Monday, 29 February 2016

Friction Free Shaving

Friction Free Shaving

Well here's something completely different. A subscription service dedicated to remaining fuzz-free. Who'd have thought it? Friction Free Shaving did, actually.
Friction Free Shaving is a monthly subscription box program that delivers razors and replacement blades to your door, for as little as £3 a month.
Here's how it works:
  • Select your razor (or, as the brand calls it 'shaviour')
You can choose from three designs - *Samantha, Frankie or Faye. The razor arrives in the post, along with 4 replacement blades. I have Samantha, which has a five blade head. Frankie has a three blade head and Faye has two blades.
Samantha is the most expensive razor at £7 per month. Frankie £5 a month and Faye is £3. I'm not fuzzy with my razors in the slightest, so I'd be more than happy to go with Faye for around the same cost as a Starbucks.
  • Receive refills/ replacement blades every month
The replacement blades slip through your mail box once a month.
Friction Free Shaving

The premise behind Friction Free Shaving is that we should never be stuck using a blunt razor on our pits, legs or lady parts. They have a point, really. Blunt blades are more likely to irritate and even nick the skin (shudder) so fresh blades are the way forward.
To be honest, I can't say I've really thought about this that much before and I'm absolutely certain that I've used blunt blades countless times. I love having silky smooth legs but to be frank, I'm way too lazy to shave them every other day, unless it's particularly warm and I am forced to wear shorts.
I digress, I think this subscription service is a pretty nifty idea. The fact that fresh blades are readily available has encouraged me to actually make the (very small) effort of changing the blade which has resulted in less irritation on my armpits and my legs. I also like that Friction Free Shaving shortens to FFS, which is an acronym I use on a daily basis.
Replacement blades eliminate the need to buy disposable razors, which is obviously better for the environment and the cost effectiveness is notable too.
Case in point - just before I received the Friction Free Shaving box in the post, I'd bought one of those Wilkinson Sword Intuition razors that has a bulky moisturising bar all around the top, so you're supposed to be able to shave without soap or shaving gel. Not only did it cost me nearly £7, the moisturising bar all but disappeared after only a couple of uses. In other words, for me personally, it was a major rip off.

The Samantha razor from Friction Free Shaving is not exactly state of the art. It's nothing new, but it does the job well and it's made from metal, not plastic, so it's durable. 
I think this is a pretty great concept overall. You can find out more about Friction Free Shaving here.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner Review

Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner

I have a lot of love for Merumaya as a brand. Yes, the Gentle Exfoliating Toner is only the second product of theirs that I've tried and reviewed, but as far as the brand and ethos goes, Merumaya is pretty outstanding. The founder, Maleka and her team are so kind and engaging with their customers which is so refreshing and really makes a world of difference, so well done Merumaya!
When it comes to the Gentle Exfoliating Toner I am definitely inclined to share my opinion - this is one product to get excited about. Fans of acid toners and acid toning newbies alike, prepare to rejoice.

This toner is a brightening, clarifying glow-giver that takes the sting out of acid toning. So, if you've tried exfoliating acids before and couldn't quite get on board with the whole oh-my-god-my-face-is-on-fire sensation, I recommend you give this a try.
The hint is in the name - this toner is gentle. But gentle does not equal ineffective by any means.

The exfoliating toner contains a natural AHA complex that includes Lactic Acid, that essentially peels away dead skin cells to leave the face feeling smooth and looking bright. The acids are balanced beautifully with hydrating superstars Hyaluronic Acid and Natural Betaine that leave the surface of the skin plumped and soft. In other words, you're getting a fantastic acid exfoliation and a hefty dose of hydration, all at once. It's a win/win situation really.

In terms of scent, in place of that chemical smell usually associated with acids (which admittedly, as a hardcore acid fan I am quite fond of) the Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner is fragranced with Merumaya's signature blend.

I have had the *Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner for a couple of weeks and I've gotten through a quarter of the 128ml bottle. I wanted to look at both the instant and long term effects of the product on my skin and I can wholeheartedly say that I am impressed.
Immediately after use, skin is brighter with a noticeable glow - but none of that tightness that often comes with acid toning. After weeks of use, pores appear clearer, skin tone is more uniform and my face feels more hydrated in general. I really, really like this product.

The Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner retails at a very reasonable £17.50 and is for all skin types. You can find our more by visiting Merumaya.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Favourite non-foundation bases

best bb creams and tinted moisturisers

As much as I am both thrilled and intrigued by the plethora of foundations on the market, the truth is I don't really wear foundation that often.
I generally like my skin to look natural (except red lips, obviously) and glowing, so most of the time when I go out in public I reach for a base that offers some coverage, but isn't quite a foundation. BB Creams, Tinted Moisturisers and pigment-blurring potions are my friends and I use them all year round. They are just nice, low maintenance alternatives to full-blown foundations and every single one that I'm about to talk about blends away easily using just fingertips, so they're handbag-perfect and especially handy when you're in a rush.
best bb creams and tinted moisturisers

I love pretty much everything about Complexion Rescue. From the mousse like texture through to the cooling effect on the skin, this is one seriously good skincare/makeup hybrid. The coverage of Complexion Rescue is definitely sheer- it just adds a bit of a tint to the skin and evens out skin tone for a nice natural finish. I wear shade Buttercream which is slightly yellow toned and gives my face a lovely glow throughout all four seasons- I just add a bit of bronzer in summer and it does the trick nicely. SPF 30.

I bought the Prep + Prime Beauty balm after using the Prep + Prime BB compact  and, whilst being impressed overall, felt the need for a little more hydration. Designed to be used as a primer or on its own, Prep + Prime creates a nice, even base that covers blemishes, pigmentation and dark circles without making you look too 'made up'. The coverage is heavier than Complexion Rescue and can leave me looking a tiny bit ghostly so I rarely use it completely on its own- for me, a pop of blush or bronzer is best. It's a thick, creamy texture that blends seamlessly and is a perfect foundation replacement on days when you don't feel like wearing a full face or simply can't be arsed. SPF 35. 

This citrus-scented pot of tinted hydration is my absolute favourite when the weather is really, really cold. I think I initially became interested in it because I'm irrationally drawn to any beauty product with the word 'balm' in the title. It's ridiculous, I know. The Tinted Moisturising Balm is one of my 'precious' products, which is probably due to the £35.50 price tag as well as the fact that it just feels so darn luxurious. Ultra rich, the emollient formula of the tinted moisturiser makes it very good for dry skins and not so great for oily complexions, which is why I only really use it when it's cold. In terms of coverage, this is in a similar league to complexion rescue- it just enhances and evens out the complexion rather than masks anything. If you live in a super freezing climate, have dry skin, or spend a lot of time in the alps, you need this in your makeup bag, stat. SPF 25.

Dermalogica Sheer Tint*
This one is extra special to me- it's the only base I took with me to Sardinia for my 30th last September. Not only did the Dermalogica Sheer Tint preserve my skin and stop me from getting horribly sunburnt, it made my skin look pretty good at the same time. I'm not a fan of wearing traditional sun cream on my face so this was a very good alternative that also gave my face a nice tint. I have the Sheer Tint in both Light and Medium shades so I can wear it all year round. The blend-ability of this one is particularly impressive, to the point that I could put it on while sitting on the beach using my phone camera as a mirror without looking weirdly patchy and not a tell tale tideline in sight. Success. SPF 20
What's your go-to non-foundation base? Let me know!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

True Organic of Sweden - All You Need is Me

true organics of sweden all you need
I hadn't heard of True Organic of Sweden until my sister gave me a tube of All You Need is Me for Christmas. It's essentially a multi-tasking balm - one of those products that's handy to just have in your handbag- and is designed to be used on or around pretty much everything.

The True Organic of Sweden website says:
'Works great on cracked and dry cuticles, heels, elbows and lips. Can be used as a nourishing scalp and hair mask. Perfect as a lip gloss. Mosquito and insect bites, poison ivy, eczema, mild sunburn, red baby bottoms and rough dry gardening hands.' 

So, you can put this stuff on anything then. 
I know, we've heard it all before - there are plenty of products out there that you can use for everything from grooming your brows and moisturising your lips to soothing insect bites, but the major thing that stands out about All You Need is Me is that it's not petroleum or lanolin based. In fact, it's completely natural and 95% of the ingredients are organic - even the tube is made out of sugar cane and not plastic. If you like your beauty products as minimalist as possible then it's worth noting that All You Need is Me only actually contains 6 ingredients:

  • Castor Oil
  • Beeswax
  • Olive Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Vitamin E
  • Blueberry Oil

As you would probably imagine, All You Need is Me is quite oily and 'balmy' in texture and melts into the skin beautifully. I've used it quite a lot on my hands for the past month or so and it feels incredibly soothing and even makes my nails feel stronger in the same way that my favourite Clarins hand cream does. The cream has a very gentle, inoffensive scent that's totally unisex, making it ideal for blokes too - I imagine it would be quite nice on a dry, itchy beard and soothing on shaving rash.

I have no idea where my sister bought it but you can find All You Need is Me at