects, protects AND controls oil all in one product. And what's even better is the sun protecting ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide which provide broad spectrum protection and are much more gentle on the skin as an added perk. 
My skin isn't very oily at all and as the cooler weather is starting to kick in I have found that I need to wear a moisturiser underneath my BB cream for extra hydration but it really does give me a lovely even complexion so if I'm not getting ready for work or glammed up to go out it really is a wonderful product. Just pop on some mascara and lipgloss and you're good to go. You truly only need to use the smallest amount of product so there is minimal wastage. There's even a tutorial on how to apply the camera ready BB cream SPF 35!
When I used it as a primer underneath my foundation, bronzer, blush and everything else I use I found my make up set really well and didn't wear off like it sometimes done.
I really love this product and I have definitely joined the bandwagon! 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Tired eyes?

I was recently introduced to a the French skincare company YonKa and decided to give one of their eye creams a go. I have this fear of ageing and would love to do so as graciously as possible. As a Beauty Therapist with many years of experience, I find that the eyes are one of the first places that start to show your age (and lie about it as well).
Thankfully genetics have been on my side and the telltale signs of crows feet are yet to appear so I'm intent on looking 30 when I'm 40 so using an eye cream daily should help me achieve that goal (I hope).
Back to this YonKa eye cream I've decided to try, the Nutri-Contour for eyes and lips.
I've been using this for a week now, applying it morning and evening and I love it. It's lightweight but really hydrating. I also put a thick layer on my lips one night before I went to bed and in the morning my lips were super soft and I swear they looked plumper!
I've also found that it's an excellent base for my eyeshadow as well which is always a plus as I hate touching up my makeup during the day. Anything that helps right?
About the actual product itself. It contains extracts of chamomile, mint essential oils and vitamins E, PP and F. It helps to nourish the eye and lip area and helps to promote resiliency. And the antioxidants help fight free radical damage and slow the ageing process.
I think I'm going to keep using this product and hope it lets me keep my eyes wrinkle free...