Monday, 8 April 2019

Rediscovering Palmer's Cocoa Butter

[AD/Gifted] Somehow, Easter is just a few days away and for many of us that means a vast amount of chocolate is about to be consumed. If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll probably already know that I don't just have a sweet tooth - I'm a huge lover of gourmand beauty products too. Sometimes it's good to revisit an original and Palmer's Cocoa Butter is pretty much the OG of sweetly scented beauty products.
a collection of Palmer's Cocoa Butter products

I think the last time I regularly used something by Palmer's was when I was pregnant; I had the stretch mark lotion which I applied at least once a day (true story) from the start of the 2nd trimester right through to delivery day. I couldn't honestly say if it was down to my religious use of the lotion or not but I ended up with precisely zero visible stretch marks on my belly (boobs are a slightly different story I might add). Either way, the ritual of massaging the lotion onto my growing belly every day was therapeutic and it kept my skin suitably moisturised and supple.

I'm currently rediscovering a few items from Palmer's and experiencing a few for the first time, so let's get stuck in and have a look at a few bits that are satisfying my sweet tooth this Easter.

*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion

Perhaps the most well known and widely used Palmer's product, the body lotion is loved for its fast absorption and smoothing, moisturising formula. The rich lotion is packed with cocoa butter, an effective natural moisturiser ideal for relieving dry, rough skin and Vitamin E, an antioxidant which aids in improving the overall tone of the skin and can help to improve the appearance of stretch marks and scars. Best of all, the lotion leaves skin smelling sweet and chocolatey. Perfect for adding glow to sun-kissed skin. If you're not so keen on smelling like a dessert, there is also a fragrance free version available.

*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Original Solid Formula Jar

This solid formula is more concentrated and intense than the lotion and melts on contact with the skin. Ideal for really dry bits (knees, elbows, ankles and heels) or an intense overnight treatment, the solid formula has cocoa butter as the first ingredient on the inci list (meaning it's the main ingredient in the product) and is also brilliant for adding a nice sheen to (faux) tanned skin.I hadn't tried the solid formula before now but I can say that the jar will last a very, very long time as this formula is mega rich.
a close up shot of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Solid Formula

*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Body Lotion

I don't need to tell you that the safest tan is a fake one, and the Natural Bronze gradual tanner is a good option if you want a faux glow with the added benefits of cocoa butter. The formula uses DHA to deliver the fake glow and contains added Vitamin E. I used the gradual tanner years ago, so the formula may have changed, but I remember being a bit put off by the lack of guide colour. I loved the bronze shade that resulted but I would recommend to blend, blend, then blend some more when applying this so you end up with an even glow and not patchy bits. I'm looking forward to revisiting this in the coming months when the coats are put away and the legs come out.

*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Original Ultra Moisturising Lip Balm with SPF 15

Lip balms with added sun protection are always a good idea so I was really pleased to receive this. The formula is a solid, twist up stick form that melts on contact with lips and leaves a nice sheen and subtle chocolate scent. On the lips it feels very, very moisturising and is ideal to treat and protect chapped, wind-burned, cracked and uncomfortable lips. I imagine this balm would be perfect to prime the lips before applying lipstick and is perfectly unisex too as it doesn't make things too shiny (only talking to dudes who deliberately shy away from a shiny lip look by the way).
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm

*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Concentrated Cream

The first word I took notice of on this tube was 'Hands' so I've been using it as a nightly hand cream by default. It wasn't actually until I started writing this post that I noticed it's not actually a dedicated hand cream, but rather a multi-purpose cream that fits somewhere between the body lotion and solid formula in terms of texture and viscosity. Like the aforementioned, the cream can be used anywhere that needs it but I can vouch that it's excellent as a night time hand cream, though it does absorb quickly enough for day time use too. The compact handbag sized tube makes it a perfect option for travelling/ stashing in your desk drawer.

*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Shampoo

I'd seen Palmer's hair products on the shelves but it never occurred to me to actually try them before because I assumed that they would be too heavy for my hair. However, I tried the Moisture Rich Shampoo and Restoring Conditioner (more on that below) together the other night and am pleased to report that my hair was left feeling clean, light and smelling beautiful.
The cocoa butter shampoo features Mongongo Oil (derived from the nuts of the Mongongo tree) which is naturally high in polyunsaturated fatty acids which form a protective layer on the hair shaft and help to prevent moisture loss. The shampoo also contains Peppermint Oil which soothes the scalp and adds a refreshing tingle, making the shampoo perfect for the warmer months when that tingly, refreshing feeling is particularly welcome. The peppermint oil combined with the cocoa butter gives the shampoo a chocolate mint fragrance, so if you fancy having hair that smells a bit like an After Eight, this is the shampoo for you.
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Shampoo and Conditioner


*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Restoring Conditioner

Featuring the same chocolate mint scent as the shampoo, the Restoring Conditioner is designed to moisturise, soften and detangle the hair. For fine hair, it's recommended the conditioner is used primarily on the ends and for more coarse hair, you can take it to the scalp and really smother it on. I did the latter as my hair is quite thick and left it on for a few mins (it's recommended you leave it be for up to 6 minutes) before rinsing. The conditioner rinsed away easily and once dried, it didn't feel weighed down or oily - just healthy, shiny and light. Just like the shampoo, the peppermint oil in the conditioned makes it a refreshing, tingly option ideal for warmer weather.

*Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Hair Oil

A great complementary product for the shampoo and conditioner, the hair oil is designed to instantly add moisture to the hair and scalp. Formulated with cocoa butter, mongogo and peppermint oils, the hair oil comes in a spray on form, which I personally love because it means you don't have to get the product on your hands if you're in a hurry/ about to do your skincare. The hair oil is lightweight yet very moisturising, so perfect if you want to add a bit of shine or smooth any frizz. It can also be spayed directly onto the scalp to relive itchiness and tightness. To finish, it smells like mint chocolates too!

Palmer's is such an iconic and well loved brand so I'm really pleased to be rediscovering some of their products. The general chocolatey-ness of the hair and body products is so perfect for this time of the year when chocolate is on my mind (more than ever) and my skin needs a little extra TLC after winter. Is there a brand you're revisiting at the moment? Will you be indulging in Palmer's Cocoa Butter this Easter or do you prefer chocolate treats of the edible kind? Let me know in the comments.
You can find Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula at loads of retailers but it's always worth checking Boots for special offers.
Read more about Palmer's products on their website.

*Gifted Items/ Affiliate Links


Sunday, 24 March 2019

Facialology at Vaishaly

[Gifted] Vaishaly in Marylebone is an award winning clinic owned by Superfacialist Vaishaly Patel. A favourite among celebs and those serious about their skincare, the clinic offers a range of services including massage, hair removal, micro blading and of course, facials. The luxury clinic has recently debuted a brand new treatment dubbed Facialology, so a few weeks back I went along to visit the clinic and experience the facial myself. The Facialology treatment combines the signature Vaishaly facial with reflexology, creating an hour long treatment that produces results and feels suitably pampering all at once. Before this treatment I had never been to Vaishaly before but I can confidently say that after this first impression I'd definitely recommend a visit to this clinic. On arrival I was given a very warm welcome at reception and shown to the waiting area with a patient questionnaire to fill out. My Therapist came in and collected me in good time and took me down some stairs to one of the treatment rooms. Vaishaly is an impressively pristine and quite deceptively large clinic (a bit like the TARDIS - it looks quite modest from the street) and has numerous treatment rooms, a couple of bathrooms and what looked like a little make up station with a lit mirror so you can touch up post-facial.
The reception area at Vaishaly
The Reception area at Vaishaly

Before getting started, my facialist explained what the treatment included and the order that she would be doing things. First of all she would begin the Signature Facial with extractions. I was warned that these could be a little uncomfortable but this part really didn't bother me. She somehow managed to perform the extractions incredibly gently but definitely effectively as my pores were left impressively clean. After a cleanse, the therapist performed microdermabrasion, which I was really looking forward to as it's a treatment I've not had in years. I remembered my microdermabrasion experiences of the past as being quite an intense experience but this was actually quite relaxing, which was a happy surprise.
In case you've never had microdermabrasion, it's an effective exfoliating process that uses either fine crystals or a vacuum type tool to lift off dead skin cells. The type I had was the latter and it just felt like light suction on each area of my face as the therapist got to work.
After the microdermabrasion, a high frequency treatment began using a multi-functional tool (like a wand) that dries and shrinks the pores while killing off any bacteria on the skin - particularly important after the extractions. A glorious facial massage followed using the signature Vaishaly technique, which involves kneading and cupping the face (and the neck and shoulders) to release stress and tension and promote blood flow. It was absolutely lovely and probably my favourite part of the treatment, for obvious reasons!
Following the facial massage, a hydrating mask was applied and it was time for my therapist to get to work on my feet. I was slightly nervous about this part because I am quite ticklish when it comes to my soles! I needn't have worried though because not only was I too blissed-out to be concerned about virtually anything, the therapist performed the reflexology using a nourishing almond and lavender oil with incredible finesse. I am a great believer in holistic therapies and reflexology has always interested me. The idea is that reflex points on each foot relate to specific organs and glands in the body and that stimulating these points can restore unbalanced energy levels and combat a variety of health and skin issues. I really enjoyed the reflexology part of the treatment and think it complemented the signature facial brilliantly, making it an all-round beautiful experience.
The facial mask was removed and my soles were refreshed with a hot flannel for the perfect finish to the treatment before I was left to gather myself and come back down to earth ready to face the streets of London.
The Facialology treatment was created by Vaishaly as an effective two-in-one experience for busy people who are short on time (pretty much everyone) who want a little bit more than just a facial alone. I obviously carefully inspected my complexion immediately afterwards and loved the effect - dewy, refreshed and plumped up skin. I even skipped reapplying tinted moisturiser and went to an event a few hours later without makeup and if that's not testament enough to how happy I was with the results, I don't know what is.
The treatment runs for 55 minutes (including the 15 minutes of reflexology) and costs £120.
If you've got a bit more time to spare, you can opt for an 85 minute session which includes 40 minutes of reflexology for £170.
For more information visit www.vaishaly.com or call Vaishaly Clinic at 020 7224 6088.
You can visit the clinic at:
51 Paddington Street
London
W1U 4HR


Friday, 8 March 2019

Juliette Armand Elements Hydration Gift Set

[AD gifted item] I've written about Juliette Armand previously - you can read that here - but today's post is all about taking a closer look at one of the brand's gift sets. I was given the Elements Hydration Gift Set to trial in an effort to help out my somewhat retinol-ravaged complexion and now that I've had a little time to try the products, it's time to spill the beans.

The Hydation Gift Set features the Cleansing Face Foam, Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Multi Hydrating Cream, so it's an easy trio to incorporate into your routine with one product each to cleanse, treat and moisturise.
The cleanser was the first product I pulled out of the box and actually tried pretty much immediately. I'd literally run out of cleanser the night before this arrived (not counting a few oil cleansers I had stashed away) and was in desperate need of something user friendly I could wash my face with. Balm and oil cleansers are of course wonderful to use in general, but they're not really a quick and easy option when you're getting ready in the morning/ running late. This cleanser however, is.
First things first, do not be fooled into thinking this is a foaming cleanser - it's not. The cleanser is dispensed in a pump action bottle which turns the product into a foam as it comes out. I just didn't want you to think it was one of those foamy, soapy facial cleansers that lathers up and strips your face of every last bit of oil, if you know what I mean? The cleansing foam is actually exceptionally comfortable on the skin and easy to use. Just one or two pumps massaged onto a damp face and then rinsed away. Job done.

The Hyaluronic Acid Serum is one I've tried previously so I'll just reiterate what I've said before. It's worth mentioning that I actually used up the entire bottle of the previous one I owned, which has until recently been an embarrassingly rare thing for me to do. What can I say? I can get bored easily. This hyaluronic acid serum is light, not sticky and perfect for layering and retaining moisture in the skin.

The Multi Hydrating Cream is a new product to me but first impressions are good! The cream has a thick, glossy texture that spreads easily and absorbs beautifully, so perfect for day wear and applying before makeup. The hydrating face cream contains hyaluronic acid as its key ingredient and promises to deliver deep hydration. It also features MOIST 24 which is a special ingredient extracted from the Imperata Cylindrica plant which is a type of grass that has an impressive ability to retain water and therefore is purported to be brilliant for providing long-term moisture to the skin.

The Elements Hydration Gift Set is a fantastic introduction to the Juliette Armand brand and I found that all the products delivered though the cleanser was the stand out for me. The set retails for £70 from Probeauty.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Caudalie Resveratrol [Lift] Face Lifting Soft Cream - Limited Edition Discovery Size.

[Sample/ Affiliate Links] Caudalie was one of the first French Pharmacy brands I got into when I started blogging. I think it was about 8 years ago now that I'd read so many rave reviews about the Caudalie Beauty Elixir that I was convinced I simply needed it, so I bought it and regretted nothing. That product and the Grape Water (a hot weather essential in my opinion) were the gateway pieces that started an appreciation for Caudalie* as a brand. I've actually not tried a Caudalie product I haven't enjoyed and the Resveratrol [Lift] Face Lifting Soft Cream is continuing that trend.
Image of a jar of Caudalie Resveratrol Lifting Cream
Incredibly nourishing and hydrating yet lightweight in texture, the cream is heavy on the hyaluronic acid and contains a unique patent of vine Resveratrol. Designed to firm, smooth wrinkles and 'redefine facial contours', the cream leaves the skin feeling and looking soft and hydrated. Resveratrol is the star ingredient here (the name probably gave you some idea of that!), which is a powerful antioxidant derived from red grapes and other fruits and some nuts. You know how it's been discovered that red wine offers antioxidant benefits? That's down to the Resveratrol. When applied topically however, it activates cell renewal and, combined with hyaluronic acid, firms and lifts the skin. The cream is a sort of whipped consistency which smooths on beautifully and absorbs quickly- pretty much exactly what you want in a daytime moisturiser. The cream is silicone free, which I personally think of as a major plus point for skincare designed to use during the day. I know that sounds a bit weird but hear me out! I don't generally like wearing silicone based moisturisers underneath foundation as they can pill if you use too much, which can totally ruin your base. Pilling is one of my major pet hates so the lack of silicone is a definite positive in my opinion. 
Image of a jar of Caudalie Resveratrol Lifting Cream - texture shot
Like all Caudalie products, the cream smells beautiful and is fragranced with a cocktail of botanicals including lavender, thyme, chamomile, sage and mint. 
Caudalie is currently offering a limited edition discovery size of the Face Lifting Soft Cream for £23. This 25ml size is a great way to try the product before purchasing the full size as you get enough product to see if it works out for you without investing in the standard size (£42 for 50ml). The jar itself is quality frosted glass, so it still feels like you have a luxe product- just a smaller version. 
You can find the Limited Edition 25ml sized Resveratrol [Lift] Face Lifting Soft Cream at Caudalie* where you'll also receive 3 free samples of your choice.    

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask

The Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask is another goody that was included in the Gothamista collaboration with Wishtrend (read my post on the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream here)and I'm so glad I had the chance to try it.
Beauty products always appeal when they have a bit of a novelty factor and this mask has a cool texture that certainly fills that brief. It looks and feels like some kind of chilled pudding; by that I mean it's bouncy and light and sort of like a thick baked custard that breaks apart and melts when you smooth it on the skin. It's an awesome censorial experience that makes it quite a fun product to use really. I guess the texture is quite similar to The Body Shop's Bouncy Sleeping Mask that was very popular a few years ago - the texture is such that it 'self settles' back to a smooth finish after you've scooped out what you need. It's weird and it's cool.
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask pot
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask pot and lid
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask texture

The thick texture of the mask helps it to adhere to the skin, so the ingredients can get to work and do their thing. Speaking of ingredients, the mask includes Niacinamide, Adenosine and of course Vitamin E.
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 which helps to reduce inflammation and ease redness, reduce the appearance of pore size, help the skin retain moisture, minimise signs of sun damage and fine lines, prevents excessive sebum and protects against environmental stressors. An all-round great ingredient really!
Adenosine is a yeast-derived ingredient that has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory and 'wrinkle smoothing' effects while Vitamin E is of course a much loved nourishing and anti-oxidant ingredient.
The purpose of the Freshly Juiced Mask is to hydrate, moisturise and brighten as well as improve the overall appearance and texture of the skin. It's recommended that the Vitamin E Mask is applied after Vitamin C products as it helps stabilise Vitamin C products. therefore enhancing the brightening, antioxidant effect. So pop this mask on after your Vit C serum to ramp up the effects!
While this is labelled as a mask, it can really be used as a moisturiser, day and/or night or as a sleeping pack. It's not a mask that you rinse or wipe off; this one is designed to stay put. I have used the Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask a handful of times (not in conjunction with Vit C though I might add) and have not only found joy in the unique texture, but can report that it feels lovely and comforting on the skin (it sort of melts in like an essence/ mousturiser) and gives my face a little bit of a glow. It's a nice product and to be honest I'd repurchase for the texture alone!
You can find Klairs Freshly Juice Vitamin E Mask at Wishtrend for 27USD or here in the UK from Beauty and Seoul for £24.60 for 90ml.
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